They aren't Playboy centerfolds. They're Miss USA contestants posing in lacy lingerie and fishnet stockings, and showing plenty of cleavage. But it's not another case of beauty queens misbehaving either. Believe it or not, they are the official photos that are posted on the Miss USA website.
"I don't think they go too far, you know I think sometimes people stereotype a beauty queen as someone who's perfect in pearls and a cardigan, and what they don't understand is I can be in law school and I can do a spread that's like Victoria's Secret," said Miss Arkansas.
Megan Alexander spoke with Miss California, who posed in fishnets, Miss Arkansas, who struck a similar pose, and Miss Virginia, who actually posed wearing only an open shirt and underwear.
"You know what, I'm smiling in the shot, I'm having a lot of fun, you can tell I'm having fun, I'm just being myself. I felt sexy, I felt beautiful, and I think that's important," Miss Virginia says.
The photos were taken in Las Vegas by the official Miss USA photographer. Some contestants, reportedly including North Carolina, South Carolina, and Louisiana, were said to be uncomfortable with the sexy shoot and opted to cover themselves up as much as possible.
According to one state pageant director, "They made sure...they weren't in provocative attire. They knew that their family was going to see these." A spokeswoman for Miss USA, which is owned by Donald Trump, says, "The photos are hot, yet tasteful!"
"From the hair to the makeup to exactly what I was wearing and once I was posing I was asked, 'Are you comfortable in this, do you want to wear this instead?' " said Miss California.
But what about former Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean, who came under fire when semi-nude photos surfaced?
"The photos that you all took, some would say are just as seductive and racy, do you think that seems a little bit hypocritical?" Alexander asked the contestants.
"Carrie's photos were done a little differently, I just don't think that they were shot as tastefully as ours were," Miss Arkansas explained.