COMMENTARY | Tuesday evening, Miss Pennsylvania, Sheena Monnin, resigned her crown. How she submitted her resignation -- and why -- has sparked controversy.
In a post on her Facebook wall, Monnin wrote, "Effective immediately I have voluntarily, completely, and utterly removed myself from the Miss Universe Organization. In good conscience I can no longer be affiliated in any way with an organization I consider to be fraudulent, lacking in morals, inconsistent, and in many ways trashy."
Monnin alleges a fellow contestant had provided her the names of the five finalists in Sunday's Miss USA pageant beforehand, and those five were indeed correct.
On Wednesday, Donald Trump, co-owner of the Miss Universe Organization, fired back with a lawsuit threat. Trump told Ann Curry on the Today show, "What we've authorized today is we're going to bring a lawsuit. She said some really strong things. When she's using the word 'fraud,' that's pretty strong, so we're going to be suing her on that basis."
The Miss Universe Organization claims Monnin sent them an email earlier that day resigning over her religious beliefs and the admission of a transgender contestant into the pageant. "I refuse to be part of a pageant system that has so far and so completely removed itself from its foundational principles as to allow and support natural born males to compete in it. This goes against ever (sic) moral fiber of my being," she wrote.
Do we really need lessons in morality from a pageant contestant?
And why, if she found the inclusion of a transgender entrant to be against every moral fiber of her being, did she not drop out before Sunday's pageant? The Miss Universe Canada pageant in which Jenna Talackova competed was held May 19, two weeks before the Miss USA pageant, allowing plenty of time for her consideration and withdrawal.
If you are going to take a stand and claim the moral high ground, you do it before you compete and lose. Giving up what you have worked for so long without having an opportunity for reward is what sacrificing for your principles costs. Resigning after you competed and lost is hollow.
Just as hollow are the heads of some contestants. With six of the 11 contestants unable to answer who is currently Vice President of the United States, can we please dispense with the notion these contests are about anything other than beauty and sexuality?
Monnin's sudden rediscovery of her faith and virtue mirrors Kylie Bisutti, who resigned as a Victoria's Secret model over her Christian beliefs. At the time, Bisutti told Good Morning America, "I was growing in my relationship with the Lord and my faith" and "I just became so convicted of honoring the Lord."
She had been posing in catalogs nearly naked for two years at that point. Wonder if her sudden renewal of faith led her to donate those earnings to the church?
Don't worry, girls. Take all the time you need selling your body as a sex object. God will wait for you.