Still Standing, Barely

I feel for Carrie Prejean. On national television, in front of millions, she dared to voice her opinion, knowing that it was the voice of the minority. And her opinion probably cost her the Miss USA crown. It was her actions, however, not her voice, that cost her the Miss California crown.

At the Miss USA Pageant she exercised her right to express her opinion.  She did


 however, have the right to appear in concert with various organizations, speaking out against gay marriage. She didn't have the right to take the Miss USA title and use it to lend support to a controversial social cause.

And she certainly didn't have the right to retain her title after photos of her posing topless surfaced in the tabloids. Before she became Miss California, she signed a contract verifying that she hadn't ever posed nude. The contract also stipulated that she would make appearances on behalf of the Miss Universe Organization, and that she could not use the title to advance any causes / organizations not approved of by that organization.

Donald Trump, feeling pressured from people within and outside of the Miss Universe Organization, graciously allowed Carrie to keep her title, despite the photos. However, once she became a spokesperson for anti-gay marriage organizations, she was in violation of her contract, once again.

What Carrie Prejean failed to understand is that as a titleholder, you relinquish your right to act as an independent entity. Yes, as an American you have the right to free speech, but as a titleholder, your words are censored, because you don't represent yourself.  Yes, you have the right to advocate for various causes, but those causes must be approved of by the pageant. You are their representative and are technically employed by them.

Carrie Prejean crossed the line of what was acceptable behavior for a titleholder, and she lost her crown as a result. Was she targeted because of her unpopular opinion? Maybe. Was the Miss Universe Organization within its rights to fire her? Absolutely.

Just this last week, news reports verified the existence of a sex tape that Carrie made as a teenager, as a present to her boyfriend. This third "breach" of contract is perhaps the final confirmation that Donald Trump made the best decision when he decided to fire Carrie after all. The job of a titleholder, at any level, is to be a role model. All of Carrie Prejean's actions have made me question her ability to be that.