Pageant Paid For Miss Calif. Implants

Hosts Billy Bush, center, and Nadine Velazquez, right, listen as Miss California Carrie Prejean, left answers a question from judge Perez Hilton, unseen, about legalizing same-sex marriage during the Miss USA Pageant, Sunday April 19, 2009 in Las Vegas. "We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage," Prejean said. "And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised." AP Photo/Eric Jamison

There's new controversy swirling around Miss California.

Carrie Prejean, whose comments opposing same-sex marriage during last month's Miss USA pageant still have tongues wagging, had breast augmentation surgery just weeks before that competition, Miss California Pageant Co-Director Keith Lewis confirmed on The Early Show Friday. He also said reports that the Miss California pageant helped foot the bill for the operation were true.

Prejean wound up as runner-up to Miss North Carolina for the Miss USA crown.

Lewis told co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez the Miss California pageant "assisted when Carrie came to us, and voiced the interest in having the procedure done."

Why?

"It's not something that we endorse, nor is it something that we suggest," Lewis continued. "But when we meet with the title-holder, when she's crowned Miss California, we put to her a litany of questions about how she feels about herself, what she feels she needs to work on, what she may need to change, what is good, what is not good. We want to put her in the best possible confidence in order to present herself in the best possible light on a national stage."

Why should having breast implants even be needed to give a contestant more confidence?

Why is the best possible confidence involve getting breast implants? Why does that improve her odds of winning? Why in that meeting don't you discourage her from going that route, rather than help her to pay for breast implants?

"We would never encourage her to go that route," Lewis responded. "It's a personal choice. I think that it's about how a woman feels about herself. In terms of, for me, it's not a personal choice that I would recommend. But at the same time, I know so many women who have done the procedure, and feel better about themselves and the way they present themselves. And I think that's the question, is whether or not, when you're looking at that procedure as an option, 'Am I going to feel better about myself?' It's not about one night. It isn't about one night of competition. And doing a procedure like that for one night of competition would be foolish."

Later, Lewis added, "I think that we have to look at the way that we perceive real women, and whether that needs to be changed in the media. But you see it in television. You see it in advertising. It may be part of this pageantry, as well. But I think it's prevailing to everywhere, not just in one area."
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