April 21, 2021

Why is Miss New Jersey Upset?

Amy Polumbo is Miss New Jersey 2007.  She’s looking forward to the Miss America pageant.  One thing is standing in her way.  Pictures taken at parties showing Miss Polumbo is less than role model poses.

To her credit, she went on the Today show and made the pictures public.  It’s her comments that I find interesting:

“I feel sick to my stomach. I really do,” Amy Polumbo told host Matt Lauer. “You know, they’re not that bad, but they were meant to be private. And it is making me feel very vulnerable that the entire country has to see them now because of this situation.”

Compared to pictures that have come out at different times, these are far from the worst.  She is clothed in all of them, but the content is suggestive.

What I find interesting is this concept of privacy.  It’s been coming up a lot recently.  Google got in trouble for showing some compromising situations via Google Maps.  Why?  Because people have an expectation of privacy, even if they aren’t granted one by law.

For instance, if you’re in a public place (a beach, on the street, at a game), you have no expectation of privacy.  And to some degree that makes sense– since it would be difficult for a photographer to get credit from random people that showed up in a shot, and if you’re on the street the odds are that you at least prepared to be there.

The problem comes into play when the camera catches something that you didn’t want to be photographed: hair that is windblown, a habit you didn’t want revealed, or (in the case of Amy Polumbo) some silly activity at a party.

You see, it’s one thing to expect a photo to be taken, it’s another thing to have one taken when you don’t expect it.  And then there’s the audience– which can go from a few friends that you thought you knew to all over the Internet.

In this Internet age, can we expect privacy?  But another question is this, in what circumstances do we expect privacy.  I would posit that we expect privacy when we have something to hide or something we don’t want seen.

It is rare to find someone that doesn’t have some secrets from someone.  However, in the world that we find ourselves in it is getting more difficult to keep that secret hidden.  Whether it’s phone longs, credit card statements, Internet logs, people taking pictures– if there’s something that you’re doing that you shouldn’t or something you want hidden the odds are that it can be found out.

Which reminds me of the passage in the Bible that says we will give an account for what we have done  You see, there’s no expectation of privacy from God.  He sees and knows all.

So, Miss New Jersey is upset– not because of what she’s done but because it’s documented.  Because she will give an account of what she’s done now.

How about us?  What are we doing that we shouldn’t and would be embarrassed if we were caught on film?

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4 thoughts on “Why is Miss New Jersey Upset?

  1. Maybe in the past, the Miss America Pageant meant something to people. It presented wholesome young women who had morality standards.

    In this day and age, there are far and few between that can represent that kind of persona.

    It’s time to retire the pageant, it has ran its course.

    NOTE: Back in 1983, Vanessa Williams lost her crown when nude photos of her popped up in Penthouse.

    Today, she would have retained her crown.

  2. You’re right, of course, Leticia. Like a lot of things that have changed over time, I think the whole pageant system may have been fine at one point, but it has crossed a line. The women may be friendly, and they may think it’s only for a scholarship, but the advent of television or something has made it into a mess.

  3. I agree with Leticia. Pageants very often feature immoral, immature and superficial women these days.

    As for Miss New Jersey, if she doesn’t want to be caught doing something inappropriate, well, why doesn’t she just behave herself at all times? If she turns herself into a public figure, she can always expect a camera or two.

  4. Anna you hit the nail on the head– she showed her character through her actions. Character, I’ve heard, is who you are when you think that no one is watching. She was willing to take responsibility, thich is a good thing, but she never should have had the problem in the first place.

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