Miss USA Pageant Posts Racy Images

The age-old Miss USA pageant has come under fire for posting suggestive photos and videos of 51 hopefuls on their official website.

The Miss USA contestants posed for the official photos in Las Vegas last week, with plenty of skin showing in highly provocative poses, clad mostly in lingerie. Critics are slamming the new direction as a ploy to grab ratings, while others are saying it's a sign of the times and a way for the women to show their confidence and sexuality.

"The Miss USA pageant," Editor Andrew Wallenstein told, "is very calculatedly trying to get attention by doing something controversial. The more people who hear about it beforehand, the more likely they are to tune in."

Not so, says Tara Conner, Miss USA 2006 and a current pageant judge, who points out the fact there is little difference between wearing a bikini and wearing lingerie. "It's really not pushing the envelope," Conner said. " ... Basically, a swimsuit is lingerie, just different material. So, I really don't know why everyone has their panties in a wad, because it's the same concept. You're seeing the same amount of skin, but all of the goods are covered, so there's really no issue."

The Miss USA pageant has taken its fair share of criticism in the last few years. Conner almost lost the crown when reports surfaced she had a substance abuse problem, while last year, Miss California, Carrie Prejean, was fired, due in part to her comments against gay marriage -- and her own set of racy photos.