Miss Puerto Rico: Joyce Giraud: Beauty queen fights to keep title

Joyce Giraud, MISS PUERTO RICO 1998 is preparing to compete for the 1998 MISS UNIVERSE Pageant from the magnificent island of O'ahu, Hawaii. This 23 year old from Aguas Buenas, stands 5' 9" tall with dark brown eyes, and dark brown hair. Hawaii will serve as the backdrop for this years competition leading up to the final moment when one Delegate will be chosen MISS UNIVERSE 1998 during the live CBS-Telecast, May 12, starting at 9:00 P.M., (ET). ho/The MISS UNIVERSE Organization.

Just weeks before she's slated to compete in the Miss Universe contest, Miss Puerto Rico is busy defending herself against jealous rivals who want her stripped of her title.

Revealing pictures of sexy crownholder Joyce Giraud - who began representing Puerto Rico last fall - have been circulated to TV and magazines in the sunny commonwealth, with the suggestion the poses are inappropriate for a titleholder.

Miss Puerto Rico: Joyce Giraud

Among the "offending" shots is an underwear ad, in which Giraud is lying on her stomach and appears to be topless. In another, the sultry beauty's breasts are covered by her hair.

All of the photographs are from Giraud's personal modeling portfolio and commercial work she did before becoming Miss Puerto Rico.

Insiders say the photos were leaked by someone at one of the many competing groups that search for and train Puerto Rico's potential beauty queens.

"There was a lot of controversy about her becoming Miss Universe, Puerto Rico," San Juan fashion editor Arnaldo Rivera Brana said. "There were some people interested in having other contestants win this pageant. They started a campaign to destroy her."

But the smear tactics didn't work.

Noting that the photos are "artistic" and "very fashion oriented," Miss Universe CEO Molly Miles said the pageant decided to let Giraud compete.

"We would obviously appreciate that title holders not pose nude or in any semi-nude fashion," Miles said. "But we do respect cultural differences, and in Puerto Rico these shots are very acceptable. We reviewed the photos ... and determined they were culturally appropriate and did not necessitate removal of the title holders' crown.

Besides, she noted, "If you look in our country, there are a lot of advertising and fashion layouts that take advantage of parts of the human body."

Added lensman Rivera: "The whole town is backing Joyce up. She's been a wonderful Miss Puerto Rico - everybody loves her."

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