| Culture |

Miss Dominican Republic's Secret Marriage Cost Her the Crown

In the Dominican Republic, married women aren't beautiful.

That's the message we're taking away from today's news that Carlina Duran, who won the 2012 Miss Dominican Republic beauty pageant a little over a week ago, has been dethroned after the pageant discovered she's been married since 2009.

Duran, age 25, appears qualified to serve as Miss Dominican Republic in every other respect: She's beautiful, she's Dominican, she's beautiful, she's tall, she's beautiful, she's skinny, and -- oh yeah -- she's beautiful. But pageant officials say she violated a law requiring all contestants to be single.

Of course, plenty of beauty queens have had to hand back the crown for far more serious offenses. In 2009, Miss California admitted to making a sex tape. Vanessa Williams' career started in beauty pageants, when she was the first black winner of Miss America -- then abruptly ended when Playboy Penthouse published nude photos of her. There've been beauty queen drug scandals, and beauty queen crime scandals.

Kinda makes a sturdy, old-fashioned marriage seem like a good thing, doesn't it?

But don't worry, Duran. No matter how bad you feel now, take heart that it could have been worse:

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