When former ESPN reporter Sharlene Wells Hawkes won the 1985 Miss America Pageant, People magazine decided to run an article on her intention to remain a virgin until marriage, “Miss America Explains Why She Says No to Sex”. People’s writer and photographer followed Sharlene around from early morning to late night during a particularly exhausting day. Late that night, as Sharlene prepared to retire for the night, the photographer suddenly remembered that he needed a photo for their editor. “No big deal”, he assured her. “It’s only a head-shot. Throw anything on. Don’t bother with your shoes.” Sharlene cooperatively put on her tiara and the first dress in her suitcase, a reptile scale print dress.
When the issues hit the news stands, an appalled Wells discovered that People ran the “head-shot” — a full-length photo of a barefooted Miss America with cornpads decorating her toes! Worse, Mr. Blackwell, named Wells to his infamous “Worst Dressed” list, describing her as “an armadillo in cornpads”.
Source: The Miss America Cookbook. Used with permission.