Banned from A Beauty Contest for Being Too Sexy

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Three contestants have been kicked out of this year's Miss Italy beauty contest after it emerged they had posed for risqué photographs.

Alice Bellotto, 22, was the first to be thrown out after judges saw a seductive pictures of her in a pink nightdress. Another image involved her striking a raunchy pose in denim hot pants and high heels. Miss Bellotto, who was the representative from the Veneto region, was quickly followed by Miss Curvy Italy, Raffaella Modugno, 23, from Rome. Judges discovered pictures of her in silky underwear posing suggestively on a leather sofa. She was also shown reclining in a lacy black corset top. The third model to be shown the red card was Tiziana Piergianni, 26, who was Miss Liguria, the area around Genoa and who was one of a handful of single mothers in the pageant. Pictures and video footage of her posing topless were discovered by organisers on the web and as a result she was also sent home from the contest which is being held at Montecatini Terme in Tuscany next week. Miss Bellotto said: 'I'm really upset at being excluded from the contest. As far as I am concerned the photographs of me are tasteful and artistic. I'm a model it's what I do where is the problem? 'My family know all about the pictures and are behind me 100 per cent. I will still watch the show - what's happened has happened in fact it has led to more work offers.' Miss Modugno and Miss Piergianni were unavailable for comment but friends of both women said they were 'disappointed after being excluded from the beauty show which is seen as a stepping stone to an entertainment career. Numerous past winners of Miss Italy have gone on to become actresses - with some appearing on popular TV shows, many of them on channels owned by Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. A spokesman for Miss Italy said:'Regulation number eight clearly states that any contestant who has posed or is seen in a nude or provocative pose is excluded.' A backstage source added: 'We get this every now and then but never three in one contest - I think it may be a record. 'The organisers like to keep Miss Italy squeaky clean so anything slightly naughty is stamped on quick.' This year's contest features 60 women and has also been opened up to women who are a curvy size 14 in an attempt to show that not all women need to be stick thin size zero models to be attractive. Miss Italy is one of the longest running beauty pageants in the world and began in 1939 with famous past participants including Italian screen legends Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida. The contest has been hit by controversies several times in the past and is regularly targeted by feminists protesting at the competition's exploitation of women, portraying them as sex objects. In 1990 the regulation measurements of bust, waist and hips were scrapped while in 1994 the competition was opened to single mothers as well as married women. Four years ago there was also uproar when several judges on the show asked contestants to pose with their backs to the panel so they could see their bottoms in order to help them with their decisions.