1. Headline
  1. Headline
Image: Miss Trinidad and Tobago
Miss Universe Organization
Miss Trinidad & Tobago's LaToya Woods said she expected the photo shoot to be attention-grabbing.
Access Hollywood
updated 8/15/2010 10:30:47 AM ET 2010-08-15T14:30:47

LAS VEGAS — The Miss Universe pageant is weeks away, but before any of the contenders can spark headlines with their answers to politically tinged questions, a new photo shoot for the pageant — featuring some of the contestants topless — is raising eyebrows.

On Monday, at the Las Vegas shoot where Access Hollywood was exclusively behind the scenes, Miss Trinidad & Tobago's LaToya Woods said she expected the photo shoot to be attention-grabbing.

View the photos: Hollywood's Hottest Beach Bods

"It's definitely going to raise some [eye]brows, but what's important is that I am comfortable," the beauty told Access. "This is my body and I feel liberated doing this."

LaToya added that she thinks it was a great decision to have the shoot.

View the photos: Stars In Their Underwear

"You know that saying, 'Bad publicity is good publicity?' It's going to be good," she said.

AH Nation Poll: Some of the Miss Universe contestants went topless for official pageant photos. What do you think? Click HERE to vote!

Miss USA, Rima Fakih, posed without her top, but with her back to the camera for her shot.

View the photos: Model Mania: Hot Shots Of The World's Catwalkin' Beauties

"There [were] options and we were all asked what we feel comfortable with and I told them that I feel comfortable with beauty," she said.

The women were covered in body paint for the shoot and Miss USA was pleased with her pose.

View the photos: Miss Universe 2006

"For me, I like to do the back, I didn't want to do the front for many reasons and one of them being [an issue of] respect," she said. "I'm Arab, I'm Muslim, and I didn't want to disappoint many people."

Image: Miss USA
Miss Universe Organization
Miss USA, Rima Fakih, posed without her top, but with her back to the camera for her shot.

Miss USA cupped her breasts and bared just her back, while Miss Japan Maiko Itai used her arm to shield her nudity. The latter lady actually passed out after standing up for two hours while being painted in the Las Vegas heat for the shoot.

Miss Haitii, Sarodj Bertin, joined many of the contestants who opted out of the topless option, wearing a bikini and body paint.

Interestingly, she said her mother was a candidate for the Haitian presidency before her murder in 1995. She told Access Hollywood she admires Wyclef Jean, who is currently running for President of the island nation, as a singer, but had different feelings about who should be her nation's president.

"Now politically talking, I believe my country needs someone that knows the problem of Haiti, someone that has studied the society, studied the history," she said.

Copyright 2013 by NBC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Miss USA on topless photos controversy

Photos: Miss Universe 2009

loading photos...
  1. And the winner is...

    Miss Venezuela Stefania Fernandez, center, reacts as she is named Miss Universe 2009. As the beauty queen dances with joy, the sparkling tiara falls to the floor at the end of the pageant, held at Atlantis on Paradise Island in Nassau, Bahamas, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2009. (Andres Leighton / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Making history

    Miss Venezuela Stefania Fernandez, left, takes the title of Miss Universe 2009. Fernandez, 18, makes history, as her country takes the crown for the second consecutive year. She is crowned by 2008 Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza from Venezuela, right. Venezuela has won the crown six times. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Ladies-in-waiting

    Miss Dominican Republic Ada Aimee De la Cruz, left, Miss Venezuela Stefania Fernandez and Miss Kosovo Gona Dragusha, right, wait for the decision. In the end, Miss Kosovo is second runner-up, Miss Dominican Republic is first runner-up and Miss Venezuela is crowned Miss Universe 2009. (Orlando Barria / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Moment of truth

    Ada Aimee De la Cruz, 23, representing the Dominican Republic, looks up nervously as she chooses a judge's name from a bowl for the question-and-answer session. De la Cruz is asked whether she believes HIV testing should be made mandatory, and she answers that it should, saying, "By just not being careful, in just one minute, we may lose our own lives." (Andres Leighton / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Sick in style

    Miss Switzerland Whitney Toyloy, center, reacts to feeling ill as Miss USA Kristen Dalton comforts her during the beauty pageant. At left is Miss Czech Republic Iveta Lutovska and back right Miss Puerto Rico Mayra Matos Perez. (Andres Leighton / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Dancing divas

    Miss Universe contestants dance to Sean Kingston's "Fire Burning on the Dance Floor" at the beginning of the beauty pageant. (Brennan Linsley / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Glamour goddess

    Miss Kosovo Gona Dragusha,18, poses in her purple Grecian-style gown. "I tried many dresses," she said. "This is the one I loved the most." Dragusha finished as second runner-up in the competition. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Ready for drama

    Pageant co-hosts Billy Bush, left, of "Access Hollywood," and "Celebrity Apprentice" star Claudia Jordan stand on stage at the Miss Universe 2009 pageant. Bush, hoping for some drama at the live televised event, opens the show by asking, "What kind of scandal will be created here tonight?" Unfortunately for Bush, no real scandals occur. (Lucas Jackson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. The reigning queen

    Miss Universe 2008, Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela, greets the audience during the annual pageant. When asked what her most memorable moment was as Miss Universe, she answers that it was breaking her country's 12-year losing streak in the international competition. (Lucas Jackson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Top 10

    Miss USA Kristen Dalton, of North Carolina, made it as a top 10 finalist during the Miss Universe beauty pageant, but did not advance after the evening gown competition. (Andres Leighton / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. If you've got it, flaunt it

    Miss Australia Rachael Finch shows off her bikini body during the swimsuit competition. Finch finished as the third runner-up, after being asked by a judge how she feels about women in some countries being banned from wearing bathing suits. Swimsuits, she said, give women the chance to "show our figures ... and everything we've worked so hard for." (Timothy A. Clary / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Feel the beat

    Rapper Flo Rida, right, performs his hit songs "Jump" and "Low" during the swimsuit competition. (Lucas Jackson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Blond 'Body Language'

    Reality TV star Heidi Montag gives her first live musical performance, singing "Body Language" from her debut album. Montag is best known as a star of MTV's "The Hills." Although fans cheer her on, more than half of her performance is blocked out as hosts introduce the 15 pageant finalists. (Lucas Jackson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. She's got the look

    Miss Czech Republic 2009 Iveta Lutovska, 26, gets dolled up in preparation for the pageant. She is a top 10 finalist, but was cut after the evening gown competition. (Ho / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Touch-up

    Twenty-three-year-old Johanna Lasic, Miss Argentina 2009, sets her hair backstage moments before competing in the Miss Universe pageant. Lasic is not chosen as a finalist. (Ho / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Strike a pose

    Miss Argentina Joy Lasic, left, Miss Colombia Michelle Rouillard and Miss Bolivia Dominique Peltier, right, rehearse their dance moves prior to the Miss Universe competition. (Ho / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Sleeping beauty

    Miss Netherlands Avalon-Chanel Weyzig, right, naps in her seat as she and other candidates wait to rehearse for the competition. (Brennan Linsley / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Costume conundrum

    Miss Peru Karen Schwarz pre-tapes her opening number wearing an intricate costume. Bolivia protested against Miss Peru using a costume from Andean dance Diablada as the outfit in the national costume section of the pageant. (Ho / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Show stoppers

    Singer Anthoney Wright performs with dancer Cassie Dzienny during the 2009 Miss Universe preliminary competition in the Bahamas, a week before the final competition. (Brennan Linsley / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Working the runway

    Miss Montenegro Anja Jovanovic walks on the runway during the swimsuit event of the 2009 Miss Universe preliminary competition. (Brennan Linsley / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  1. Image: Stefania Fernandez, Dayana Mendoza, Ada Aimee De la Cruz
    Andres Leighton / AP
    Above: Slideshow (20) Miss Universe 2009
  2. @Melissa_M_King\Twitter
    Slideshow (23) Beauty queen scandals

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Courtesy of Steve Tillotson

    6-year-old 'Rapunzel' chops off her hair for kids with cancer

    7/29/2014 6:54:06 PM +00:00 2014-07-29T18:54:06
  1. Abigail Hernandez, teen missing for 9 months, faces kidnapper in court

    The 15-year-old sat calmly with family members in the front row during the brief hearing, feet away from Nathaniel Kibby. The New Hampshire man accused of kidnapping her is being held on $1 million bail.

    7/29/2014 6:19:32 PM +00:00 2014-07-29T18:19:32
  1. Bravo / Steve Jennings/Bravo

    Extreme parenting: Who are we to judge?

    7/29/2014 6:52:01 PM +00:00 2014-07-29T18:52:01
  1. Minnesota man is first American to die in Ebola outbreak

    The Ebola outbreak that has killed hundreds of people in west Africa has claimed its first American; Patrick Sawyer, 40, a consultant for the Liberian government.

    7/29/2014 3:36:41 PM +00:00 2014-07-29T15:36:41
  2. American aid worker who contracted Ebola doing ‘as well as could be expected’