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The internet is coming to the defense of a teen who had to give up her Maine Sea Goddess pageant crown after organizers got wind of content on the 18-year-old’s Finstagram account.
The teenager, Taylor Hamlin, held the Maine Lobster Festival crown for less than a day before organizers asked her to “immediately step down” because of the photos, BuzzFeed News reports. She told BuzzFeed that in one picture on her “finsta” (aka fake Instagram account), she held a joint with weed. In the other, she held a Juul e-cigarette.
Festival organizers released a statement saying Hamlin’s social media was “brought to the attention” of the board of directors after the pageant coronation on Aug. 1 and that the photos were “not in keeping with the behavior and image of the Maine Sea Goddess.”
After relinquishing her crown, Hamlin wrote a Facebook post explaining the ordeal.
I just wanted to let everyone know that the lobster festival committee has taken me down from the sea goddess position…
“Everybody is a teen once in awhile,” Hamlin wrote. “I’m sorry to whoever didn’t receive the goddess they wanted and felt the need to sabotage this amazing thing that has happened to me.”
The post, which has more than 1,000 likes and comments, received an outpouring of support and anger on Hamlin’s behalf.
Hamlin told BuzzFeed it’s “not a good feeling” to lose the crown and title, but she hopes others can learn from her mistakes.
“I know for a fact I will never post a photo like that again,” she said.
H/T BuzzFeed News
Kris Seavers is the Evening Editor for the Daily Dot, where she covers breaking news, politics, and LGBTQ issues. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.