The new Miss California denied Tuesday charges by a pageant infiltrator that she is anorexic and has skin bruises left from duct tape she used to confine her body during the pageant.

Marlise Sharleen Ricardos, 26, of San Pedro, who won the state title Monday on her sixth try, said pageant criteria emphasize talent over looks but added, "It's very important for a woman to be physically attractive because that's what's going to help you get ahead."

The infiltrator, Michelle Anderson, told reporters Tuesday she won the Miss Santa Cruz title in a deliberate attempt to disrupt the state pageant from inside its ranks.

Anderson's ruse paid off at the pageant's finale Monday night when she stepped forward onstage with a protest sign reading "Pageants hurt all women" seconds after Ricardos' victory was announced.