Some of you may be wondering why Laura Leigh Reifinger is no longer a contestant in the “Naked Poll” being sponsored by Time Out New York.

Here is a statement we received from Ms. Reifinger (who, for the record, is an incoming law student at Fordham; she hasn’t even started there yet):

I would like to send a sincere apology to friends, family, colleagues and members of the Fordham community who have been offended by this poll and would like to confirm that I have officially withdrawn from the contest.

What started as a silly dare has garnered more attention than I ever thought it would. There are no nude photos of myself, online or elsewhere, nor did I ever intend for there to be. I had no expectations of winning in a pool of 25+ contestants, nor did I plan to actually go through with the shoot if I had won. It was purely the thrill of participating in such a contest and trying to get out the last bit of “wild child” in me while I’m still a student, before facing the reality of “becoming a grown-up.”

This just happened to be the wake up call I needed to make me realize that I should already be acting like an adult and that, even though I never posed for nude photographs, this sort of behavior is unacceptable.

It was a stupid thing to do and I take full responsibility for it. I can only hope that those close to me whom I have offended will forgive me for my serious lapse in judgment.

Personally we think it’s ridiculous that she even feels the need to apologize. Laura Reifinger did nothing wrong by entering herself in the contest. And because she withdrew, she won’t end up posing nude in TONY’s pages.

But even if she had been photographed in the buff, what would have been wrong with that? Posing naked in a magazine is neither criminal nor unethical (provided it’s not kiddie porn). Appearing nude would not have precluded her from being admitted to the New York bar. See, e.g., Regina Usvjat.

So why did Laura Reifinger — who, as noted, isn’t even in law school yet — feel the need to take herself out of the running in the “Naked Poll”? Is the legal profession so conservative, stuffy and Puritanical that even future lawyers-in-training can’t bare their bodies if they please?

Look, people: the world is a changin’. In our nation’s largest state, men can now marry men, and women can now marry women. Freedom is the order of the day. So why get your proverbial panties in a wad because a beautiful young woman wants to pose naked in a magazine?

Update: “[O]ur nation’s largest state” is a reference to California, which is the largest state by population. What would be the relevance of land area in a sentence focused on the ability of gay people to marry each other? Given such a reference, population is the relevant metric. And are there even gays in Alaska?

Earlier: This Law Student Wants To Strip For You