First Muslim Miss USA

FLASHBACK! As the so fantastic and amazing and pretty and sparkly Miss USA Pageant approaches (June 16th, duh), I thought it would be appropriate to take a look back at one of the more interesting winners in the past few year, Rima Fakih.

Eat a Sandwich Rima

. While beauty pageants usually make me question the Woman’s Suffrage’s existence (as well as my diet), what am I supposed to think when a liberal feminist Muslim woman takes the stage? Bearing all, this Arab beauty challenged the judges as well as the American people on what they find Miss America worthy. The New York Times’ Derrick Henry reported on the new Miss USA’s “famous words” of the pageant.

“During the pageant, Ms. Fakih nearly fell in her evening gown because of the length of its train, but she recovered. During the interview portion she was asked whether she thought birth control should be paid for by health insurance. She said she believed it should because it is expensive.

“I believe that birth control is just like every other medication even though it’s a controlled substance,” Ms. Fakih said.”

A very impressive comment from a Miss American contestant. Apparently the judges thought so too.

http://www.time.com/time/video/player/0,32068,87977530001_1991831,00.html

While Mona Eltahawy breaks down the controversy surrounding the first Arab-American and Muslim as Miss USA, I think it is an interesting catch presented to Americans and Muslims. Both groups are seeing a whole new idea of a Muslim woman, (a whole lot more of one too). With the strife of women’s rights concerns between the West and the Middle East, seeing a Muslim woman bear all in a bikini as well as express non traditional views of that of a real American woman, causes a little bit of a stereotype shift, maybe. Muslim woman had mixed reactions ranging from labeling Fakih impure to praising her courage to represent the modern Muslim faith. Mona Eltahawy believes that this was a step in a positive direction for the identity for Muslim woman, who have to endure contact media coverage of abused and oppressed women in Middle Eastern, mostly Muslim communities. A refreshing story of Muslim pride and possible change in perspective.

Michigan is proud
Michigan is proud

While the after effects of this pageant remain less flattering of Miss Rima Fakih, let’s just focus on that brief moment where she rocked our world with birth control controversy, feminist pride and a kick ass set of abs.

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