Rima Fakih Wins Controversy

Rima Fakih became the first Arab American and the first Muslim to become Miss USA yesterday. I blogged about it over on the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog, since she lives so close to my neighborhood. There has been a lot of excitement about her victory.

Unfortunately, neither Rima Fakih nor her family and friends were able to enjoy this news truly for very long.

A photograph of Rima Fakih that was taken by a local radio station in Detroit three years ago emerged this morning. It shows her dancing on a stripper pole. She was fully clothed - and it was all part of a promotion that the station was doing - but she was still dancing on a stripper pole.

All day today, when I'm sure Rima Fakih and her family would much rather have been enjoying her win, there has been this seemingly endless barrage of chatter in the blogosphere about this photograph. There have even been a people who have speculated as to whether or not she would be stripped of her crown as a result.

Personally, I think this amounts to much ado about nothing.

The photograph was taken approximately three years ago. I'm sure Rima Fakih had long since forgotten about this moment by the time she entered the Miss Michigan USA pageant.

Rima Fakih was also fully clothed in the photo. If she had posed nude or topless on that stripper pole than I'm sure it would make things entirely different. However, that simply wasn't the case here.

I personally hope that Rima Fakih is not stripped of her crown. Such an action would be bad for the Miss USA pageant as well as every other pageant in the country. It would invite extensive comparisons between that photograph from the radio station and the other photos from the Miss USA pageant where she is wearing less clothing than she was in the stripper pole picture.

There is simply nothing could that can come from removing Rima Fakih from her role as Miss USA. In my opinion, the best thing that the Miss USA organization can do is to allow this story to run its course and die out.


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