Muslimahs in Beauty Pageants

When I was a kid, I must confess, I used to love to watch Miss Universe on TV. Despite my mom’s dislike for the show, she would let me watch it (not without swearing at the TV once in a while). Beauty pageants in the 90’s gained popularity in Mexico after Lupita Jones won the title of Miss Universe in 1991. Although previous title-holders were Latin American, Jones was the first Mexican to win such a pageant and her success in the American pageant seemed to me kind of an acknowledgement of the fa … [Read more...]

Rima Fakih and the Issue of Muslim Heritage

This post was written by Margari Aziza Hill and originally published at her website.It’s taken me a while to make a statement on the Rima Fakih's win. Out of the many reasons why, the one that stands out the most is that American Muslims tend to condemn non-practicing Muslims. Although the numbers of practicing Muslims is lower than we’d like to admit, many American Muslims are not willing to admit that a woman without hijab also has a place in our community. And often, they can rep … [Read more...]

Beauty and the Beastly Pundits: More on Miss USA

Rima Fakih has become an unlikely member of the Islamophobic grab-bag of images. Joining the images of oppressed burqa-wearers and angry men with beards, Miss USA’s victory has become a part of another far-fetched conspiracy. The best part is that we are actually seeing a ridiculous debate about the legitimacy of her victory, and whether or not it is evidence of a secret, home-grown Islamic uprising.In an article initially entitled “Is Miss USA a trailblazer or Hezbollah spy?” CNN reinforces … [Read more...]

Haters Gonna Hate: the Backlash Against Miss USA

Rima Fakih, an Arab Muslim immigrant, won the Miss USA Pageant Sunday night:She beat out four blondes and set off a whirlwind of media coverage stemming from her “stripper” past to her Shi'a background.On the positive side, one idealist commenter compared her to Barack Obama. Another went so far as to say her win shows the “real face of Arab Americans, not the stereotypes you hear about.” Ah, yes, not the burqa--the bikini! Trading one stereotype for another is not progressive, but whateve … [Read more...]