A Spy in Heels and Tiara? Really?

I'm really struggling today. Because I don't go to the gym on Thursdays because of Thursday night tv, and especially this week with the Grey's season finale, I put in a bit extra at the fat office yesterday (the gym, people...the gym). So I am really weary this morning. Add general early day fatigue and I am a virtual zombie at my desk today. Trying my best to stay alert and not be THAT girl, but it's a struggle. Today is one of those home fertiliser bomb days and that is putting it nicely.

Now a woman who clearly is not having a home fertiliser bomb kinda week is Rima Fakih. Now while I am not a fan of beauty pageants, when I saw the news that Rima Fakih had won the Miss USA pageant, I will admit I was interested in the story - the story of an Arab American winning a title called MISS USA. I would imagine the title means that the winner would embody the values and beliefs of America and that the girl who it was felt would best represent these values would be the one selected. I cannot speak for her poise or intelligence as I did not see the show, but she is a gorgeous girl without a doubt. The backlash was predictable though, for diversity and subsequently tolerance still seems to be buzzwords, not only in the US but in many places. The references to her Middle Eastern heritage were mostly negative and showed up a society that is still as backward in their mentality as they are progressive in technology and business.

I see her selection as a great channel to expose the stereotypes which many people harbour against Middle Eastern culture and its people. Yes. Events like 9/11 and the recent Times Square incident have done nothing to encourage us that all Muslims and Middle Easterners are not fanatics and terrorists. But why are we so willing to pigeonhole each other in strict definitions based on the actions of a minority? I have never heard of any Islamic female extremists who paraded in front of millions in a bikini, or posed in lingerie, or one who put aside her suicide bomb harness to go pole dancing on a Saturday night. I mean..seriously.
Blogs and posts from those with knowledge of the Middle East pointed out that Rima Fakih and her behavior - be it known, as the beauty pageant she entered in 2008 for Miss Lebanon Emigrant or little-known activities such as the pole dancing competition, don’t match up with the conservative Islam Hezbollah preaches.
Fakih's modern looks and open-minded interests are indicative of a portion of Lebanon's population that is western-oriented and non-conservative even if they belong to the Shiite sect of Islam. - CNN
The controversy swirling around her will not go away anytime soon, and sadly, neither will ethnic and religious stereotypes.

1 comment:

  1. I remember looking at her pic and saying "hey, she looks lil Arabic", The I saw the name and said, yeah, she'd definitely Arabic. Then I wondered... "the Taliban must hate this".

    You are right though, and the sad thing is that Ms Fakih probably cannot consider going to a middle eastern counrty. I would not be surprised if there are extremist clerics who have put a Fatwah on her head, but all that a small silly ignorant minority can think about is "OOOH she's muslim, she must want to kill us all"

    If those people took the time to understand ANYTHING, they'd realise the whole idea is preposterous... ridiculous, idiotic... asinine... well you see how I feel about it...


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