Not your confectionary beauty queens of yesteryear

Published 9:16 am Thursday, May 20, 2010

Already, the newly crowned Miss USA’s past is coming back around to bite her. Miss Michigan Rima Fakih, who earned her title Sunday, apparently has a “stripper past” as the majority media outlets are suggesting. There are allegedly photographs of the 24-year-old pole dancing which earned her a different kind of title, “Stripper 101” Pole Dancing Champion. There’s a revelation. Was there anyone who didn’t see this coming down the road like double-wide trailer on a flatbed? It seems like yesterday (really, it was just a few years ago) we were dealing with the Miss USA 2006 Tara Conner situation, which had an even more seeder side with illicit drug use and racy photos. Then there was Miss Teen Nevada USA Katie Rees who lost her crown for, once again, racy photos. Let’s not forget to mention last year’s Miss USA first runner up Carrie Prejean’s topless photographs and sex tape that were leaked coincidentally after she expressed her opposition to gay marriage. I think it’s safe to say the pageant contestants of today are not made up of all that is confectionary as those seemingly of yesteryears. It’s time for America to wake up and realize they simply don’t make beauty queens like they used to. While I agree pageants have their benefits–most provide young women with scholarships to help further their education, some boast themselves as not focusing primarily on physical beauty–in the end what pageants ultimately stand for is promoting a continuing stereotype of the female gender. The notion that females are either supposed to be filed under the meek, mild, fairer sex category or the steamy, sexual, seductress division has all been showcased by pageants, especially Miss USA.

Look, she’s got talent, but wait she looks great in a swimsuit. When the Miss USA Pageant began in 1952, the contestants were all “apron strings and cupcakes.” Pretty little girls that fit the American dream, not only will she win this pageant—she’ll iron your tie, clean the oven and give up her dream of any kind of career or education for a life of domestic servitude. Now we live in a different society, women actually have a choice of pursuing what they want, but in the end are prisoners in the social realm of how they should act. What is decent and what is not? What is socially acceptable for a woman and what is not? Those two things are yet to be defined. If you’re too meek, mild and fair—you have no spine; you’re a prude and frigid push over. If you’re the steamy, sexual seductress you’re promiscuous, crude and a tawdry harlot. Never taken into account is complexity of each individual female and who she really is and what she should be free to express. Instead, let’s just confuse the heck out of her. To sweeten the pot of controversy for this year’s Miss USA Pageant, before details about Fakih’s past were revealed, coordinators had the contestants pose in sexy lingerie. While the photos were not as racy as some previous former contestants, there was still a hint of hypocritical sarcasm there. It was very, very bad for former contestants to have those type photos, but since these lingerie photographs were Donald Trump-issued, it’s A-OK. Nothing like adding to the social confusion. Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: or call (252) 332-7209.