Since 1952, Miss USA has been held annually; judging the contestants in swimsuit, gown, and interview. Though the judging standards are quite shallow in my opinion, the Miss USA winner, who goes on to compete in Miss Universe, is expected to be a role model for our impressionable youth.
While many Miss USA winners have did their best to uphold their role model responsibilities, others fell short. For example, Ex-Miss Usa winner, Rima Fakih. Rima competed in and won Miss Michigan in September of 2009. In 2010 she represented Michigan in the Miss USA pageant. Rima won the Miss USA crown in May of 2010. She became the first Miss Michigan USA winner since Kenya Moore, who won in 1993.
(image via The Daily What)
She's beautiful isn't she? Rima is believed to be not only the first Lebanese American, but also the first Arab American, and Muslim to win the Miss USA title. Unfortunately officials for the pageant released a statement saying that their records were not detailed enough to confirm these beliefs. Whatever the truth may be, winning a Miss USA crown is a big deal for anyone, right?
Unfortunately for Rima, not even 24 hours after she was crowned, the media got a hold of a very scandalous photo of Rima dancing suggestively on a stripper pole. Nothing wrong with some harmless dancing, right? According to the media, Rima wasn't just dancing. She was taking part in a "Stripper 101" contest held by a radio station. What's even more eyebrow-raising? She won.
(image via Katu)
After the images were released, the radio station that hosted the contest released a statement in support of Rima, stating that "the photos taken from our website are no more provocative than those on the Miss USA website." Okay okay, everyone makes mistakes. And sometimes our past mistakes can come back to haunt us. Especially when we're in the spotlight. So we'll give her a free pass.
Let's fast forward to the Miss Universe pageant, that Rima competed in, representing the USA. Unfortunately, Rima did not place as a semi-finalist. Which was somewhat of a shock, considering she was the first Miss USA winner since Shauntay Hinton(Miss USA 2002), to not place at the Miss Universe pageant.
Several months after the Miss Universe pageant, Rima was arrested for drunk driving in Michigan. According to police, she was driving at 60mph, weaving in and out of traffic when she was pulled over.
After the arrest, she tweeted this:
Despite news reports, Rima denies being arrested. She even claims that she wasn't even in Michigan at the time. Sometime afterwards, she claims that she didn't post the tweet. Sometime after that, she appears on E! News, stating that she did in fact lie about being arrested. And she goes on to say that she was taking full responsibility for her actions.
I don't know about you, but she doesn't seem like much of a role model to me. Sure we all lie from time to time. Hell, some of us lie all the time. So she's entitled to a few white lies. No one is perfect. She's even entitled to make some mistakes in her past, present, and future. But she didn't just lie, she lied about lying. And then has the audacity to say that she's taking full responsibility for her actions. Okay it's great that you're finally deciding to take responsibility for driving drunk. But are you also planning to take responsibility for lying? And then lying about lying?
Hypothetically speaking, if you had young children, specifically daughters, would you feel comfortable letting them watch the Miss USA pageants?
Do you think that Miss USA officials(as well as other pageant officials) should conduct more thorough background checks when selecting finalists? And do you think they should be more careful about who they choose to represent them?