May 26, 2010

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall?

The glitter is settling over the new 2010 Miss USA, Rima Fakih. She was thrust into the spotlight for several reasons. She is the first Arab-American to ever hold the title, and secondly she been photographed in some less than tasteful positions. The photo of her pole dance was the favorite of the media.

Now as a Muslima I didn’t associate her with my belief and practice of Islam. Miss Fakih said in an interview with Tony Cox on NPR, “I am born into a Muslim family; however, I’d just like to say that my family is not defined by religion.” Further, that her, her sister and their family celebrate both Christian and Muslim faiths…and “prefer to be called Lebanese, Arabs or Arab-Americans.” Just as Miss Fakih does not represent or speak for me as a Muslim, I can't speak upon her actions.

Although she acknowledges both of her faiths, it was the connection to being a Muslim which secured the most media attention. And as the saying goes, any attention is better than none at all! For the record I don’t agree with that saying.

Now in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia they also have a pageant. However, this one is very different and it is called The Miss Beautiful Morals." The idea of the pageant is to measure the contestants’ commitment to Islamic morals…It’s an alternative to the calls for decadence in the other beauty contests that only take into account a woman’s body and looks, “ said pageant founder Khadra al-Mubarak. In theory this sounds like a great idea…but why do we need to make a competition between women at all?

I was wondering since it seems as if pageants will forever be a part of this culture and vast other cultures. What makes someone beautiful? And for my female readers and especially the sisters…would you enter, or have you entered your daughters in “beauty” competitions? As always…the male viewpoint is welcome here anytime.

Some of these competitions stress they are building self esteem. But it is my opinion that being paraded in front of judges and given a numerical score… is just the opposite.

I know by nature, as women we enjoy feeling and looking attractive. The problem for me is when beauty becomes the substance and essence of a person. It does not look like pageants are going to fade into the horizon in the immediate future. The most I can hope for my fellow sisters (Muslim) or not, is that we are beautiful as we are…and should never place the judgment by some panel to validate us.


ishqia said...

beautiful viewpoints there, agree with you completely

hijabandroses said...

Thank you sister.