My coverage of beauty pageants is somewhat tongue in cheek, but it also reflects genuine respect for the young women who participate in them, especially the international ones like Miss Universe and Miss World. For smart, ambitious young women, pageantry can be a ticket to fame and fortune. And pageant contestants often display better judgment than political leaders. For example, last year we noted that Miss Universe, Dayana Mendoza, wrote enthusiastically about her visit to Guantanamo Bay and the American soldiers she met there. Sadly, she was then muzzled by the Miss Universe organization. But her reaction was, I think, no coincidence: Miss Mendoza is from Venezuela and makes no secret of her distaste for Hugo Chavez.
Now we applaud Miss USA, Rima Fakih, who says that developers should keep their proposed mosque away from Ground Zero:
The reigning Miss USA has come out against the Ground Zero mosque, saying “it shouldn’t be so close” to Ground Zero.
The 24-year-old Rima Fakih, is the first Muslim winner of the Miss USA contest and is preparing for the Miss Universe Pageant, scheduled for Monday in Las Vegas.
“I totally agree with President Obama with the statement on Constitutional rights of freedom of religion,” Fakih told “Inside Edition” in an interview that will air tonight. “I also agree that it shouldn’t be so close to the World Trade Center. We should be more concerned with the tragedy than religion.”
Hers is one of the cooler heads that may, perhaps, prevail. And one of the more beautiful, too:
The Miss Universe pageant is at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas this year; it will be broadcast Monday night. My day job has been pretty much all-consuming lately, and I’ve been remiss in previewing the competition, except for this post. The pageant’s official site is good. Among other things, it has more videos than I’ve been able to keep up with. Tonight I reviewed the titles of some of the recent videos, including “Swimsuits For Freedom.” Yeah, right, I thought. But it turns out that the video ties in directly with the subject of this post. Check it out:
I’ll have more to say about the pageant over the weekend.