Rima Fakih Miss USA 2010: A Win for Immigrants

Jeanne Sager
9

Rima Fakih swimsuit
Photo from Miss Universe
Rima Fakih may have won the Miss USA crown as Miss Michigan, but in a country wracked by anti-immigrant sentiment, Fakih's win reverberates far beyond the Wolverine State.

The gorgeous Lebanese American just won one for the immigrants.

Pageant officials haven't determined whether she's the first Muslim or immigrant to win the title, but Fakih is certainly the first to do so since September 11.

The first to do so since Arizona's harsh anti-immigrant law went into effect.

The first to do so since reports of Syrian transfers of Scud missiles to Hezbollah showed cracks in US-Lebanese relations just this month.

Bad news for Americans overall spells good news for the Lebanese-born Rima Fakih, the resident of Dearborn, Michigan, who will compete in the Miss Universe pageant on behalf of the United States.

She's the new Miss USA at a time when pageants are largely the butt of jokes, the new Miss USA when the Miss America pageant still manages to draw more attention.

And yet she's the top story in America today, validating her decision to sell her car after graduating from college to fund her pageant run.

In a country where a political candidate's hotness factor can be considered a valid reason for garnering a vote (hello Sarah Palin), perhaps it's apt that a pageant queen is revamping the discussion of one of the hottest political topics of the season.

Rima Fakih is a beautiful woman. And, yes, she's an immigrant.

Put together, and they're both reasons she'll represent the United States in the Miss Universe competition -- because she's a beautiful American.

 

Read More