Miss USA: Pole Dancing Just 'Silly' Fun
My family's 'proud of me'
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted May 20, 2010 4:47 AM CDT
Updated May 20, 2010 6:12 AM CDT
In a photo provided by the Mojo In the Morning Show, newly-crowned Miss USA Rima Fakih struts her stuff in the radio program's "Stripper 101" event in 2007 in Detroit.   (AP Photo/Mojo in the Morning Show, HO)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – The current Miss USA is surprised by the fallout from her participation in a pole-dancing event, calling it just "silly" fun. Rima Fakih squirms around a pole in a tape of the event in a sleeveless shirt, shorts and heels, far less revealing than the lingerie shoot Miss USA contestants participated in. "Everyone took" the one-time pole-dancing contest "as if I was stripping, but it was just an event," she told Joy Behar. "To be extra funny, because I'm known to be silly, I put money in my bra," she said. The event did not upset her family, said Fakih.

"They're very proud of me," she said. They consider such events and pageants not just an exhibit of her "beauty, but for something more significant—for being beautiful on the inside, for being wise." Behar asked if there were any other embarrassments that may surface. "Nothing at all," Fakih responded. "I've always been very respectful to my family and my reputation." As for her Muslim faith and her Lebanese birth, Fakih describes herself as "an American girl" whose "family comes from a Muslim background, but is not defined by religion," she said. "I would like to say we're a spiritual liberal family."