Miss USA (a title currently held by Rima Fakih, who’s the one in the white) is a title bestowed upon the best-looking woman in America who happens to enter the contest.

Rima Fakih, Miss USA 2010, in a white bikini
This is she

It’s in the same line as Miss UK, Miss World, and Miss Universe (although the overlap between Miss World and Miss Universe is, given in the terrestrial nature of many of the participants, perhaps larger than we’d like).

More girls than we can count
Here are more girls than we can count or you can look at without squinting

But why are we talking about Miss USA? Well, the 2011 Miss USA contest is kicking off in BUT NINE DAYS. Nine actual earth days of 24 hours each.

Miss USA gives a bellydancing lesson to this year's hopefuls
That's 216 hours total, hour fans

Although we’re not especially fussed, it does mean that the contestants – the 50 or so best-looking women in their respective states, and some of last year’s runners-up – are in bikinis promoting it. This is a good thing.

Miss USA contestants
This is definitely a good thing

While they were in their bikinis, Rima Fakih apparently gave them belly dancing lessons. Great! In a pool. Even better. This is basically the sort of story we really hope to get on a Friday afternoon. It’s fun, light, doesn’t involve much reading and – more importantly – features more girls in bikinis than we can count.

Miss USA contestants

That said, we can’t count very high once we get to this point in the week. If you asked us to count girls in bikinis on Wednesday afternoon, it’d be a different story. We can could upwards of 25 to 30 girls on a Wednesday. But on Friday we top out at about six, seven if they’re not very tall.

Anyway, here we are still talking, and there’re all these pictures to look at. For fun, once you’re done looking at them, make sure to watch (or re-watch, if you’ve seen it before) this absolutely cracking video of Miss Teen South Carolina 2007 answering a question about geography and making precisely zero sense whatsoever: