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Miss France pageant faces lawsuit for requiring all contestants to be not less than 5ft 5, single and child-free

Written by Leah Dolan,

Miss France, the nation’s 101-year-old magnificence pageant, is being sued by a feminist activist group over alleged discriminatory entry necessities.

An attraction has been filed in opposition to the pageant’s dad or mum firm, Endemol Manufacturing, by Osez le féminisme (Dare to be feminist), who in a information assertion issued on Tuesday mentioned Miss France contestants carry out a piece service and due to this fact needs to be shielded from prejudice underneath French employment legislation.

Discrimination in opposition to workers on the premise of gender, sexual orientation, household state of affairs or genetic traits is taken into account illegal in France. A 2021 software type for the nationwide magnificence pageant revealed candidates wouldn’t be thought-about in the event that they weren’t not less than 5-foot-5, or if that they had ever been married or had youngsters.

Miss Guadeloupe Clemence Botino is topped Miss France 2020. Credit score: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Photos

Additional disqualifiers for potential contestants embody carrying weaves or hair extensions, having tattoos and smoking. The appliance additionally asks for clothes dimension, and it requests that potential magnificence queens don’t endure any main bodily adjustments after they’re accepted into the competitors. Failing to conform might land the contestant with a 5,000-euro ($5,822) high quality, in accordance with Miss France’s phrases and circumstances.

Whereas the mission assertion of the competitors is to seek out “the younger girl most consultant of magnificence and class,” the strict registration necessities imply contenders for the crown are considerably restricted.

“Past exploiting girls for financial achieve, this contest, by means of the violations of the legislation of which it’s responsible, has a adverse and retrograde influence on the entire of society,” wrote Osez le féminisme in its information assertion. “It’s excessive time Endemol Manufacturing lastly removes all sexist clauses from its laws.”

Miss France and Endemol Productions haven’t responded to ’s request for remark.

Alyssa Ahrabare, the top of Osez le féminisme, wrote on social media that Miss France presently “feeds stereotypes that stand in the best way of equality.”

“The competitors guidelines are discriminatory: marital standing, age, attitudes, decisions of girls, all the pieces is topic to injunctions from one other time! Candidates have to be single and respect the principles of “class”, cease these sexist guidelines!” she added.

Suzanne Angly, Miss France 1969, posing in a bathing suit. The competition began in 1920.

Suzanne Angly, Miss France 1969, posing in a showering go well with. The competitors started in 1920. Credit score: AFP/Getty Photos

This isn’t the primary time lately that the pageant world has been criticized for its outdated codes of conduct and tradition. In 2013, France determined to ban competitions for youngsters underneath 16 over considerations of selling the hyper-sexualization of minors. However few nations adopted go well with, regardless of an accruing variety of petitions. In 2018, mannequin Veronika Didusenko had her Miss Ukraine title revoked when organizers came upon she was a mom. Miss India came under scrutiny, too, in 2019 for perpetuating colorism by completely selecting fair-skinned contestants. And earlier this yr, Miss United States of America (a separate pageant to Miss USA) gained the fitting to ban transgender girls from competing.
Whereas there have been some cases of optimistic change — in 2019, Zozibini Tunzi became the first Black woman with natural hair to win Miss Universe, and final yr topped their third Miss Transqueen — progress is commonly clouded by pageantry’s controversial historical past.

But urge for food for magnificence contests, not less than in France, seems to be on the up. Miss France 2021, which aired December 2020, obtained the very best tv scores since 2006 with 8.6 million viewers tuning in to look at the crowning, in accordance with native experiences. The subsequent Miss France competitors is ready to happen December 11.

High picture: 5 finalists pose on stage for the swimsuit section of Miss France 2017.

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