Miss France Beauty Pageant Sued
The 101-year-old beauty pageant Miss France is being sued by a feminist activist group and three unsuccessful applicants over alleged discriminatory entry requirements.
An appeal has been filed against the pageant's parent company, Endemol Production, by Osez le féminisme (Dare to be feminist). The feminist activist group said Miss France contestants perform a work service and therefore should be protected from prejudice under French employment law.
Discrimination against employees based on gender, sexual orientation, family situation or genetic characteristics is considered unlawful in France.
The beauty pageant reportedly is looking for candidates who are at least five-foot-five and have never been married or had children, as seen in an application form for 2021. Other disqualifiers include wearing weaves, hair extensions, having tattoos or smoking. The application further asks clothing size.
The application form requests contestants to not undergo any physical change after being accepted into the competition, else they will have to pay a fine worth €5,000 (5800 USD)
Alyssa Ahrabare, the head of Osez le féminisme, criticised the pageant "who exploit women for profit and feeds stereotypes hindering equality" on Twitter.
She added, "The competition rules are discriminatory: marital status, age, attitudes, choices of women, everything is subject to injunctions from another time! Candidates must be single and respect the rules of "elegance", stop these sexist rules!"
While the competition's mission statement is to find "the young woman most representative of beauty and elegance," the strict registration requirements mean contenders for the crown are limited.
Osez le féminisme wrote in its news statement that "Beyond exploiting women for economic gain, this contest, through the violations of the law of which it is guilty, has a negative and retrograde impact on the whole of society."