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Miss France 2024, elected with short hair, claims the “diversity” of women

Miss France 2024, elected with short hair, claims the “diversity” of women

Yves Gilles, Miss Nord-Pas-de-Calais candidate, was elected Miss France 2024 on Saturday evening, succeeding Indira Ambiot (Miss Guadeloupe).

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Miss Nour Pas-de-Calais was elected Miss France 2024, on Saturday evening in Dijon, in front of 5,000 fans who still believe in the “fairy tale” in the face of accusations of a “sexist” competition, reinforced by a recent court. Condemn photos of candidates being photographed topless in 2018.

Eve Gilles, 20, hails from Dunkirk and has made her nomination a symbol of female “diversity”. She declared during the beauty contest: “No one should dictate your identity,” considering that her short hair differs from other girls, all of whom have long hair.

The new “Beauty Queen”, who succeeds Indira Ambiot – Miss Guadeloupe – was elected by viewers for half of the classification, and by a jury of seven women for the other half. The young woman was chosen after a large “show,” in the words of Jean-Pierre Foucault, 76 years old and a presenter since 1995.

“She makes me dream! Since I was little, I have never missed a party,” testifies Emma from Dijon, 22, who came in the most beautiful sequined dress to finally attend the competition in her city, instead of just watching on TF1. “The misses are incredibly lucky. It’s a fairy tale,” exclaimed her friend Sylvie, 23, unable to take her seat in the Zenith auditorium.

But the competition comes after a Lille court on Tuesday convicted TF1 subsidiary e-TF1 and Endemol, which then ran Miss France. The reason was the broadcast by nearly eight million viewers of images of two regional girls, who were photographed topless on December 15, 2018, by a camera installed without their knowledge.

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Organizers have apologized for the “hiccup” but the hitch adds to the controversy surrounding the beauty contest, which remains under heavy criticism despite some reforms.

Miss France, now 100 years old, has become a symbol of “success”, as the Miss France Association asserts. “It is a social elevator,” says its president, Alexia Laroche-Jobert, referring to women who have become “businesswomen, doctors, or even managers.”

She stresses that the standards have also been “updated.” The candidate now has no upper age limit and can be transgender, married, a mother, or even tattooed. Only one candidate has come forward so far. She failed in the Miss Paris 2022 elections.

These small revolutions caused the famous hat of Genevieve de Fontenay, a historical beauty pageant figure, to shake. Having died in August at the age of 90, she will be honored Saturday evening, casting a modest veil over the stormy ties she had with the current pageant organization.

Misses’ Evening “Always a Success”

However, this “development” is still far from satisfying feminists. “It’s ‘feminist washing’: we’re still in a very misogynistic election,” said Melinda Bizzri, of the Human Rights League of Dijon, which called for a boycott of the ceremony along with several other associations. She asserts: “Women exploit themselves throughout their lives to achieve these imaginary standards, according to patterns that take a very long time to dismantle.”

“Miss France is still sexist in its principle of classifying women based on beauty standards,” adds Violene de Phillips, spokesperson for Dare Feminism.

However, each concert is among the highest watched on TF1 (7.1 million viewers last year).

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Virginie Spies, a media analyst at the University of Avignon, told AFP that a beauty pageant evening “is always a success because it is entertainment first and foremost.” But this success is partly due to “hate policing”, that is, “monitoring what we don’t necessarily appreciate so we can criticize it”, says Virginie Spies.

It is “popular culture”, defended Dijon’s Socialist mayor, François Ribsamin, during the municipal council on September 25, where the arrival of women came under heavy criticism.

“This show conveys a still sexist image of women, not only for the attention of little girls and teenage viewers, but also for the attention of little boys and teenage viewers,” denounced Municipal Assistant for Gender Equality Keldin Patai (Presidential Majority). ).

With Agence France-Presse