The famous Miss France pageant was pursued by a group of feminist activists and three contestants, who alleged discriminatory requirements to qualify.
Dare to be feminist (Dare to be a feminist) filed an appeal against the parent company of the Endemol Production competition. The group said Miss France candidates perform a labor service and should be protected from prejudice under French labor law, reported CNN. Any discrimination against employees on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, family situation or genetic characteristics is considered illegal in France.
The beauty pageant is said to be looking for applicants who are at least five feet five inches tall and have never been married or had children, as shown in a 2021 entry form.
Other disqualifications include wearing weaves, hair extensions, getting a tattoo, or smoking. The application further asks for the size of the clothes. He asks the competitors not to undergo any major physical change after being accepted into the competition, otherwise they will have to pay a fine of 5,000 € (Rs 4,35,455).
In a tweet, Alyssa Ahrabare, the patron saint of Dare Feminism, criticized the competition “which exploits women for profit and fuels stereotypes hindering equality.”
@osezlefeminism continuation of the company producing #Miss France, competition #exist which exploits women for profit and fuels stereotypes that stand in the way of equality! Stop the will to control the appearances and behaviors of women! #PasTaMiss
– Alyssa Ahrabare (@AlyssaAhrabare) October 18, 2021
“The rules of the competition are discriminatory: marital status, age, attitudes, choice of women, everything is subject to injunctions from another time! Candidates must be single and respect the rules of “elegance”, stop these sexist rules! She added.
There were other cases of sexism in beauty pageants earlier. Miss Papua New Guinea 2019, Lucy Maino, for example, was stripped of her crown after a TikTok video of her twerk went viral. The dance has been criticized as “inappropriate”.
Around the same time this year, Sri Lanka 2021 Pushpika De Silva made headlines as her crown was ripped off by the 2019 winner, moments after her victory. Caroline Jurie, who won the competition in 2019, said De Silva could not be awarded the title because she was divorced.
In 2019, the Miss India pageant was also criticized for perpetuating colorism after a collage of the finalists went viral in which all appeared to have fair skin with similar characteristics.
The Miss India candidates. They all have the same hair and the SAME SKIN COLOR, and I’m going to risk guessing that their sizes and vital stats will be similar as well. So much for India being a “diverse” country. pic.twitter.com/L4yXG0WvRu
– labellagorda (@labellagorda) May 27, 2019
In 2018, the Miss Massachusetts pageant staged a skit that poked fun at the #MeToo anti-sexual harassment movement, according to a People report. Following this, a candidate, herself a victim of gang rape, announced her resignation on Instagram. The board of directors of Miss Massachusetts later apologized, however.