French court dismisses feminist claims Miss France pageant is discriminatory

© AFP - Guillaume Souvant

A Paris court has backed the organisers of Miss France, dismissing claims from Osez le Féminisme – a leading feminist organisation – that the beauty pageant's selection process was discriminatory. The group is considering the possibility of an appeal.

Osez-le-Féminisme (Dare to be Feminist), along with three failed contestants, filed a suit against the promoters and producers of Miss France in October 2021, alleging they were breaking French labour laws.

The plaintiffs argued that the companies were discriminatory by obliging aspiring beauty queens to be more than 1.70 metres tall, single, and "representative of beauty".

On Friday, the labour court in the Paris suburb of Bobigny declared itself competent to deal with the issue raised, "which means that [it] recognises the existence of a work and a recruitment process" in the selection of candidates for the beauty pageant, Osez le feminisme said in a statement.

However, the labour court rejected the other demands of the feminist group, an "intolerable decision that extends a recruitment process that is discriminatory and illegal," the organisation regretted, saying it would wait to see the arguments underpinning the ruling before deciding whether to appeal.

Miss France promotes 'all women'

The organisers of the pageant – the Miss France Company and Endemol Production – issued a statement saying they were "pleased their arguments had been listened to".

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