A Paris court backed the organisers of Miss France on Friday, dismissing claims from a feminist group that the beauty pageant’s selection process was discriminatory, one of the plaintiffs said.
The “Osez le féminisme” (Dare to be a Feminist) group, 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 law.
The plaintiffs argued that the companies were discriminatory by obliging aspiring beauty queens to be more than 1.70 metres (five feet, six inches) tall, single, and “representative of beauty”.
The labour court in the Paris suburb of Bobigny rejected their arguments, Osez le féminisme said in a statement – “an intolerable decision that extends a recruitment process that is discriminatory and illegal”.
The group said it would wait to see the arguments underpinning the ruling before deciding whether to appeal.
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”.
Miss France “continues to promote all women”, they added.
The beauty pageant came under attack in 2021 from then gender equality minister, Elisabeth Moreno, who denounced the competition’s “outdated rules… which can be discriminatory”.
The latest pageant in December involved fewer eligibility requirements, which had also previously restricted entry to women between the ages of 18 and 24 without children.
Now, any woman over 18 years old of any height and child-bearing status can enter. And visible tattoos were allowed for the first time.
Transgender women who have female civil status records were also permitted to compete.