French Feminist Group Sues Miss France Beauty Pageant for Allegedly Violating Country’s Laws

© REUTERS / Erik De CastroУчастница из Франции Ирис Миттенар во время дефиле в купальниках на конкурсе красоты "Мисс Вселенная"
Участница из Франции Ирис Миттенар во время дефиле в купальниках на конкурсе красоты Мисс Вселенная  - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.10.2021
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According to Alyssa Ahrabare, head of Osez Le Feminisme (Dare to be a feminist), the group decided to take action because previous attempts to raise awareness about sexism in French society had proved unsuccessful.
Leading French feminist group Osez Le Feminisme has sued the Miss France beauty contest as well as TV production company, Endemol, which organises the pageant. The lawsuit was filed jointly with three women who were forced out of the competition.

The plaintiffs argue that certain demands laid out by the beauty contest violate the country’s employment law. They cite requirements that contestants should be more than 1.7 metres tall (5ft 5in), unmarried and represent beauty (no piercings or tattoos).
France’s labour code prohibits companies from discriminating on the basis of "morals, age, family status or physical appearance", said Violaine De Filippis-Abate, the lawyer for the feminist group.

Activists from Osez Le Feminisme point out that although the contestants do not sign an employment contract, they sign a participation contract and then attend rehearsals and recordings.
Furthermore, the group stresses that participants follow certain requirements – they are forbidden to drink or smoke in public and are obliged to behave in a way which is consistent with good morals or the spirit of the competition. The failed contestants, who joined the lawsuit, were forced out of the pageant because they smoked in public and previously took part in nude photoshoots.

According to French media, the verdict in the case will be based on the decision whether participants should be deemed employees of Miss France and the company which organises the pageant, or simply volunteers.

Osez Le Feminisme believes their case will be successful. They point to a similar lawsuit filed by a participant of the Mister France beauty contest, who won the case. Miss France has not yet commented on the issue.
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