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First Miss Black France causes controversy

Nicola Hebden · 30 Apr 2012, 11:05

Published: 30 Apr 2012 10:35 GMT+02:00
Updated: 30 Apr 2012 11:05 GMT+02:00

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Controversial beauty contest “Miss Black France” crowned a Senegalese student in Paris this weekend. But the event, picketed by far-right protesters, has divided opinion in France.

Mbathio Beye, a 21-year-old Senegalese student of marketing strategy in Paris was crowned Miss Black France on Saturday night.

Romy Niaba, a 22-year-old political science student of Ivory Coast descent, and Aissata Soumah, 23, a Guinean business student were the runners up.

But while it was all sparkles and smiles inside the Miss Black France studio, situated just off the Arc de Triomphe in the capital, angry protesters picketed the show outside.

One demonstrator told news station Radio France International: “Why should Asians and Africans come here and have more rights than us? This is why we’re demanding a Miss White France.”

Others claim the show goes against the secular ideals of the French republic.

Patrick Lozes, former director of the French Representative Council of Black Associations (CRAN), told Le Monde: “This contest is detrimental to the values of French society... These girls need to feel French, not black in French society.

“If I think that there are not enough black people in the most prestigious schools and companies, am I going to go create establishments exclusively reserved for blacks?”

But the contest’s founder, Frédéric Royer, says its aim is to “celebrate black beauty”, claiming the Miss France competition is not fully representative of French society.

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“Black women are seldom seen on the front of magazines and in Paris, black models are employed a lot less than in London.”

Nicola Hebden (news.france@thelocal.com)

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Your comments about this article

2012-07-06 21:24:04 by redfeather
Both are independent of France; so it makes no sense why they would have a France citizenship that allows citizens of other countries to take part in French only competition. The name says Miss France and not Miss Africa where they are citizens. Mr Rover, oops sorry. I would not want to insult a dog. Mr. Royer should move to Africa and he can stay there and have all he wants. It would be good for the African country to have such leadership with high finances.
2012-06-14 20:06:19 by nikkij
What a wonderful concept, the ladies look so lovely. Well done Mr. Royer!
2012-06-13 03:16:43 by nathan45
@ oui oui I think they are all rather unatractive lol.
2012-05-01 08:02:36 by david
clearly Frédéric Royer is someone who thinks hypocricy is what other people do
2012-05-01 01:30:27 by Eric
If she was chosen because she is black, well that's also racist. Political correctness is racist.
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