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Miss France contest ridiculed for dedicating beauty pageant to women's rights

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Miss France contest ridiculed for dedicating beauty pageant to women's rights
17:20 CET+01:00
Organisers of the 2018 Miss France competition have invited ridicule by announcing this year's beauty pageant will be held to honour the recent global campaign to fight violence against women.

The annual Miss France beauty contest, believe it or not, is still a big deal in France.

On the evening of Saturday December 16th millions will tune in to see which region's sexy swimsuit wearing candidate will be elected Miss France 2018.

But its chief organiser Sylvie Tellier has decided that Miss France 2018 should be held to honour a good cause and to the bemusement and indeed dismay of many she has chosen the cause of fighting violence against women.

"The ceremony will be the occasion to denounce violence against women," said Tellier (pictured above in centre), who wore the Miss France crown in 2002.

Tellier has no doubt jumped on the recent #MeToo campaign which emerged around the globe in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, but her attempts to portray Miss France as fighting the good fight for women's rights have not gone down well with feminist groups.

Osez le Feminisme!, France's leading women's rights group, would rather Tellier just cancelled Miss France.

"It's a shame that the only evening of the year dedicated to women on television cultivates the idea of them as objects," said the organisation's spokeswoman Raphaelle Remy-Lelue.

"The election of Miss France is a competition based on reductive and ridiculous beauty criteria. It would be far more worthy to value talents rather than unreal physical stereotypes," she said.

Tellier hit back saying feminists are wrong to target Miss France arguing the contest "is not just based on physical criteria."

"For many years Miss France has acted for good causes, notably to improve the conditions of women," Tellier added.

READ ALSO: Why do the French love Miss France?

Miss France: Why 8.5 million French tuned in

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