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Raging Miss France rejects sue pageant for ‘discriminating based on looks’

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The Miss France beauty queen competition is being sued by three angry rejects who say that they should have made the cut.

The Osez le feminisme ('Dare to be a Feminist') group, along with the three failed contestants, are bringing a case against the Miss France company and Endemol Productions, who produce the annual competition for broadcast on television.

They say that the entry requirements for the competition fall foul of French employment laws, because they require the women to be more than 1.70 metres tall (5 ft 5 in), unmarried, and "representative of beauty".

Under French employment law, it is illegal to discriminate based on morals, age, family status, or physical appearance.

Alyssa Ahrabare, head of the feminist group, told Le Monde newspaper. "Despite protesting every year against a competition that drives sexist values, nothing ever changes,"

"Trying to raise awareness is no longer enough, we've decided to use legal means to advance the cause of women."

According to France 24, the case is expected to be decided on whether the court deems Miss France contestants to be employees of the competition and TV station, or instead as volunteers.

The women are hoping a judgement from 2013, when a former contestant on Mister France sued and won, helps their revenge case.

While the equivalent Miss Great Britain contest has not been shown on British TV since 1984 due to a national backlash against beauty pageants, the show remains hugely popular in France.

Last year's winner, 24-year-old Clémence Botino, was a 5 ft 9 in slim brunette from the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.

Her victory, secured with 31.95% of the public vote, was watched live on television by an estimated 8,600,000 people.

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