Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Miss France

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Formation  1920
Headquarters  Paris
Type  Beauty pageant
Location  France
Miss France
Motto  The most beautiful woman of France
Membership  Miss Universe Miss World Miss Earth Miss International

Miss France is a national Beauty pageant in France.


The pageant is held each year in December, and the winner is designated by the year that begins in the ensuing January. Rights to the trademark are owned by the company Miss France SAS, whose director general is Sylvie Tellier, Miss France 2002. Local and regional pageants that provide entrants for the Miss France contest are organized by the Comité Miss France, whose emblematic president was Geneviève de Fontenay during 20 years.

Miss France 2017, Alicia Aylies (Miss Guyane), was chosen 17 December 2016. Her prizes included 100,000 euros in gifts, use of a Paris apartment for one year and a monthly net salary of 3,000 euros.

Miss France 2016, Iris Mittenaere (Miss Nord-Pas-de-Calais), recently won the title of Miss Universe 2016 in Manila, Philippines on 30 January 2017. She is the second Miss Universe from France after 63 years. The first Miss Universe from France was Christiane Martel of Grand Est.


The pageant is contested by regional winners of local contests from Metropolitan France and its overseas territories. The method of choosing the winner has varied over the years, ordinarily with a jury of celebrities choosing a set of finalists. The winner in recent years was chosen by a weighting of the jury's opinion and votes of television viewers of the pageant (who pay a fee for each vote). For the Miss France 2010 contest, the winner was chosen entirely by the votes of viewers for the first time.

To become Miss France, it is necessary:

  • to be born female and of French nationality or naturalization,
  • to have an age of 18 to 24 years on 15 November of the year of the contest,
  • to be at least 1.70 meters tall,
  • to be never married and without children
  • to have a clean police record
  • One should not:

  • have had her image exploited in a manner that could be incompatible or pose an obstacle to the organizers' rights,
  • have taken part in a competing pageant,
  • have appearance prosthetics (wig, colored contact lenses, etc.),
  • have visible tattoos or piercings (except earrings).
  • have ever posed partially or completely naked. Doing so after winning is also prohibited, and causes definitive loss of the title.
  • La plus belle femme de France

    The first organizer of the Miss France contest was Maurice de Waleffe, a journalist. In 1920 he organized a beauty contest whose winner was to be chosen by filmgoers. The contest was called "La plus belle femme de France" – "The most beautiful woman of France".

    The first contest had 1,700 entrants, from which a jury chose 49 finalists. Each week for seven weeks, filmgoers received a ballot with seven different names. The winner was Agnès Souret. The contest was repeated in 1921, with the winner Pauline Pô, after which it was discontinued.

    Miss France

    In 1926, the contest winner was called "Miss France" for the first time. The contest was discontinued after the 1940 contest because of World War II, and de Waleffe died in 1946.

    Starting in 1947, several different groups organized national beauty contests, some of which carried the name Miss France. One of them, founded by Jean Raibaut, was formally organized under the name "Club Charly's" in 1950. The contest organized by Endemol traces its roots to a contest run by an informal group led by Guy Rinaldo and Louis de Fontenay that called itself "Comité Miss France" and crowned its first winner in 1947. After the commencement of the Miss World contest in 1951 and the Miss Universe contest in 1952, the "Comité Miss France" formally organized in 1954, with Rinaldo as president, under the name "Comité Miss France – Miss Europe – Miss Universe."

    In these early days, however, the organizers of the global contests did not necessarily have entrants who had won what might be considered the corresponding national contest. The entrant for Miss Universe 1953 from France, for instance, was Christiane Martel, who had won the Miss Cinémonde contest, also organized by Rinaldo, and not Sylviane Carpentier, who had won the Miss France contest. Similarly, the entrant for Miss World 1953 was Denise Perrier. As a result, even though France won both the Miss World and Miss Universe contests in 1953, two different women were the winners, and neither was the winner of the Miss France contest.

    The Miss France War

    The administrative secretary of the "Comité Miss France – Miss Europe – Miss Universe" was Geneviève Mulmann, who along with Louis de Fontenay ousted Rinaldo on 14 September 1956. Louis and Geneviève subsequently both took the name de Fontenay, presented themselves as a married couple and had two children together, though they never married. Rinaldo formed a rival association called the "Comité Miss France de Paris". And "Club Charly's" continued to name its own Miss France. Several lawsuits and countersuits ensued.

    The war claimed its first injury in April 1983. The de Fontenay committee had deposed Isabelle Turpault for posing for nude photographs. After Turpault made some disparaging remarks about Geneviève de Fontenay, Turpault alleged that one of the de Fontenay children, Xavier, punched her on the Champs-Élysées.

    In 1986, Geneviève de Fontenay registered the trademark "Miss France" with the Institut National de la Propriété Intellectuelle (INPI), and defended it from a challenge by the Rinaldo committee. She renewed the trademark in 1996.

    In 1999, Eric Morley, founder and organizer of the Miss World contest, revoked the license of the de Fontenay committee and awarded it to the Rinaldo committee, headed by Antoine de Villejoie after Rinaldo's death in 1991. The license was subsequently awarded to Endemol, and starting in 2005 the winner of the Endemol contest or her designated replacement has participated in Miss World.

    Big Four pageants

    In the early years of the Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss International contests, it was rare for the winner of the Miss France contest to compete in both (see table below). From 1961 to 1993, however, the winner of Miss France, or her runner-up, generally competed in international pageantry.

    In 1971, the Miss France winner, Myriam Stocco, competed in both the Miss World and Miss Universe contests. From then until 1993, 17 of the 23 Miss France winners competed in both global contests.

    Starting in 1994, the de Fontenay committee stopped sending the winner or runner-up to Miss World, a situation that led to the shift of the license to the Rinaldo committee in 1999. Since 2005, however, the entrant in both global contests has been the winner of the Miss France contest organized by Endemol or her designated replacement.

    Nowadays, Miss France Organization sends the country's representative to the Big Four international beauty pageants: Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss Earth and Miss International contests.

    International pageants

    Boldface indicates winner of the Miss Universe or Miss World pageant : France has one Miss World (1953) and two Miss Universe (1953, 2016).

      Miss France   Miss France 1st Runner-up   Miss France 2nd Runner-up   Miss France 3rd Runner-up   Miss France 4th Runner-up   Miss France Miss France Outre-Mer   Miss France Semi-Finalists


  • Guy Lux: 1987
  • Sacha Distel: 1989
  • Yves Lecoq: 1990-1991
  • Julien Lepers: 1992-1995
  • Jean-Pierre Foucault: 1996-
  • Sylvie Tellier:2009-
  • Venue

  • Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile: 1975
  • Hôtel de Ville, Paris: 2000
  • Palais des Sports de Gerland: 2003
  • Palais des Festivals et des Congrès: 2006
  • Palais Nikaia: 2010
  • Disputes and vacancies

    The title has been declared vacant on several occasions, with the runner-up generally fulfilling the term of the winner.


    Miss France Wikipedia