Miss France: all about the famous beauty contest

Since its creation in 1920, the Miss France beauty contest has been a major event in the French cultural landscape. Organized each year, this competition selects the most beautiful woman in the country and rewards her with the prestigious crown. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at everything you need to know about the contest: from its history and its creation, to the famous question “how to become a Miss France candidate” to seduce the jury and its general manager. Sylvie Tellier. Discover everything you need to know to win the title of one of the most famous beauty contests in France!

The story of Miss France

The beauty contest was created in 1920 by Maurice de Waleffe. At the time, it was one of the world’s first major beauty pageants and quickly became a popular event. The competition is open to all young women aged 18 to 24, of French nationality or permanent residents in France. To become a candidate, you must be at least 1.70 m tall and also have a clean criminal record. In addition, candidates must not be married or have had plastic surgery. The Miss France committee is responsible for organizing the competition each year. It is composed of a president, two vice-presidents, a general secretary and a treasurer. The current president of the committee is Alexia Laroche-Joubert, Sylvie Tellier is the general manager of the contest. Geneviève de Fontenay was president of the Committee from 1981 to 2007. Since 1987, the competition has been broadcast every year on television. Regularly presented by its historic host Jean-Pierre Foucault, the Miss France election has also inspired other competitions, such as Miss Europe or the Mister France competition.

How to become a candidate?

To be eligible, candidates for the election must apply on the Miss France website . The deadline for submitting applications is generally set at the beginning of September. The candidates are first elected to represent the regions of metropolitan France and overseas that are Guadeloupe, Reunion Island and Tahiti. The events usually take place in October and November, and the final of the Miss France contest takes place at the end of December. Applicants must also pass a general culture test in order to be able to participate in the competition. This test includes questions on French history, literature, geography, current events and other cultural topics.

Maeva Coucke, Miss France 2018
Maeva Coucke, Miss France 2018

The jury of the beauty contest

The jury of the Miss France beauty pageant is made up of French personalities such as journalists, celebrities, singers or actors. The jury of the beauty contest changes every year, and it is generally composed of seven members, namely a or a president, three women and three men. All of them are experts in different fields, such as fashion, beauty, culture or even journalism.

The diamond crown

The crown symbolizes the beauty, elegance and power of French women. The current crown was created in 2022 by jeweler Mauboussin. It is composed of diamonds, amethyst and tourmaline. This crown, which weighs more than 400 grams and costs around €30,000, also displays Miss France’s values of happiness, purity and passion. Its creation required nearly 90 hours of work.

The Miss France ranking and the dauphines

The election is not a beauty contest where the winner is chosen at random. The jury classifies all the candidates and chooses a first, a second, a third and a fourth runner-up. The Miss France crown goes to the woman who obtained the best ranking from the jury. During the year of her reign, she traveled throughout country and around the world to participate in exceptional events or charity events for an association. The young woman placed in second position is named first runner-up. Her role is important because she may have to replace the beauty queen in case of absence or in case of dismissal.

How much does the winner of the competition earn?

Miss France is not only a beauty queen, she is also an ambassador for French culture and business. She earns a salary of about €5000 gross per month during her reign. On the evening of her election, she can receive numerous gifts from her sponsors, such as a Peugeot e-2008 electric car, jewellery and trips.

Preparation of Miss France in Reunion
Preparation of Miss France in Reunion

Famous Miss France

One of the most famous Miss France is probably Christiane Martel. She was elected in 1957 and represented our country in the Miss Universe competition. Christiane Martel is also known for her career as a singer, she has released more than ten albums. Very present in the news, on social networks where they appear on video or in the People press, the most famous Miss France since the 80s remain:

  • Nathalie Marquay (Alsace region), elected in 1987
  • Linda Hardy (Pays de Loire region), elected in 1992
  • Mareva Galanter (Tahiti), elected in 1999
  • Elodie Gossuin (Picardie region), elected in 2001
  • Alexandra Rosenfeld (Lanquedoc region), élue en 2006
  • Valérie Bègue (Réunion), elected in 2008
  • Malika Ménard (Normandy region), elected in 2010
  • Laury Thilleman (Brittany region), elected in 2011
  • Marine Lorphelin (Bourgogne region), elected in 2013
  • Camille Cerf (Miss Nord Pas-de-Calais), elected in 2015
  • Iris Mittenaere (Nord Pas-de-Calais region), elected Miss France and Miss Universe in 2016
  • Amandine Petit (Normandy region), elected Miss France in 2021 at Puy du Fou

The Miss France brand

The Miss France brand is a prestigious international symbol. She represents the elegance, beauty and power of French women around the world. The Miss France contest was created in 1952 by Geneviève de Fontenay and is today owned by the production company Miss France SAS. The company, based in Paris, is a subsidiary of the Endemol group and is responsible for organizing and supervising the competition, as well as all the selection of Misses at regional level.

Diane Leyre, winner of the 2022 competition

Diane Leyre is the current Miss France. She was crowned on the evening of December 11, 2021 in Caen and thus succeeds Amandine Petit. Aged 24, Diane Leyre is 1.77m tall and has an international business degree. She thus becomes the 92nd Miss France to win the title. Chosen among the 29 regional misses, Diane Leyre represented, during her election, the Île de France region.

Indira Ampiot crowned Miss France 2023

The 97th edition of the famous beauty contest took place on Saturday 17 December 2022 in Châteauroux, the French city where actor Gérard Depardieu was born. The contest was won by Indira Ampiot, a young candidate just 18 years old. The young woman representing Guadeloupe was elected ahead of Miss Nord-Pas-De-Calais and Miss Franche-Comté, who became first and second runner-up respectively. Elected Miss France 2023, Indira Ampiot succeeds Diane Leyre who passed on the crown to her on the evening of the election.

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