So, France has just won Miss Universe. Felicitations!
Being a beauty pageant enthusiast, Miss Universe 2016 Coronation night was a pretty exciting one for me.
Do you know that the last time a European won the title was about 26 years ago? Since then, the crown was mostly handed over from one Latinas to another. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, Latin women are some of the most gorgeous out there, not to mention the men, OMD! But you know, a little diversity sure would be nice from time to time, there are a lot of beautiful women outside the Americas too, you know!
Anyway, France has been doing really well in the pageant, placing seven times for the last eight year. So, it was definitely due time for France to snatch the crown!
For me, one of the most interesting things about the French pageant is that it somehow shows me that French beauty is highly diverse.
You see, I’ve been a beauty pageant enthusiast since 2005, the year when Indonesia debuted in the international pageant world. I didn’t pay that much attention to countries like France in the beginning because they often underperform in such pageant. So, If you asked me 10 years ago about how the French beauty standard looks like, my answer might be the typical blue-eyed blonde Barbie doll. But I was wrong.
When Chloe Mortaud represented France in the 2009 edition of Miss Universe, I was quite puzzled. She was darker in skin, of African descent, and stunningly exotic-looking. I did know France has a strict border policy along with its policy towards immigrant. I think it was the year where the ban of hijab in France was making quite a ruckus here in Indonesia. So I do think it was a nice surprise when they send a minority in an international event like Miss Universe.
It’s not that they stop sending delegates who are more commonly associated with the thypical French girl (Camille Cerf of 2014), but even the Caucasian delegates since Chloe has been very tanned and brunette such as Malika Menard of 2010, Laury Thilleman of 2011, Marie Payet of 2013, and of course our beloved queen Iris Mittenaere, Miss Universe 2016, And if it were a strategy executed by their national director, it’s definitely a good one.
For me, One of the most beautiful Miss France that has ever graced the stage of Miss Universe would have to be Flora Coquerel of 2015. She is definitely a stunner. Being the tallest Miss France ever (1.81m), gifted with exotic features (she is of Beninese descent), and supposedly very smart (she is a student of International Trade and she scored the highest in the interview round of Miss World), she was everybody’s favorite to win the crown, including me. Sadly, she was cut in the top 5 after stumbling though the Q&A round. She was unjustly asked a question about how to solve terrorism. Like, gurl? Really?? Even The United Nations can’t solve terrorism; how you’re gonna expect to get answers from a beauty queen?? LOL.
In addition, the new Miss France that will represent her country in next year’s MU is also of African Descent, with the same striking appeal as last year’s Flora Coquerel only younger.
I had the opportunity to visit France back in 2014 for three days where I literally see so little minority in Paris except those in the segregated area where you would see so many Chinese and Vietnamese restaurant (forget the name). So, I think the diversity of French beauty pageant is definitely inspiring. I mean, I have never seen any black women, Indian, or any other minorities represent the UK, and I’m sure London is a lot more accepting when it comes to immigration and assimilation. So, kudos, France!