Pageant Queen Mbathio Beye has been crowned the first Miss Black France. Beye is a 21 year-old marketing student from Senegal.
The Miss Black France pageant was created to “celebrate black beauty,” and give opportunities to African-American models that feel they have been underrepresented in France. However, protestors have publicly criticized the event. The pageant has been called “stupid, dangerous and hostile,” even by the French Representative Council of Black Associations. Picketers claimed the pageant was showing favoritism to minorities.
Despite criticism, Beye was chosen as Miss Black France from a pool of 1,000 women and 22 finalists in Saturday’s ceremony in Paris.
This is not the first time a woman of color has placed first in a French beauty pageant; in 2009, Chloé Mortaud, a biracial woman of African-American and French descent, won the title of Miss France.