Small-town hairdresser proud of Miss France's 'new look'

Small-town hairdresser proud of Miss France's 'new look'

In her hairdressing salon in northern France, Elise Legrand was delighted to have contributed to the short haircut that saw one of her customers elected Miss France.

Small-town hairdresser proud of Miss France's 'new look'

Eve Gilles, 20, won the controversial contest on Saturday, drawing both praise and criticism for her pixie cut.

Legrand said she first dared her client, a maths and statistics student from the village of Quaedypre, to compete with short hair during the regional qualifiers.

"I said, 'Do it with short hair.' I almost didn't really give her the choice," she said, smiling inside the salon she opened two years ago in the neighbouring town of Bergues.

Gilles had already had it short in the past and had loved it "because it was different, a new look", she said.

Legrand, whose own strawberry blond hair is short, said it sent a positive message.

"It's a change from the stereotype of girls with long hair," she said.

It says, "If your hair is short, if it's fine, whether you are slimmer or a bit curvier, you're still feminine."

She said she believed the haircut heightened the contestant's femininity, "highlighting her face and showing off her eyes".

Gilles, whose father is French and whose mother is from the French overseas territory of Reunion, framed her victory as a win for "diversity".

Her win has drawn a flurry of comments on social media, including many negative ones.

Greens member of parliament Sandrine Rousseau earlier on Monday said she was "stunned" by some of the remarks.

"Our hair and what we do with it, the way we style it, is none of men's business," she wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Miss France organisers claim their show is moving with the times as participants can now be older than 24, married or transgender.

But feminists say the contest continues to be as sexist as ever.


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