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Home FR Geneviève de Fontenay, former president of the Miss France Committee, has died

Geneviève de Fontenay, former president of the Miss France Committee, has died


The emblematic determine of the Miss France pageant, nicknamed the ‘Woman within the Hat,’ died on the age of 90.

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Geneviève de Fontenay, former president of the Miss France committee, died on the age of 90, her son Xavier de Fontenay instructed the TF1 broadcaster on Wednesday, August 2. Born Geneviève Mullmann on August 30, 1932, in Longwy, japanese France, she was the eldest of 10 siblings. Her father, André, was a mining engineer on the Hagondange steelworks, whereas her mom, Marie-Thérèse, was a housewife and religious Catholic. Geneviève de Fontenay had an uneventful childhood with loving dad and mom and a strict upbringing. With out a lot enthusiasm, she first enrolled on the hospitality administration college in Strasbourg, however left on the age of 17 to attend a cosmetology college in Paris, and was later employed as an itinerant beautician.

In 1952, she met the organizer of Miss France, Louis Poirot, referred to as “de Fontenay,” his pseudonym as a member of the French Resistance. It was on the Miss Carnac contest the place she gained an beginner model-making competitors with him. She received again in contact with him in 1954. From then on, they by no means left one another’s aspect, selected by no means to marry and had two sons, Ludovic – who died in 1984, aged 29 – and Xavier.

TV protection of the competitors

She turned secretary of the Miss France Committee in 1954, taking over many roles as chauffeur, steward, coach and costume designer, whereas her companion who was 24 years older was in control of communications and presenting the election. Collectively, they crisscrossed France for greater than 24 years, organizing elections and galas and driving their Citroën DS alongside the roads and thru the countryside.

When de Fontenay died in 1981 on the age of 73, Geneviève de Fontenay took over the reins of the Miss France Committee from her son Xavier, who turned director of the Miss France firm. As a Miss France salesperson, she hit the highway once more every season, protecting greater than 30,000 kilometers throughout France, expressing her love for the nation’s “custom, farmers and easy individuals.” It took a very long time for this small enterprise to change into worthwhile, however on New 12 months’s Eve 1986, the marginally old school regional present obtained unprecedented media protection when TV presenter Man Lux determined to broadcast the Miss France election stay on FR3. The present was a direct success and was broadcast in prime time on TF1 from 1995 onward. Yearly, this tv occasion is successful, with audiences of between 12 and 15 million viewers.

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In 2002, her son Xavier determined to make a revenue by promoting the Miss France firm to the fact TV manufacturing firm Endemol, whereas retaining his title of director and Geneviève de Fontenay’s function as president of the Miss France committee and deputy director.

A conservative imaginative and prescient of French magnificence

In 2004, former Miss France winner Sylvie Tellier took over the administration of Endemol. Profound disagreements arose between the president-for-life and the corporate: Classicism imbued with conventional values on aspect, in opposition to a want for modernism on the opposite – with the bikini changing the legendary one-piece swimsuit. The “Woman with the Hat,” as she was nicknamed, argued that the Miss France model was marked by “deep-rooted France of the provinces, which acts as a counterbalance to that matted France.” Weary of all these adjustments, which she deemed vulgar, she lastly abdicated in 2011 and launched a dissident pageant, Miss Nationwide, which was renamed Miss Status Nationwide after a courtroom ruling.

On the age of 83, de Fontenay introduced her retirement from the fifth version of Miss Status Nationwide, having labored for over 60 years to advertise her conservative imaginative and prescient of French magnificence. A favourite of the media, she continued to take pleasure in nice reputation with the general public and made frequent tv appearances, though instances have modified and feminist organizations have repeatedly voiced their opposition to electing younger ladies on the premise of their appears to be like.

Sandrine Leconte

Translation of an authentic article printed in French on lemonde.fr; the writer could solely be accountable for the French model.

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