The 2016 Miss Brittany winner has been stripped of her crown after a ‘topless’ picture was discovered, sparking a furious backlash in France.
Eugénie Journée, a student from Rennes, was ejected from her position by contest organisers after winning the competition on Saturday.
Organisers reportedly made the decision to strip the 23-year-old of her crown, which in turn removes any chance she had of competing in the national Miss France competition, for “breaching the professional code of ethics” with the picture, The Local reports.
The photo in question is believed to be one where Ms Journée was posing topless and wearing a pair of jeans, with her arm covering her breasts.
The runner up Léa Bizeul was announced as Ms Journée’s successor in a tweet on the official Miss France Twitter page on Tuesday.
According to a translation obtained by The Independent, Sylvie Tellier, the director of Miss France, dismissed arguments the photo that apparently prompted her dethroning was artistic.
“The problem isn't whether these photos where shocking or artistic, it is the act of stripping in front of a lens that is banned,” she said in a statement given to Metro News. “The rules state that the young women should not pose partially nude or in dubious situations. We cannot take it case by case...it's a pity for her because she is very pretty. She was one of my favourites.”
A number of people in France reacted angrily to the decision, with some pointing out the hypocrisy of expelling a contestant for this reason despite beauty pageants often including a swimwear round.
The controversy echoes the experience of Vanessa Williams, the first black winner of Miss America, who was forced to resign when explicit images of her were published in Penthouse magazine.
The Independent has contacted Ms Journée for comment.
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