Miss France Eve Gilles forced to defend short haircut after international backlash: ‘Every woman is different’

Miss France Eve Gilles forced to defend short haircut after international backlash: ‘Every woman is different’
Video eve gilles miss france 2024

A haircut sparked international online backlash after Eve Gilles was crowned Miss France on Saturday.

The 20-year-old from Nord-pas-de-Calais sported a pixie cut hairstyle as she was crowned, making her the first contestant in the pageant’s 103-year history to not have long hair.

Social media users called out Gilles’ win, accusing the judges of supporting “wokeness” by picking someone with an “androgynous” look. In response, Gilles insisted that every woman is different.

“We’re used to seeing beautiful Misses with long hair, but I chose an androgynous look with short hair,” she said following her win. “No one should dictate who you are… every woman is different, we’re all unique.”

A spokesperson for the Miss Universe pageant also defended Gilles in a statement to People Magazine.

“There is no one way to be Miss Universe or Miss France, and we embrace every look that comes across our stage. We represent the times, and being your confident unique self is the one thing we see being reflected in all of our winners,” the statement read.

The Miss Universe spokesperson also pointed out that this year’s pageant featured a variety of hairstyles, noting that the most recent winner, Sheynnis Palacios, has shorter hair.

Social media users accused the judges of trying to be "woke" for crowning a contestant with a short haircut.
Social media users accused the judges of trying to be “woke” for crowning a contestant with a short haircut. Spread Pictures / MEGA

“We saw personal styles and hair of all types – and we love it! Short, long, curly,” the statement read.

Miss France is decided by a combination of a public vote and a jury of seven women. Though Gilles placed third in the public vote, the jury’s vote allowed her to shoot up to first place.

Miss France 2024, Eve Gilles (Miss Nord-Pas-de-Calais), performs during the Miss France 2024 beauty pageant in Dijon, central-eastern France, on December 16, 2023.
Miss France 2024, Eve Gilles (Miss Nord-Pas-de-Calais), performs during the Miss France 2024 beauty pageant in Dijon, central-eastern France, on Dec. 16, 2023. AFP via Getty Images

In a comment to Euronews, Gilles added, “I want to be a strong woman, I want to make people realize that no matter where you start, no matter what path you take, you can achieve your goals. I want to show people that women are diverse, that we’re all beautiful, that we’re all different and unique. I’m not unique because of my hair, I’m unique because I’m Eve.”

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This year’s pageant marked the second year of the Miss France competition to have more lax restrictions to allow for greater diversity. The pageant no longer has an age limit and does not bar women who are married or have children or visible tattoos.