Who Is Eve Gilles? Miss France Gets Embroiled in 'Woke' Row as Judges are Accused of Crowning 'Androgynous' Contestant with Pixie Cut Hairstyle

The pageant itself has often been perceived as promoting traditional and potentially sexist ideals of beauty.

A Miss France beauty pageant is facing accusations of embracing "woke" values, following the selection of a winner whose appearance is described as "androgynous" with a pixie haircut. Eve Gilles, 20, from Nord-Pas-de-Calais in the northern part of France, was crowned by the previous winner, Indira Ampiot, in front of an audience of 7.5 million TV viewers on Saturday.

The beauty pageant is now facing a strange backlash, with accusations that it has adopted "woke" values after all previous Miss France winners featured more supposedly 'traditional' long flowing hair and curves. Gilles became the first contestant with a pixie cut to win the coveted crown in the beauty pageant's history.

Facing Strange Backlash

Eve Gilles
New Miss France Eve Gilles X

"We're used to seeing beautiful Misses with long hair, but I chose an androgynous look with short hair," a defiant Gilles said. She also appreciated her win describing it as a win for 'diversity' and said: "No one should dictate who you are," she said after her win on Saturday night, adding that every "woman is different, we're all unique."

The pageant winner is chosen through a combination of a public vote and a jury decision. Despite coming in third in the public vote, Gilles secured first place with the panel of judges.

Eve Gilles
Eve Gilles X

Notably, as someone aspiring to be a statistician, she is the first winner in the 103-year history of the pageant who does not have long hair, a fact that has disappointed some viewers.

"Miss France is no longer a beauty contest but a woke contest which is based on inclusiveness," one user wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Several others echoed similar sentiments on Twitter, with one accusing Gilles of "instilling wokist values into society."

Negative comments included one expressing the opinion that she "doesn't look anything like Miss France" and saying that "we don't care about her haircut, but the androgynous body is obviously there to serve as woke."

Several Also Supported New Miss France

Despite the critical voices, a wave of support quickly emerged for the newly crowned Miss France, who is pursuing studies in Maths and Computer Science at Lille University.

Eve Gilles
Eve Gilles X

"Maybe the new #MissFrance isn't gorgeous in your eyes, but seeing wokeism in her because she has short hair.... It's just ridiculous," wrote one supporter.

"Eve Gilles is the new Miss France 2024, your malicious and useless criticisms won't change that, she's sublime," wrote another fan.

"Eve Gilles isn't even trans, has never claimed to be trans, but half of the comments about her are transphobic because she has short hair," a third person commented.

MP Sandrinne Rousseau came to Gilles' defense, stating, "So, in France, in 2023, we measure the progress of respect for women by the length of their hair?" It's worth noting that Rousseau herself wears her hair in a pixie cut, which has become a significant symbol within France's MeToo movement.

Gilles, whose parents are from Réunion, an island in the Indian Ocean that is an overseas region of France, had advocated for "diversified" beauty standards leading up to the final of the pageant. The pageant itself has often been perceived as promoting traditional and potentially sexist ideals of beauty.

Eve Gilles
Eve Gilles Instagram

Gilles, born in Dunkirk and known for her Instagram page featuring her cat Princess Heidi, is the youngest of three sisters. She mentioned that it was her grandfather who encouraged her to enter the competition.

"My family is really very important. It's my little cocoon. We are very close, we did everything together," she said.

Gilles is pursuing studies in Maths and Computer Science at Lille University and regularly travels back to her family in Quaëdypre, near Dunkirk, every weekend.

Eve Gilles
Eve Gilles Instagram

She first began studying medicine "so as not to regret it later' but 'didn't like it," Gilles shared, adding that she worked in a factory to earn money.

Gilles, who faced criticism for her appearance even before being crowned, expressed that she "didn't want to look like a little girl anymore" and wanted to set an example. She said, "But I'm not at all a tomboy. I feel like a woman."

Her victory comes less than a week after a court ordered a French broadcaster and television production house to compensate two previous Miss France finalists for secretly filming them and broadcasting footage of their bare breasts.