'White as snow' Miss France in racism row and catfight with ex-winners
Newly crowned Miss France beauty queen has become embroiled in accusations of racism and a catfight between previous winners.
The Representative Council of Black Associations (CRAN) condemned medical student Marine Lorphelin, 19, for being "as white as snow" and criticised the lack of black and Arab contestants in the pageant, the Daily Mail reported.
The organisation branded the contest outdated and an insult to the country's ethnic diversity - but the attack prompted an angry counter attack from Lorphelin's supporters.
CRAN president Louis-Georges Tin said in a statement jointly issued by Miss Black France creator, Fred Royer, "The failure to represent the contemporary French population in an event such as this is obviously serious.
"It amounts to denying the very existence of French people of African origin," they said.
But Didier Maisto, editor of Lyon Capitale, a website based in Lorphelin's home region of Burgundy, said, "These types of comments, which are violently anti-Republican, seek to set French people against each other."
The CRAN statement said, "In the antiquated world of Miss France, blacks apparently can only come from overseas departments.
"As for Frenchwomen of north African heritage, they were 'represented' by only one candidate who was quickly eliminated (too Muslim perhaps?).
"Miss France is as white as the end of year snow on the steeples of an eternal France," the statement read.