Miss France
Organisers of Miss France 2018 were mocked for dedicating the pageant to "denouncing violence against women." REUTERS/Erik De Castro

Organisers of the Miss France beauty contest are being mocked for dedicating the next pageant to women's rights.

Miss France president, Sylvie Tellier, said that the ceremony on Saturday (16 December) will be dedicated to "denouncing violence against women".

Tellier's decision to become a feminist advocate and join the #MeToo campaign, which went viral in October after sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein surfaced, has not gone down well in France.

Feminist activists in France suggested that Tellier cancel the competition if she was really serious about improving women's rights.

Women's rights organisation Osez le Feminisme! criticised Miss France for objectifying women.

"It's a shame that the only evening of the year dedicated to women on television cultivates the idea of them as objects," spokeswoman Raphaelle Remy-Lelue said.

"The election of Miss France is a competition based on reductive and ridiculous beauty criteria. It would be far more worthy to value talents rather than unreal physical stereotypes," she said.

Tellier responded to the criticism by arguing that the competition is not "just based on physical criteria".

"Misses act for beautiful causes," she said. "For the last few years, misses have been working for good causes, especially to improve the status of women."

Former Miss France president, Geneviève de Fontenay, said that the competition should return to its "fundamentals" and that the winner should be chosen "for her face and IQ" and not just "her waistline".

De Fontenay's comment was met with ridicule. One man joked on Twitter: "When I feel bad about my lack of general knowledge, I take the Miss France multiple answer quiz, and I feel better."