Apparently Ms. de Fontenay sold the rights to the Miss France pageant in 2002 to the reality TV giant Endemol and was not thrilled with the direction things were going after pictures of contestants in what she considered to be inappropriate poses surfaced. The Miss France pageant also switched from using one-pieces to bikinis in the swimsuit portion on the competition. You can read more about de Fontenay's efforts to promote her demure pageant in an uphill battle against a large media company and a public's desire to see more skin here.
Benoit Tessier / Reuters
Barbara Morel celebrates after being crowned Miss Nationale in Paris, Dec. 5. The self-styled doyenne of decorum, 78-year-old Genevieve de Fontenay set up the rival pageant in a moral crusade against current Miss France owners, a reality TV company, which she accuses of cheapening the contest.