Emmanuel Macron was last night accused of turning his back on his feminist ideals after Moulin Rouge style dancers in little less than their underwear took to the stage as part of his victory celebrations.
The independent centrist who on Sunday night, aged 39, became France’s youngest president since Napoleon had held his victory event at the Louvre museum, one of the country’s best-known sites and a former royal palace.
But the entertainment jarred with the historic setting steeped in culture as scantily clad women took to the stage as part of a victory celebration which was more reminiscent of a music festival than a presidential rally.
Feminists were quick to raise eyebrows on Twitter and French media said the raunchy image was one which had ‘stayed in people’s minds’.
Dancers in skimpy red underwear took to the stage at the Louvre in Paris last night for Emmanuel Macron’s victory event, pictured
But many said the new President had ‘turned his back on feminist ideals’ by allowing the Moulin Rouge-style celebration, pictured, to happen
President-elect Macron, 39, pictured with wife Brigitte, 64, previously told supporters in March he was ‘profoundly feminist’
Anne-Cecile Mailfert, the president of Fondation des Femmes, a women’s rights group, posted: ‘What are these women in red underwear shimmying on the Louvre stage meant to symbolise? I can’t quite grasp it.’
Gabrielle Ongone tweeted: ‘Particularly shocked by the outfits Macron’s dancers are wearing. Dancers in their underwear? Is that the image of France?’
Roman Sabathier, a gender equality activist, posted a screen grab of the dancers with the quote from Mr Macron underneath: ‘A new page is opening’, before joking: ‘A new page is opening…apart for the image of women on television.’
Mr Sabathier added: ‘Macron’s victory concert at the Louvre live on BFM tonight May 7. I would have liked it to be fake news…’
The criticism comes in the wake of Mr Macron telling supporters in March: ‘I am profoundly feminist’.
The women in carnival-style tops, high heels and red hot pants danced to pop song Cake by the Ocean, with the lyrics: ‘Let’s lose our minds and go f****** crazy.’
Meanwhile defeated rival Marine Le Pen was spotted dancing to the Village People at a separate event following her loss
The dancing was part of a bizarre night of entertainment during which a DJ in a blue bomber jacket blared out pop tunes in the hours before Mr Macron walked towards the stage to the sound of Anthem of Europe’s ‘Ode to Joy’ by Beethoven.
Minutes earlier the crowd had shouted and sang along to Magic System, a group originally from the Ivory Coast, known in France for their 2005 hit ‘Bouger, bouger!” (Move, move).
They shouted ‘If you like Macron, clap your hands’, to a crowd of tens of thousands who had come to celebrate the sensational victory.
American singer Cris Cab, who has featured alongside R&B artist Pharrell Williams in his hit ‘Liar Liar’, had also been on the stage singing ‘An Englishman in New York’.
At home, meanwhile, Madonna celebrated Mr Macron’s victory by uploading a video of children dancing with the caption: ‘Vive La France!!!.’
Her enthusiasm was echoed by singer Cher who tweeted: ‘Beloved, beautiful, you’ve not been cowered. You’ve shown the French courage…’
The former investment banker’s dapper appearance, the official motorcade which had accompanied him and the setting was a far cry from the pop music which many older than their 30s might have struggled to recognise.
Helpers from the Europhile’s team handed out free badges bearing the name of his party En Marche!, which he founded just 13 months ago, as well as cotton shopping bags.
Some feminists took to Twitter to describe themselves as ‘profoundly shocked’ at the outfits the dancers, pictured, were wearing
Others mocked quotes made by the victorious Macron about a ‘new page’ opening for France ‘apart from the dancers on television’
French media described the dancers, pictured, as ‘worthy of a rock star’ while others compared the event to a music festival rather than a political celebration
Student types danced along to the music waving French flags while others climbed up lampposts and waved for the cameras as they saw themselves on the big screen.
Writing about the event, French newspaper Le Monde described how it was a ‘scene worthy of a rock star’ adding how the atmosphere had been like that of ‘a nightclub’.
But the mood quickly changed when Emmanuel Macron, after long walk towards the stage, first thanked his supporters and then told of how ‘France had won it’.
He then welcomed his wife Brigitte, who at 64 is 24 years his senior, on stage as well as family, including her daughters, Tiphaine, 30, and Laurence, 40, one of whom was in Mr Macron’s class at school on stage.
Mrs Trogneux’s granddaughter, Emma, one of the former teacher’s eight grandchildren, also appeared grinning by Mr Macron’s side as they sang La Marseillaise.
Although the lavish setting which had been rented out by the En Marche! team, was the height of French sophistication and history, the scantily clad dancers were not.
Raphaelle Remy-Leleu tweeted: ‘The great cause of women’s rights starts with hypersexual dancers in the courtyard outside the Louvre, is that right? #justasking.’
Others asked whether it was ‘right’ that ‘hypersexual dancers’ were representing the women’s cause in France
The women in carnival-style tops, high heels and red hot pants, pictured, danced to pop song Cake by the Ocean by American band DNCE
Their moves were very different to those of Marine Le Pen who took to the dance floor at the Chalet du Lac restaurant in the Bois de Vincennes, on the outskirts of Paris, to 1981 hit ‘I love Rock n Roll’ and Village People’s YMCA.
But the music choice at the Louvre may have been for the benefit of Mr Macron’s young supporters rather than the presidential couple.
An aide for En Marche! revealed that Mrs Trogneux likes British music whereas Mr Macron has previously said his taste is ‘classic’, favouring French names such as Johnny Hallyday. Speaking to French newspaper the Journal du Dimanche, Mr Macron described his music preferences as slightly ‘tacky’.
After leaving the event at around 11pm last night, Mr Macron reportedly opted for a tame end to the evening, congratulating his team at the headquarters and eating a takeaway, before heading back to his apartment near the Eiffel Tower. He is said to have been home by 3am.
The decision to eat in rather than enjoy a meal out, is understood to have been made after Mr Macron attracted criticism for celebrating the first round of his campaign at brasserie La Rotonde with a society crowd branded ‘bling bling’ by the French.
The spot is said to have once been a favourite amongst artists and writers and Mr Macron’s entourage dined on salmon, cod and beef.
Responding to criticism at the time, a spokesman for En Marche! Sylvain Fort told French media: ‘We’ve been eating sandwiches for nine months, we were glad to go out to a restaurant. It hasn’t got a (Michelin) star, it’s a normal restaurant.’