A report on today's Huffington Post says that the French Senate has has voted to bar childhood beauty pageants because they sexualize girls too early.
Ya think? About the only surprising thing here is the idea that France might be ahead of the curve on any issue.
Let's face it: beauty pageants for 6 and 8 year olds, well, let's just say that what happens with them could be construed as child porn, at least arguably. There's something genuinely sick about dolling up toddlers as though they're college age beauty queens. But when we institutionalize it with TV shows such as here in the US with Toddlers & Tiaras, we should not be shocked when young contestants blithely state (what can be safely taken as) ugly kids better not be put on display because they're losers. So that too is an aspect of the problem: pageants may institutionalize arrogance.
This says something about America today, and what it says isn't anything to be proud of. People who subject their own kids to such scrutiny need parenting classes. People who watch these shows need psychiatric care.
To be fair, part of the interest is probably like watching the proverbial train wreck. At times, things are so outlandish that we can't believe our eyes, and that does make it a challenge to avert them. Still, what have we become as a nation when such drivel passes as entertainment on any level for any reason?
The so-minded among us will comment that no one makes them do this, it's a free country, blah, blah, blah, none of which makes what's actually happening in this or any other arena right. The only reason to oppose censorship of such nonsense is the fear of what might happen if the wrong people control the censorship panels, because in a better world pageants for kids and television shows about them would be scornfully dismissed as the dangerous tripe they are.
The whole thing is just sad. But that's the downside of the almost absolute freedom of expression which plagues the United States and the western world these days: it allows the ghouls as well as the sane their day in the sun.