The French Senate has voted 197-146 to ban beauty pageants for children under 16 in an effort to protect girls from being” prematurely forced into roles of seduction that harm their development,” according to the bill’s author Chantal Jouanno, who went on to state that “the foundations of equal rights are threatened by the over-sexualization that touches children between 6-12 years old.”
“At this age, you need to concentrate on acquiring knowledge. Yet, with 'mini-Miss' competitions and other demonstrations, we are fixing the projectors on their physical appearance. I have a hard time seeing how these competitions are in the greater interest of the child," she continued.
Although beauty pageants for “babies,” such as “Toddlers in Tiaras,” are much more common here in the US than in France, many are appalled at the idea of dressing little girls up in suggestive clothing and heavy make-up and instilling in them the idea that they are “sexual beings” at such early ages.
The bill, which is considered as an amendment to legislation on women’s rights (since most pageants involve girls) would impose a penalty of up to two years in prison and a fine of 30,000 euros on anyone who enters a child in such contests. It must now pass in the lower house of parliament before it becomes law. It should be noted, however, that the measure stops short on banning anyone under the age of 16 from modeling products meant for adults.