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France heading for a ban on child beauty pageants

French Senate votes to ban 'Mini Miss' beauty contests



The French Senate has approved a proposal to ban beauty contests for girls under 16 to prevent what a parliamentary report called the "hyper-sexualisation" of children.

The proposal, contained in an amendment to a broader law on sexual equality, was backed by the upper house of parliament on Tuesday.

The sexual equality law returns to the lower house National Assembly for a second reading in November and it is not certain that the proposed ban on so-called "Mini Miss" contests will be retained.

The Senate amendment follows a parliamentary report "Against Hyper-Sexualisation: A New Fight For Equality" which called for a ban on child-size adult clothing, such as padded bras and high-heeled shoes and an end to beauty competitions for the under-16s.

"Let us not make our girls believe from a very young age that their worth is only judged by their appearance," said the author of the report, former sports minister Chantal Jouanno.

Under the amendment proposed by the Senate, organisers of beauty pageants could face up to two years in prison and a 30,000-euro ($40,000) fine.

That sanction is regarded as too severe by many deputies, which could result in the amendment being thrown out when it goes back to the National Assembly.

The measure was prompted by controversy over a Vogue magazine photographic shoot featuring provocative images of a 10-year-old French girl in December 2010.

The girl, Thylane Loubry Blondeau, and two others were photographed with heavy make up and wearing tight dresses, high heels and expensive jewellery.

Vogue defended the pictures, saying it merely portrayed a common fantasy among young girls -- to dress like their mother.

Blondeau's mother, actress turned designer Veronika Loubry, sparked more outrage by writing in a blog that her "daughter isn't naked: let's not blow this thing out of proportion."

The Vogue photographs created controversy not only in France but also overseas, where they were widely deemed to be inappropriate

Senator Jouanno also said young girls were being disguised as "sexual candy" in beauty pageants, which she said was a step backwards in the battle for women's equality.

What do you think? Do you think that child pageants teach them that their looks are all that count? What purpose do child pageants serve, in your opinion? Would you, as a mother, enter your child in one?




Asked by goldpandora at 6:08 AM on Sep. 23, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 24 (18,700 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • I personally am not a fan of pageants. I feel like it is taking a group of very young and impressionable girls and saying 'so which one of you is prettiest because we want to give her a crown.' While winning is probably a great boost for self esteem there is only one winner. How detrimental is it to loose over and over again in a competition that is not based on pure skill. There is no saying 'we will keep working on it you will get there one day' It is a dangerous road to be putting these young girls down. Now, pageants in their teens and adulthood is a little different. By that age girls are learning what it is to make something of themselves outside of beauty.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:31 AM on Sep. 23, 2013

  • I see pageants as useless, but it seems a bit hypocritical when France is the driving force behind hypersexualized underage models for decades. Now they have an issue - where were their issues for the past 50 years of dressing anorexic 13 year old girls up like 20 year olds?

    Answer by NotPanicking at 7:59 AM on Sep. 23, 2013

  • I think it's kind of silly, similar to blaming guns for violence. It isn't the pageants sexualizing children, it's society as a whole. There are natural pageants which I'm more comfortable with for kids, but I don't think the whole pageant idea should be thrown out. I do think the pageants should take initiative and out some policies in place for children (no bare midriff, no fake eyelashes, etc) but I do think pageants, particularly those that emphasize poise, confidence, and talent over beauty, have their place.

    Answer by missanc at 8:34 AM on Sep. 23, 2013

  • this is going to sound really bad, but it's the mother's fault. they are the ones who is the one dressing their daughters up to look like sorry to say it, but most of them dress up like hookers! i saw this one that was actually wearing an outfit that a real hooker wears! i know because i used to have to drive past her to go to work. i've got three daughters, one is a raving blue eye blond that will be 7 in two weeks, i won't ever put her in one of those things. my 11yo and 9yo don't want anything to do with pageants, they think it's a waste of time.

    had a friend who tried to put them in one, even saved money for it a couple of years ago, and both girls refused.

    Answer by noel1978 at 9:09 AM on Sep. 23, 2013

  • Well said, Anon.
    I don't have a daughter, but if I did...hell no I would not enter her in any beauty pageant!

    Answer by Lobelia at 7:21 AM on Sep. 23, 2013

  • I think it's great - sad that a government has to take over and make it happen, but great that it could happen. I only have boys, but if I had a daughter, there is no way she would be in a beauty pageant, at least not before she's at least 15 or 16, and probably not even then. Girls need to be taught that they can do more than stand around and look pretty, and that confidence comes from within and shouldn't be affected by whether someone else says you're pretty or not.

    Not to mention - all the make up, way too skimpy clothing, and all the rest - why do some mothers want to do that to their daughters? I just don't get it.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 7:33 AM on Sep. 23, 2013

  • I think it's a good thing. It's basically a free for all for pedophiles. To think that a small child is up there while some guy is getting his rocks off to that...It's disgusting!! Also, I think it's just a way for the moms to live through their kids. It's kinda sad really. I wouldn't put my child into something like that. You can see that most of those kids are pushed into it. Just by the shows they make off of them you can tell they are some pretty bratty kids. Bad parenting!! I know not all of them are probably like that, but I bet the majority of them are.

    Answer by goofygalno1 at 9:17 AM on Sep. 23, 2013

  • I find it refreshing and the most logical step in a series of policies they have regarding protecting children. They also have bans on marketing and programming during prime watching hours for children. Another smart move. J'adore France.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:04 AM on Sep. 23, 2013

  • anyone who has ever watched Toddlers and Tiaras can see that pageants for children create brats with very little brains (the pageant moms are pretty bad too). when you teach a girl that when she wears all this makeup and does her hair a certain way and puts on certain clothing, then she is worthy, you are teaching her that anything else is a wasted pursuit. why be smart when my worth is in my physical beauty?

    pageants could be done in a way that benefits young girls, but they arent.

    Answer by okmanders at 2:53 PM on Sep. 23, 2013

  • I wasn't aware of that, NotPanicking. Can you give me some examples? I tend to think of France as the country that brought back models with curves - Laetitia Casta, for instance. Twiggy and Kate Moss are Brits :)

    Comment by goldpandora (original poster) at 8:30 AM on Sep. 23, 2013