By Robert Jahns
The upper house of French Parliament voted in favor of banning child beauty pageants (for contestants under 16) as part of a larger bill on women’s rights. The proposal is that anyone found organizing a child beauty pageant would face prison charges and fines of up to $40,000.
Legislators argue that these child pageants negatively influence girls’ body image and sense of self-worth. The hypersexualization of children has sparked controversy in French media before, after a 10-year old was dressed provocatively in a 2010 Vogue spread starting a dialogue about this very issue.
Similarly, there has been discussion of putting a health warning on heavily photoshopped images in a campaign against eating disorders.
Will the initiatives taken in France start a ripple effect in other countries? Should it be illegal or is this part of freedom of expression?
Meanwhile, The American “glitz” or child pageant industry, including famed “Honey Boo Boo,” is a 5 Billion dollar industry.
What a world.
photo (Little Miss Sunshine)