French Senate votes to ban 'Mini Miss' beauty pageants

Posted Sep 18, 2013 by Layne Weiss
On Wednesday, the French upper house of Parliament approved a proposal which bans beauty pageants for girls younger than 16.
An example of a child at a beauty pageant
An example of a child at a beauty pageant
Glitter Girls Pageants
The objective of this proposal is to prevent the "hyper-sexualisation" of underage girls, AFP reports.
The new ban was passed 197 to 146, The NY Times reports. It is an amendment to a more extensive bill which is on sexual equality.
The bill will go to the National Assembly in November for further discussion and a vote. It is not set in stone that the proposed ban on "Mini Miss" pageants will be retained, AFP reports.
According to BBC News, as part of the law, organizers of these pageants could face jail terms of up to two years and fines of 30 euros.
According to the AFP, the proposed penalty is regarded as too severe by many deputies, which could result in the amendment being thrown out this November.
The law was elicited by photos published in a 2010 issue of Vogue magazine, BBC News reports.
The photos show a 10-year-old girl with two others. They are all wearing heavy makeup and tight dresses as well as high heels and expensive jewelry.
Vogue defended the pictures saying they simply represented a girl's "common fantasy" of dressing like her mother.
Parliament heard a report entitled Against Hyper-Sexualisation: A New Fight For Equality, which called for the ban on beauty competitions for the under-16-year-olds. It not only recommended a ban on beauty pageants, but also on measures not included in the bill. This includes a ban on padded bras, high-heeled shoes, and adult-like clothing all made for children.
"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.