France bans beauty pageants
by Zoe.Papadatos on September 18, 2013 - 11:48am
Parliament in France has put a ban on child pageants for girls under the age of 16 years old under the premises that they endorse “hyper-sexualization”. The ban was supported by 196 votes to 146 and is now in the lower house National Assembly for further debate.
"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. The report was prompted by a photo shoot in a Vogue magazine consisting of young girls dressed in heavy makeup, skin-tight dresses and high heels. The magazine defended itself, saying that the picture merely portrayed a common fantasy of young girls: to dress like their mothers. Offenders could face 2 years in jail and a fine of 30, 000 euros. When Senator Jouanno released her report, she said that young girls were being dressed up as “sexual candy” and that these pageants are a step back in the battle for women’s equality.
I couldn’t agree more with the Parliament of France’s decision to put a ban on beauty pageants. Personally, I think they are revolting in so many ways. For one, as Senator Jouanno pointed out, they are sexualizing young girls and I fear that this is becoming a norm in our society. Secondly, also as Senator Jouanno said, they are making young girls believe in the superficial at a very young age. I wanted to be a grown-up as a child, too. I wanted to wear makeup and heels and fancy clothes. I think all young girls do. However, teaching young girls to be grown-ups doesn’t equate to dressing like one, which is why Vogue magazine was so wrong in making that photo shoot. Lastly, I think that although beauty pageants can be fun and harmless, the parents that enroll their children in these don’t see them this way. The parents, usually mothers, are often pushing their unaccomplished dreams onto their children, which I think is child abuse. Unfortunately, beauty pageants and the values that they paint are becoming more prominent in our society. We could only hope that society starts to inch away from these superficial values to create women that search for their worth from themselves and not from others.