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.


Beauty pageants... I was shocked recently to know that a child of five years old may participate in a beauty pageant! What?...

We see this contest all the time on TV. All these beautiful women in competition with each other. As the name says it is a beauty contest mainly based on the physical appearance on the women. However, they are also judge personality, talent and intelligence. As a child seeing all these beautiful women on TV, they obviously want to be that or these beautiful women. The same goes when a child sees vogue magazines, commercials, etc.

Would it be possible that the society puts aside superficial values to create "women that search for their worth from themselves and not from others?" Personally, our society is really anchored in superficial values. Most of all the ads, are based on hyper-sexualisation. It may be possible but in a distant future. However, from my point of view, women will change their perspective of beauty by themselves which may then change the media ideology of beauty.

Has France made the good decision from banning beauty pageants for children under the age of 16 year old? I completely agree with our position on this issue. To my opinion, children under the age of 16 should not participate in beauty pageants. At this age, these children by the influences of these beauty pageants will instead of developing themselves mentally and discovering themselves, put more emphasis in their physic. Later on, when these children become teens may have had expectations to their looks and size. The physical appearances' they had imagined themselves to have, may have not been the same when growing older which may bring eating disorders and emotional problems. It also demonstrates that if you are pretty and provocative, you may succeed in this world which is a complete myth. It awakens false expectations of the real world to these children.

The counterargument of the magazine vogue says that children can dress like their moms because they desire to. Yes, they may want to dress like their moms, but it does not mean they should. A child may want to eat candy all the time, does not mean he can. This counterargument is really weak. The child does not have the maturity to decide for himself what is good or not for him.

One counter argument would be that beauty pageants may build self-esteem. True, in some cases when the child wins, his self-esteem is high. But only for a short time because, at the next beauty pageant when this child does not win... its self-esteem will be crush to pieces. I personally think that the self-esteem of this child would be lower than a child who has never participated in a beauty pageant. This is assuming the child has won the first pageant in the first place. However, if from pageant to pageant the child louses, this may grandly affect the child emotionally.

There is more information on side effects children may develop by participating in beauty pageant by following this link :

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