France Moves to Ban Young Girls’ Beauty Pageants
While many Americans enjoyed the return of TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras this week, the French senate voted to ban beauty pageants for children under the age of 16. If the bill is approved by France’s lower house, anyone who “helps, encourages, or tolerates” such underage contests could face up to two years in prison and a $40,000 fine. Beauty contests in France may be nowhere near as widespread as in the U.S., but competitions are popular enough for the state to fear the sexualization of children. The proposed French ban is already sparking a debate in the land of Honey Boo Boo, with defenders of such contests acknowledging concerns over “hypersexual” young girls, but fretting that a blanket ban would toss the pageant with the bathwater since the contests can help young girls bolster their confidence and self-esteem.