France Poised to Ban Child Beauty Pageants

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Photo: Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

French women don’t get fat, French children don't misbehave, and, soon, French girls won’t get hypersexualized in child beauty pageants. Last night, France’s Senate voted to ban children under 16 from beauty pageants, according to an AP report. If the amendment passes in the lower house as written, anyone who enters a child into a pageant would face two years in prison and €30,000 in fines. Conservative lawmaker Chantal Jouanno, who wrote the law, said:

The foundations of equal rights are threatened by the hypersexualization that touches children ... between 6 and twelve years old. At this age you need to concentrate on acquiring knowledge. Yet with mini-Miss competitions and other demonstrations, we are fixing the projectors on their physical appearance. I have a hard time seeing how these competitions are in the greater interest of the child.

Beauty pageants aren't nearly as popular in France as they are in the United States, which makes this amendment seem like yet another pedantic demonstration of France’s culture superiority. On the other hand, it all but guarantees France will never know the sincere pride and hopeful joy of having its own Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, and that makes me borderline jingoistic.