[ View the story "Child empowerment or sexualisation?" on Storify] Child empowerment or sexualisation? A potential French ban puts child beauty pageants in the spotlight.
The Stream· Thu, Sep 26 2013 10:32:44
The French senate
a ban on child beauty pageants in an effort to prevent what a parliamentary report called the "hyper-sexualisation" of children. Pageant organisers and anyone who "encourages or tolerates children's access to the competitions" may
a two-year prison sentence and a 30,000-euro ($40,000) fine.
The video below shows one of France's beauty pageants for children that may be banned.
GRAINE de MISS Rhône-Alpes 2012minitalentfrance
Many online welcomed the move.
Bravo to France for wanting to ban child beauty pageants.Josef Scarantino
@AJStream I think that child beauty pageants simply exploit children and should be banned. Vive La Francejack steiner
Others questioned the government's right to intervene in parents' decisions to let their children participate in these competitions.
#France bans child #beautypageants due2 hypersexualization of kids Tho pageants are a bad idea shouldn't parents see this this on their own?bermie
I don't like kids beauty pageants 1 bit but it's none my business what parents want their kids 2 participate n & damn sure not governmentsJimmy Varner
@AJStream That's an option for parents to decide what's best for their child. Beauty is not an ugly word!himawari
Some on Twitter suggested that other countries should follow France's lead.
France moves to ban child pageants: A promising piece of legislation. Hope the ideology if not the law becomes a trend internationally.WomanStats Project
France banned child pageants.. now that's the first French ban I agree with! US and Canada should do the same.Merida
Similar responses arose in Ireland, where a child pageant was hosted at a pub after a hotel canceled the event. stating that it was not in "keeping with its family ethos". Irish Minister of Children Frances Fitzgerald
the decision, saying that such events were an "inappropriate sexualisation of very young children".
In #Seanad I've called for Child Beauty Pageant planned for this w/e to be cancelled. It has no place in Ireland. Well done French SenateJillian van Turnhout
#latelate those child pageants are disgraceful, and Ireland should follow the French and ban them..mick malone
France's push toward the ban comes after a
2010 Vogue magazine cover featuring images of a 10-year-old girl dressed in adult clothing. About 84 per cent of the French polled on the image found it demeaning.
In response, French Senator Chantal Jouanno said sexualisation of young children can lead to psychological damage and may result in disorders such as anorexia.
"It's not about social control but reminding people there are barriers to respect to protect the childhood period."telegraph.co.uk
An American Psychological Association task force also
that "girls who are sexualised early will tend to gather their self-worth as an adult based on their appearance".
I don't really think putting your child in a pageant is a good thing for your daughter's self-esteem #myopinionJ
@AJStream The young child grows up believing that beauty is defined by outer appearence.THAT can't be good or healthy for societySir Nigel
@AJStream I think toddlers and baby competitions are ok because the child doesn't even know what's going on. But not older childrenRonel van der Berg
The Stream asked what a child could gain from these competitions. One replied:
@AJStream self confidence, communication skill & socializing!!liza
Critics raised questions about parents' responsibility for their children's participation in these events.
@raisazaidi let kids be kids. why rob them of their childhood? many instances parents fulfilling their own dreams thru kids #BeautyPageantsShahana Siddiqui
One Facebook user said that people need to go beyond a ban to prevent hyper-sexualisation of children.
Banning child pageants is really an insignificant step in treating the underlying problem, which is an entire generation building values based on vanity and materialism rather than intelligence and hard work. If any action should be taken it should be in terms of advertising and media standards, although even that wouldn't stop exposure to the ideas of sexualisation - that would be impossible in the modern world.Liam Marc Robson