It appears that the likelihood of a French Honey Boo Boo emerging in the near future is zero. Recently, the French Parliament decided in a 196 to 146 vote to ban beauty pageants for children under 16. It will become law if it passes the National Assembly in November. French Kiddie pageant organizers could face up to two years in prison and a fine of 30,000 euros ($40,000), according to the Washington Post.
The law gained support largely due to Chantal Jouanno, former Minister of Sports, who released a report titled, “Against Hyper-Sexualization: A New Fight for Equality.’
“It is extremely destructive for a girl between the ages of 6 and 12 to hear her mother say that what’s important for her is to be beautiful,” Jouanno said in the New York Times. “We are fighting to say: What counts is what they have in their brains.”
It is important to understand that pageants in France are nowhere near as intense or sexualizing as American pageants. Girls in Mini-Miss French pageants do not get spray tans, wear fake teeth and pounds of makeup. And still the French still seem to be calling kiddie pageants out for what they are – disgusting.
Maybe it is time for America to follow the French. The pressures placed on young girls to be beautiful, thin, athletic, graceful, talented, and feminine are completely blown up in pageants.
And with the growing popularity of reality shows like “Toddlers and Tiaras,” young girls are gaining even more unhealthy and unrealistic ideals of how they should look and act.
Some argue that issues like this should not be left up to the government, but rather it is the parents’ responsibility to decide if their children should be in pageants.
We believe, however, that banning pageants is just one small step towards creating a more equal society, one that does not diminish and objectify its female constituents starting at a pathetically young age.