Opinion: France Bans “Mini-Miss” Beauty Pageants

Source: Margaret Ringler

Sabiha Viswanathan

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Recently, French politician Chantal Jouanno issued a report known as Against Hyper-Sexualisation: A New Fight for Equality. This report called for a ban on child “mini-miss” beauty pageants in France, as well as padded bras and high heels on young girls. This ban is vital as the world takes steps toward treating women as equals, as opposed to objectifying them.

After the ban, Jouanno called for the outlaw of young models in advertising campaigns and the return to mandatory uniforms in primary schools.

The ban was launched after 10-year-old Thylane Blondeau appeared in heels and a provocative outfit in an issue of Vogue Paris last year. After receiving several critical remarks on the issue, Vogue defended the article by stating that the children were just meant to dress “like mamas.”

Blondeau’s mother, Veronica Loubry, who is a well-known French actress and designer, defended her daughter’s photos in a blog, saying, “The only thing that shocks me about the photo is that the necklace she is wearing is worth three million Euros…my daughter isn’t naked, let’s not blow things out of proportion.”

Jouanno reported that the sexualization of young girls is “contrary to the dignity of the human being,” and that it’s a step backward for gender equality. She then argued that while the sexualization of children is not exactly widespread in France, it is increasing and becoming more acceptable because of the insidious “normalization” of pornographic images.

Looking at these images of young girls in Vogue makes me miss the times when photos of young children portrayed their innocence. Modeling for Vogue and other suggestive magazines can make a person wonder if they were ever truly children.

Although children are encouraged to pursue their goals, no one should be exposed to a world of sexualization at such a young age. The world is trying to move forward in gender equality, but these images and pageants are acting as a step backwards.

I support France’s ban, because our future generations cannot grow up holding the belief women need to sell themselves to men. Showing provocative images of children is not the way to portray true beauty.

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10 Responses to “Opinion: France Bans “Mini-Miss” Beauty Pageants”

  1. Alison Myoraku on May 3rd, 2012 1:31 pm

    I really don’t understand the thought process of mothers who make an effort to get their kids into pageants. It’s absolutely ridiculous, especially for girls who are so young. I’m relieved that France is taking these steps to ban it, and hopefully other countries will follow suit.

  2. Risa Hammel on May 3rd, 2012 2:06 pm

    I do think some parents overly push their kids into pageants, but I bet there are some children who genuinely like doing beauty pageants. It all depends on the child being concerned I believe.

  3. monika on May 3rd, 2012 2:11 pm

    I agree with Alison, it’s unnatural for girls at that age to attempt to portray woman 4 times their age

  4. Lindsay Keare on May 3rd, 2012 2:27 pm

    Maybe not so much in France, but in the U.S., shows like Toddlers and Tiaras and Dance Moms, which expose the peculiarities of children looking and acting much older than they are, are definitely not helping to stop the tide of kids growing up too fast. Perhaps more importantly, however, is how much these moms live vicariously through their young daughters and do not set good examples themselves.

  5. Madeline Dutton-Gillett on May 3rd, 2012 2:30 pm

    This is a really great article! I agree with the ban as well. I think that people are just growing up too fast anyway. Once you hit middle school and puberty you feel pressured to be more “adult” and lots of kids take this to mean being more sexual and this just isn’t the case. We already spend such a small part of our lives being young, children should focus on being children…

  6. Zoe Pacalin on May 3rd, 2012 7:42 pm

    I agree with Lindsay…really thoughtful article Sabiha. I think sometimes the value of childhood can be overlooked and then forgotten.

  7. Hhollandmccowan on May 4th, 2012 8:01 pm

    I think that these parents really need to take a look at their priorities and the actual motivation for their kids in these pageants.

  8. jacob pfau on May 10th, 2012 2:19 pm

    interesting, this type of law would never pass in america for better or worse…

  9. Monika on May 14th, 2012 12:47 pm

    I agree with all of you, this is a really good article and America should try to put this into play maybe to try. Many of the young girls do not know what it really means to be in beauty pageants and such a young age and probably feel ugly or not good enough if they don’t win.

  10. Lauren on May 21st, 2012 5:49 pm

    haha i don’t think this could ever pass in America though

Opinion: France Bans “Mini-Miss” Beauty Pageants