Opinion: France Bans “Mini-Miss” Beauty Pageants
May 3, 2012
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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.