French Senate votes to ban child beauty pageants - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

French Senate votes to ban child beauty pageants

Posted: Updated:

PARIS (AP) - France's Senate has voted to ban beauty pageants for children under 16, in an effort to protect girls from being sexualized too early.

Anyone who enters a child into such a contest would face up to two years in prison and 30,000 euros in fines. A pageant organizer lamented that the move was so severe.

The Senate approved the measure 197-146 overnight, as an amendment to a law on women's rights. The legislation must go to the lower house of parliament for further debate and another vote.

Such beauty pageants, involving girls of all ages often heavily made up and dressed up, regularly elicit public debate in France and elsewhere. While such pageants are not as common in France as in the United States, girls get the message early on here that they are sexual beings, from advertising and marketing campaigns - and even from department stores that sell lingerie for girls as young as 6.

"The foundations of equal rights are threatened by the hyper-sexualization that touches children ... between 6 and 12 years old," said conservative lawmaker Chantal Jouanno, who authored the amendment.

"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."

She noted the amendment is primarily focused on protecting girls. "When I asked an organizer why there were no mini-boy contests, I heard him respond that boys would not lower themselves like that."

The amendment's language is brief but sweeping: "Organizing beauty competitions for children under 16 is banned." It doesn't specify what kind of competitions would be covered, including whether it would extend to online photo competitions or pretty baby contests.

It would apply to parents or others who enter children in such contests - but also anyone "who encourages or tolerates children's access to these competitions."

The amendment says it's aimed at protecting children from danger and being prematurely forced into roles of seduction that harm their development.

Michel Le Parmentier, who says he has been organizing "mini-Miss" pageants in France since 1989, said he's disappointed that the draft law involves an overall ban. He said that he has been in discussions with legislators about regulating such pageants but wasn't expecting such sweeping language.

The senators debated whether to come up with a softer measure limiting such pageants, but in the end decided on an overall ban.

The Socialist government's equal rights minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, suggested Wednesday that the Socialists may push for a compromise measure when the bill goes to the lower house of Parliament in the coming weeks.

Some pageants make an effort to de-sexualize the competitions. One recent pageant in the Paris region specifically banned makeup, swimsuits, high heels or anything inappropriate for the child's age.

In the same debate, the Senate rejected an amendment that would have restricted the use of models under age 16 to modeling for products or services destined for children.

___

Sylvie Corbet in Paris contributed to this report.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • Girl's eye impaled by hook in fall at Ohio store

    Girl's eye impaled by hook in fall at Ohio store

    Monday, August 25 2014 10:11 PM EDT2014-08-26 02:11:46 GMT
    DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say a girl suffered a serious eye injury when she tripped and fell onto a piece of a shoe rack in a clothing store at a southwest Ohio shopping mall. The accident happened Sunday afternoon inside the Dayton Mall. Lt. Ray Eaton from the Miami Valley Fire District tells the Dayton Daily News the girl fell into a 7-inch hook used for hanging shoes, and it impaled her eye. Eaton says the girl was taken to Dayton Children's Hospital. Her injury wasn't believed to b...More >>
    DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say a girl suffered a serious eye injury when she tripped and fell onto a piece of a shoe rack in a clothing store at a southwest Ohio shopping mall. The accident happened Sunday afternoon inside the Dayton Mall. Lt. Ray Eaton from the Miami Valley Fire District tells the Dayton Daily News the girl fell into a 7-inch hook used for hanging shoes, and it impaled her eye. Eaton says the girl was taken to Dayton Children's Hospital. Her injury wasn't believed to b...More >>
  • Van forces horse-drawn buggy to stop in robbery

    Van forces horse-drawn buggy to stop in robbery

    Monday, August 25 2014 9:50 PM EDT2014-08-26 01:50:43 GMT
    LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) - Police say someone forced an Amish horse and buggy off a central Pennsylvania road to pull an armed robbery. Lancaster Newspapers reports the buggy was carrying three people early Monday morning when a white minivan pulled into its path and forced it to stop. East Lampeter police say a masked man demanded money, after which the three threw their wallets to him. The buggy driver then drove into a field to get away. No one was injured. Information from: Intelligencer Jour...More >>
    LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) - Police say someone forced an Amish horse and buggy off a central Pennsylvania road to pull an armed robbery. Lancaster Newspapers reports the buggy was carrying three people early Monday morning when a white minivan pulled into its path and forced it to stop. East Lampeter police say a masked man demanded money, after which the three threw their wallets to him. The buggy driver then drove into a field to get away. No one was injured. Information from: Intelligencer Jour...More >>
  • Obama administration offers new rules for religious objections to health care law

    Obama administration offers new rules for religious objections to health care law

    Responding to a Supreme Court ruling handed down late in June, the Obama administration proposed a compromise path that it said would allow women to obtain contraceptives through their health plan.More >>
    Responding to a Supreme Court ruling handed down late in June, the Obama administration proposed a compromise path that it said would allow women to obtain contraceptives through their health plan.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms