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>>

  • Fired band director says he fixing vulgar culture

    Fired band director says he fixing vulgar culture

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:34 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:34:18 GMT
    The fired Ohio State University marching band director says he was working to change its sexualized culture when he was dismissed.More >>
    The fired Ohio State University marching band director says he was working to change its sexualized culture when he was dismissed.
    More >>
  • Ohio theme park tries to top shaved-heads record

    Ohio theme park tries to top shaved-heads record

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:27 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:27:36 GMT
    MASON, Ohio (AP) - A southwestern Ohio amusement park will try to top a Guinness record for the most heads shaved simultaneously to help raise awareness and money to fight cancer. Kings Island says more than 200 hair stylists from Great Clips salons in Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland, Lima and Toledo will shave heads Friday at the park north of Cincinnati. The Guinness World Records website says the current record at 182 heads shaved simultaneously was achieved by Cancer Council ACT-...More >>
    MASON, Ohio (AP) - A southwestern Ohio amusement park will try to top a Guinness record for the most heads shaved simultaneously to help raise awareness and money to fight cancer. Kings Island says more than 200 hair stylists from Great Clips salons in Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland, Lima and Toledo will shave heads Friday at the park north of Cincinnati. The Guinness World Records website says the current record at 182 heads shaved simultaneously was achieved by Cancer Council ACT-...More >>
  • Hundreds of pet rats rescued from Ohio apartment

    Hundreds of pet rats rescued from Ohio apartment

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:23 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:23:19 GMT
    KETTERING, Ohio (AP) - Humane Society workers have rescued hundreds of pet rats from an apartment in suburban Dayton apparently left after the renter was evicted. The Humane Society of Greater Dayton found as many as 300 so-called "fancy" or "pocket" pet rats in the studio apartment in Kettering after responding to a complaint Thursday morning. Humane Society official Sheila Marquis tells the Dayton Daily News the animals make great pets for children but breed rapidly if they aren't spayed a...More >>
    KETTERING, Ohio (AP) - Humane Society workers have rescued hundreds of pet rats from an apartment in suburban Dayton apparently left after the renter was evicted. The Humane Society of Greater Dayton found as many as 300 so-called "fancy" or "pocket" pet rats in the studio apartment in Kettering after responding to a complaint Thursday morning. Humane Society official Sheila Marquis tells the Dayton Daily News the animals make great pets for children but breed rapidly if they aren't spayed a...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