France Leads the Way in Taking the Tiaras from Toddlers
Just to start off, let me say that I am a little blown away that the French, of all people, are worried about the sexualization of their female youth. French kissing, nude beaches, haute couture – isn't there a formula that says French = sexy? This past Wednesday, France’s Senate voted on a bill that would bar girls that are under the age of 16 from competing in beauty pageants. If it passes further votes, when the law is broken, the child won’t be held accountable; the adult responsible will have to answer to the law – with up to two years in prison and a $40,000 fine. The senators that were trying to push this bill through said that “it will protect children from being prematurely ‘sexualised’ through the use of heavy make-up and often provocative attire.”
You know what I think the real reason behind this vote is? I think that France saw the adverse effects of Honey Boo Boo’s reign over the American airwaves and internet and wanted to provide protection to its citizens from mind-numbing television and catchphrases.
In reality, I’m a little torn on the issue. On the one hand, I think that girls in pageants are being sexualized at an extremely young age, usually by the iron fist of their ‘has-been’ mothers. Some of these girls start at the age of four, absent-mindedly strutting their stuff in these ridiculous pageants. Yet on the other hand, if France thinks it’s inappropriate to be sexualized under the age of 16, does the passing of this law indirectly suggest that it is appropriate to be sexualized and, consequently, have the chance of being an object to be desired, not a girl that is to be cherished, after the age of 16?
I think that France saw the adverse effects of Honey Boo Boo’s reign over the American airwaves and internet and wanted to provide protection to its citizens from mind-numbing television and catchphrases.
I think that criminalizing mothers that enter their girls into pageants and fining them forty grand is a little outrageous. But I also think that setting aside an age where it can be seen as acceptable by law to lower standards of modesty and self-respect is dangerous for young girls. It makes me a little nervous to think that some girls in France might have as their mindset “I can’t wait ‘til I’m 16 so I can wear that sexy dress to (insert famous French Beauty Pageant]!”
France is setting themselves up, I think, for some future issues with their young girls. What do you think? Do you think that banning beauty pageants for little girls is a good idea? Will it solve issues or create them?