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France is poised to outlaw beauty pageants for young children after lawmakers passed a bill that would send parents to jail for trying to enter their children in such competitions.
According to The Telegraph, 196 lawmakers voted in favor and 146 voted against the measure, which would send parents to jail for up to two years for trying to sign up their children for a beauty pageant. It will now go to the lower house National Assembly.
The Local reports that the measure is part of a new “equality bill” that went through the French Senate. It was proposed by the Minister for Women’s Rights, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, and includes measures that ensure equal pay for women, address domestic violence and suggests that fathers take paternity leave.
The ban on ‘mini-miss’ competitions, as they are known as in France, was proposed in an amendment from Senator Chantal Jouanno, who wrote a report titled “Against Hyper-Sexualisation: A New Fight For Equality.” “Let us not make our girls believe from a very young age that their worth is only judged by their appearance,” she said.
The law would prohibit any parent from entering a child under 16 in a beauty pageant. In addition to the jail sentence, those who break the law would face a fine of €30,000 ($40,000).
A debate about children’s beauty pageants in France was sparked by a 2010 Vogue cover that featured a 10-year-old French girl made up like an older model.
image: Wikmiedia Commons