Citing the “hyper-sexualisation” of kids, the French Senate has voted to ban child beauty contests.
Judging children under the age of 16 on their physical appearance in so-called “beauty contests” is now a criminal offence in France, the French Senate ruled on Tuesday night. The new law forms part of the new “equality bill” presented to the French Senate on Monday by France’s Minister for Women’s Rights, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, which also included legislation to tackle unequal pay, domestic violence and to encourage fathers to take parental leave. One of the less publicized clauses in the bill however touched on beauty contests, which have a proud tradition in France but are not to everyone’s liking, especially these involving young teenage girls, known as “mini miss” competitions. Tough sanctions will now be handed out to anyone flouting the law. Under the new law, organizers of pageants under the age of 16 may now face up to two years in prison if they fail to comply with the ban and a fine of up to €30,000 ($40,000)
The new legislation was spurred, in part, by a photo spread in the French issue of Vogue, which featured a heavily made-up ten year-old girl.