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France Seeks to Ban Kid Pageants

Girl Standing by Theater Curtain
Photograph by Getty Images/Fuse

Ever since JonBenet Ramsey's death, the world of kids and beauty pageants has very much been in the public eye. More recent movies and shoes like Little Miss Sunshine, Toddlers & Tiaras and Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo have done their part to draw even more attention (much of it negative) to the community. The shows have raised all sorts of questions and issues, most notably that of the sexualization of children. And as it turns out, this isn't an only-in-America issue.

French citizens and lawmakers have been having a similar discourse about hyper-sexual kids, which really took off in 2010, when ten-year-old Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau posed in suggestive photos wearing heels and heavy makeup for French Vogue. Since then, retailers have reportedly considered peddling padded bras for eight-year-olds, and platforms and spiky heels for four-year-olds.

This recently came to a head when French parliament member Chantal Jouanno commissioned a report on the topic. As she told Agence France-Presse, “From the youngest ages you see stereotypes appear that are very divided, boys/girls. There is colossal marketing power to break down the barriers between ages and incite [children] to adopt adult behavior.” Her proposed law, which would create a ban on beauty pageants for girls under age 16, has passed the senate and is awaiting discussion in the house.

What do you think? Is France doing the right thing? Should America take similar steps?

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