Look at that image on the right. Look at it. Falling back on that whole idea that “a picture is worth a thousand words” that should really be all I need to present to make the point that child beauty pageants are really not a good thing.
I like to fall back on facts, though, so I went out of my way to Google the words “how child beauty pageant facts” and clicked on an article helpfully titled “5 reasons child pageants are bad for kids.”
This article had some pretty standard stuff like how these girls are too young to refuse and how they’re clearly being sexualized through these pageants [I’ll be referring to the latter article again later]. What surprised me the most was their fourth reason, which was that hair spray can actually act as a hormone disruptor and stunt growth or cause lung cancer.
Okay, so I know what you’re thinking-
This wasn’t anything you didn’t already know before. Child beauty pageants make most people uncomfortable on a number of levels, and it’s not exactly shocking that they’re straight-up harmful to their contestants. But going back to that article about child sexualization, in it a French parliamentary report seeking to explain why schoolgirls are dressing and behaving the way they are suggested:
“restricting beauty pageants to girls aged over 16 or 18, banning advertisers from dressing under age models in adult attire or using them as brand figureheads.”
But Evan, you say, I don’t keep up to date on the news and that article was posted back in 2012! To which I would reply:
Yesterday The Toronto Star, among many, many, many other news outlets, reported that France’s senate has voted to ban beauty pageants for children under 16. Oh, and the kicker?
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.
To which I would respond:
Because a) if the ban does indeed pass in the upcoming weeks then how harsh the penalty is shouldn’t matter, because what you’re doing is now illegal, b) I have watched a lot of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and believe it to be a representation of a fairly functional family, and c) I really want chicken nuggets right now.
As I mentioned, at this point the ban is not yet law, but the Senate approved the measure 197-146, and that is wonderful news. I really do think that the mother on the show I’ve been grabbing gifs from only wants the best for her family [and there’s strong evidence for that in how she’s choosing to invest money from said show], but to refer back to a point Kat made in her Wednesday post this is just a positive example in what’s ultimately a very harmful system.
France is by no means a country to look up to for a number of different reasons, as Gordon can attest to, but in this case I’m giving them a pretty big thumbs up for doing what they can to put an end to child beauty pageants.