France’s Upper House of Parliament, the Senate, recently made a very interesting decision to ban ‘Mini-Miss’ beauty pageants as part of its gender equality bill. The argument presented was concerned with girls believing from an early age that their only value is their appearance. The ‘superior interest of the child’ needed to be defended against ‘commercial interests’.
Under the suggested law, anyone who flouts the minimum age limit for beauty pageants will face up to two years in prison and a fine of about $40,000. This decision follows on from an increasing concern about the hyper sexualisation of young girls, including “the sexualisation of their expressions, postures or clothes that are too precocious.” In the report Against Hyper-Sexualisation: A New Fight for Equality, concern was expressed that girls were being disguised as sexual candy, in a competition over appearance, beauty and seduction …’contrary to the dignity of the human being’. This proposal must be passed by the national assembly for it to become law.
In the recent debate over gender and the continuous commentary on the ‘looks’ and fashion statements by our female leaders, this particular discussion in France I think is worthy of a second look.
Rev’d Dr Lucy Morris, CEO