France: junior beauty pageants want their 'dream'

01 October, 12:32

    A scene from the movie 'Little Miss Sunshine' A scene from the movie 'Little Miss Sunshine'

    (by Aurora Bergamini) (ANSAmed) - PARIS - France's junior beauty pageants are protesting against a draft law banning beauty contests for girls under 16 years of age over concerns they turn children into erotic objects and make them grow up too soon. The Senate adopted the measure on September 17 as part of a draft law on gender equality. The draft law will now go to the National Assembly for final approval. 'Just as gay marriage has been approved, beauty pageants for little girls are banned, it is incomprehensible', Michel Le Parmentier , the organizer of Mini-miss model France 2013 (for little girls aged five to 11) and Minis teen-junior France 2013 (12 to 17 years) told Le Monde. The two beauty pageants are the only ones authorized nationally for minors since 1989. The last one took place last Saturday.

    Participants include 40 to 50 minors who dress up as princesses hoping to be elected as the most beautiful, like their oldest counterparts. 'There are no swimsuits nor makeup in my shows', said Le Parmentier -contrary to beauty pageants for minors in the United States.

    The organizer said he will fight the measure and instead call for tighter rules regulating beauty contests. Little beauty pageants and their mothers are prepared to fight with him.

    'People who draft these laws have never come to a contest', said Caroline, mother of two participants, Marie aged 10 and Laura, 11. 'This is not America', she told Le Monde.

    Young participants in fact claim their appearance is not the only aspect evaluated by judges. Other qualities, like their ability on the catwalk, are also important. Lou, a 6-year-old wearing makeup, will be judged by a jury of seven members including ex winners, mothers of beauty contestants and model representatives. Nina, 12, said she decided to participate to feel 'more beautiful'. Stacy, 13, wearing a little black dress, says she wants to become a 'model or actress'. Her mother told the paper that seeing her become a star makes her 'proud'.

    'Let us live our dream', said Barbara, 13, who won the title of Miss teen-junior, in an appeal to lawmakers who will have to vote by November the measure promoted by centrist Senator Chantal Jouanno, a former sports minister under Nicolas Sarkozy. She added: 'Jouanno wants to send out the message that we will all become prostitutes, it's an insult'.

    The former minister denounced the 'early eroticization' of little girls, often turned into 'lolitas' by commercials. Her proposal includes harsh sanctions against organizers of junior beauty pageants - up to two years in prison and a fine of 30,000 euros. (ANSAmed)

    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved

    Business opportunities

    The information system of business
    opportunities abroad

    News from Mediterranean