Toddlers & Tiaras is one of the many TLC train-wreck shows (so bad, and yet you can’t look away) but, if France has its say, it will ban children's beauty pageants altogether. In fact, according to an article on CNN, the French Senate voted to ban beauty pageants for kids under the age of 16. The measure now goes to the country’s lower house for debate and a vote.
While there have been many conversations about the oversexualization of children in the U.S., the impetus for this movement in France is thought to be a scandalous feature in Vogue in 2010. This particular spread depicted a girl as young as 10 in high heels and sexy makeup.
When CNN posted the article to their Facebook page, many weighed in that they hope the U.S. will follow suit.
As Darlene Eckerman of Amarillo,Texas, said, "How pleased I am that, finally, some are fully awakened and realizing that child beauty pageants should be banned.” Eckerman didn’t mince any words in who she blames either, adding, “The mothers are the culprits here: teaching your child to be sexy and alluring at such a young, tender age when they are not ready for such exploitation."
Psychologist Wendy Walsh added her input, pointing out the fact that we have become desensitized to how outrageous it really is.
"And now it seems perfectly OK for a little 6-year-old to be walking around in thigh-high boots and short booty shorts and smacking her butt when she dances down a runway? Come on! That's what a stripper does,” Walsh said.
Of course, as with most things, there were some who stood up for child beauty pageants, comparing them to any other school function or gymnastics.
Anna Berry of Littleton, Colorado, said her 13-year-old daughter, Ashley, was painfully shy before doing “natural” pageants. As she said, until she began doing these “no makeup allowed” pageants, she could barely even order food at a restaurant.
Others pointed to the more political reasons behind opposing such action, such as former school principal Trish Howard, who said it shouldn’t be for the government to decide.
Wynn Westmoreland, who used to compete in pageants while growing up in Atlanta, said, “It’s a social issue and it’s a family issue.”