The French Senate, endeavoring to diminish the “hyper-sexualisation” of young girls in fashion ads and fashion magazines, has just passed an amendment to ban beauty pageants for girls under the age of 16. The ban will reach far out to the French countryside, where most of their contests occur. (Hey – we have that in common.)
What Americans wouldn’t do, is break the heart of a pageant organizer like Maud Chevalier, a Frenchwoman who blames America for the new French legislation: “They look at beauty contests on TV and in the U.S. where contests aren’t adapted to children. They think that children parade on a stage to look like a Barbie.”
As flawed as such pageants may be, this seems like a case of culture clash. America loves its reality television, but few people want their lives to look a TLC program.