American beauty pageants could learn from France

It recently became illegal for young girls in France to participate in beauty pageants.

The Senate passed the amendment on a 197-146 vote, making it a matter that must be addressed by the National Assembly for further discussion and voting.

The conflict arose following the public’s alarming concern for the young girls of France. Many feared the young girls were becoming too “sexualized” like the girls in American beauty pageants.

Although pageants are held far less frequently in France than in America, occurring mostly in small towns, the majority agreed that looking at little girls wearing sexy, revealing clothes, high heels, makeup and painted finger nails was far too flamboyant. It was portraying young girls in the most revolting fashion.

The issue quickly became an outrage when these characteristics were displayed in an issue of Paris Vogue, where underage girls were posing too provocatively and wearing extensive amounts of makeup, making them look much older.
Many are in agreement with the new law. They feel as though young girls between 6 and 13 should not be pressured to only focus on their appearances but should be more concerned with what is on the inside.

Others have found the amendment to be harsh. Pageant coordinators take it especially hard because of their completely different views on the matter. Some pageant coordinators do not see pageants as creating a false pretense in the mind of a child but think participation in pageants is purely fun and innocent. It allows young girls to dress up and feel like princesses.
However, the majority ruled that if any child under the age of 16 participates in a beauty pageant, the penalties are up to two years in prison and a $40,000 fine.

The use of beauty pageants as a form of entertainment in America is absolutely depressing. I think the penalties in France should be placed on the poisonous ignorance of America.

The American image of “beauty” is so embedded in citizens’ minds that it would take a miracle for them to be released from its spell.
America holds to this false reality that if you are not beautiful you will not get anywhere in life. It is not enough to have brains anymore. What counts is beauty. What is beauty?
As a philosophy and religion student, I find the aesthetics that America is bound by to be completely degrading, disgusting and despicable.
Pageants implement in a young girl’s mind that she has to look a certain way, act a certain way and smile a certain way for people to like her and cheer her on. This is just one of the malicious aspects that society displays on TV and plays on the radio. I am afraid for America. The perception of fame, fortune and beauty seem to only be summed up as irreversible if something is not done immediately.