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Child beauty pageants have long been a source of debate and controversy. Some argue that pageants demean young children, putting an unhealthy focus on beauty and appearance, while others argue that young people may win valuable prizes such as college funds, plus gain self esteem, poise and confidence from pageant participation. In France, the debate just got a bit more heated as France’s Parliament has made a unique move to ban child beauty pageants altogether. Time reports that Parliament says all these pageants do is, “Promote “hyper-sexualization” of minors.” Right now, while Senate has adopted the bill 196 votes to 146, it won’t be official unless it passes the National Assembly. At that point any organizers of youth beauty pageants could face years of jail time and a $40,000 fine. Time further reports that former Sports Minister Chantal Jouanno made a bold statement, noting, “Let us not make our girls believe from a very young age that their worth is only judged by their appearance. It is extremely destructive for a girl between the age of 6 and 12 to hear her mother say that what’s important for her is to be beautiful. We are fighting to say: What counts is what they have in their brains.”

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