Beauty pageants banned in France: Could sexualization be the issue? (editorial)


Clara Cozort

Beauty pageants involve a lot of experimenting with hair and makeup, possibly making young girls look older and more sexualized.

Bri Hendriksen, Fashion editor

With shows such as “Toddlers & Tiaras” setting stereotypes on beauty pageants worldwide, there is no question why France has decided to ban pageants for participants under 16 years old.

After a congressional vote of 197- 146, France banned beauty pageants in hopes of stopping girls from being sexualized at an early age and to create a movement toward better woman’s rights.

Anyone in France who defies this law and enters their child into a beauty pageant could face up to two years in prison and will be forced to hand over 30,000 euros ($40,764) in fines.

Beauty pageants originated in the 1960’s, as a fun way for children and young adults to meet new people while dressing up and showing off their talents. Today, these contests have turned their focus to physical appearance.

We should stop trying to enhance young girl’s looks with hair extension, pounds of makeup, high heels and provocative clothing and start concentrating on natural beauty. Girls should not be transformed into Barbie dolls in order to bring home trophies and medals.

Young girls around the world are internalizing society’s expectation for their appearance. They see models, television shows and magazines where girls are placed front and center because of their appearance and believe they must look like this in order to be excepted. Contestants entered into the pageants find the need to concentrate more heavily on their bodies and physical appearance because they are pressured to look a certain way.

In reality, we should be concentrating on the contestant’s talents, knowledge and personalities. They should feel comfortable and confident and free in their own skin. What truly matters is what is on the inside; one’s physical appearance should just be a bonus.


Beauty pageants involve a lot of experimenting with hair and makeup.

Beauty pageants involve a lot of experimenting with hair and makeup.