Child Modelling Pageants To Be Banned In France

Talent Management can reveal this week that the French senate has made moves to have child modelling pageants banned in France…

Child modelling pageants
Child modelling pageants

Talent Management can reveal this week that the French senate has made moves to have child modelling pageants banned in France.

As Paris Fashion Week begins, political debate has been raging, with discussions about the sexualisation of children inspiring the proposed changes in French law. If passed, the changes would mean that anyone who “encourages or tolerates children’s access to these competitions” could face hefty fines and up to two years in prison.

Katie Parks – mother of 6-year-old ‘Miss Country Western Arizona’ – is against the ban.

“I find more positives than negatives,” she told reporters. “I don’t think it’s any worse than another sport a child plays. And it is a sport. You have to get good at it to achieve a higher title or award. I have seen massive improvement in her self-confidence. She went from being a shy child on stage to in-your-face look at me. I am really cool.

“And it almost forces families to spend more time together. We do a lot of travelling. Where most kids are lucky to go on vacation once a year, we are on vacation once a week.”

India McDougal, whose daughter, Aja, has been competing since she was just two years old and has recently appeared on ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ also disagrees with the ban.

“I think it’s ridiculous. France is totally different from the United States,” she said.

The recent antics of former child star Miley Cyrus have left many people increasingly concerned about cultures that glorify sex at any age. But McDougal appears unfazed by them, saying: “My daughter really likes Miley Cyrus. She doesn’t dress skimpy, I wouldn’t let her go out like that, and at school she’s not going to wear it.”

There is a huge difference between the ‘Honey Boo Boo’ style pageant and other types of child modelling, and the French are not alone in their concerns. Many people question the appropriateness of the type of glitzy US child pageants that the have been highlighted this week as a concern to other cultures.

“Beauty pageants are uniquely American,” Says Susan Anderson, photographer of ‘High Glitz’. But does that make them okay?

Jill Bauer, co-director of the documentary ‘Sexy Baby’ says that US pageant girls are often under extreme pressure. “We hung out with a lot of teens,” she said. “We observed girls at bar mitzvahs when their dads were dropping them off. How are you able to tell the difference between a prostitute and the way they were dressed?”

“You can’t blame them, just walk by any American Apparel ad…”

The new legislation will now go to the house of parliament for further voting.

Talent Management feels passionately about the safety of everyone who models for them and believes that children and teens must be protected from anything that could be damaging to them now or later in life.

What do you think? Should glitzy child pageants be banned, or are they just a bit of harmless fun?