- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 18, 2013

French legislators approved a sweeping ban on parents from entering children under 16 into beauty competitions or face hefty penalties and jail time.

The legislation, approved by a vote of 197-146, must go to the lower house of parliament for further debate and another vote, the Associated Press reported.

“Organizing beauty competitions for children under 16 is banned.” Violators — who could include parents, or contest organizers, or anyone who “encourages or tolerates children’s access to these competitions” — would face up to two years in prison and 30,000 euros ($40,000) in fines, the AP said.

“We are talking about children who are only being judged on their appearance, and that is totally contrary to the development of a child,” the amendment’s author, Chantal Jouanno, told the AP. “The question of the hyper-sexualization is deeper in the United States than in France, but the levees are starting to fall. Before we are hit by the wave, the point is to say very clearly: ‘Not here.”’

She said the proposed punishments might be lightened in later readings but was sure the ban would survive.

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