Fanned by fears that their sex-obsessed society is producing “hypersexual” young girls, the French Senate has voted to ban entering a child under age 16 into a beauty pageant.
The measure next goes to the National Assembly for further debate.
The French Senate’s vote was widely seen there as anti-American. Child beauty pageants have been the stuff of a major U.S. movie — “Little Miss Sunshine” — and reality TV shows like “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” and “Toddlers & Tiaras.”
Video clips of pageant performances by 6-year-old JonBenét Ramsey went viral worldwide immediately after her 1996 murder in Boulder, Colo. But crossing the line on child sexuality has long been a controversy for both countries.
French film director Louis Malle produced the American-underwritten 1978 film “Pretty Baby,” which detailed the life of a New Orleans child prostitute played by 12-year-old actress Brooke Shields, who appeared nude in the film.
The most common reaction this week by Americans who’ve posted comments on Twitter and on blogs about the proposed ban on child beauty pageants has been to tell French lawmakers: “Merci.”