In an effort to hinder the sexualization of young girls, France’s Senate has voted to ban beauty pageants for children under the age of 16.
The measure, written as an amendment to a law on women’s rights, was passed overnight on Tuesday with a vote of 197 – 126.
"The foundations of equal rights are threatened by the hyper-sexualization that touches children,” Chantal Jouanno, author of the amendment, told AFP. “I have a hard time seeing how these competitions are in the greater interest of the child."
Ruling out “beauty competitions," the amendment is wide-sweeping yet vague and will need to pass debate and another vote.
In 2005, a small study found that women who competed in beauty pageants as children were more dissatisfied with their bodies and less trustful than women who did not compete. There was no difference between the women’s body perceptions, self-esteem, depression or measures of bulimia.
Earlier this week, the Miss America pageant was lauded in crowning Nina Davuluri, the first winner from an Indian background.
Child beauty pageants remain a fixture in the U.S. and have become popularized in the mainstream through the success of TV shows like TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras and King of the Crown.