Bill blames beauty pageants for a host of ills affecting kids

The child protection agency, the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia, appears to be the driving force behind a legislative bill that would prohibit beauty pageants of children under 16 years.

The same bill appears to prohibit using children under that age as models.

The summary of the bill says it will ban all forms of erotism in boys and girls and adolescents. It is No. 19.362.

The measure also would appear to prohibit youngsters in advertising, in clothing, cosmetics, video games, movies, fictional personas, animated drawings, parties, child events, radio shows, television shows and social networks.

The summary of the bill blames beauty pageant for a multitude of sins, including anorexia, stealing childhood from youngsters, objectification, distortion of self-image, wrecking  self esteem and instilling an inferiority complex. The result is to promote a stereotype of beauty for which youngsters, mainly girls, will strive, it says.

The result will lead eventually to plastic surgery, including nose jobs, and liposuction, says the summary. The children also are exposed early to sexuality and are predisposed for sexual exploitation and abuse, said the bill.

The summary cites a host of international treaties that say children must be protected, and then expands this protection to eliminating beauty contests, which the summary equates to child abuse.

The penalty for holding a beauty contest is a moderate fine, but parents can lose custody to the Patronato if their children participate, said the text of the bill.

Some 17 lawmakers are sponsors. The bill is in the Comisión de Juventud, Niñez y Adolescencia.

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