New bill would ban child beauty pageants in Colombia

Posted on Feb 19 2014 - 7:23pm by Editor
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A new bill has been proposed in the House of Representatives that would ban child beauty pageants in Colombia due to their potentially negative impact on the participants, reported national media Wednesday.  

Congresswoman Alba Luz Pinilla says competitions like Little Miss World contribute to the sexualisation of young girls, creating impossible beauty ideals that can lead to bullying and lifelong self-esteem issues. The pageants, said Pinilla, lead to the “physical, psychological and mental assault of our young girls and adolescents,” according to the El Espectador newspaper. 

“We need to stop with this practice because Colombia is a country where girls are easily sold and sexually exploited. Exposure of their sexuality so early makes them much more vulnerable to any type of sexual or psychological abuse and to later become victimized in violent emotional relationships,” she was quoted as saying.

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In the past, child beauty pageants were a predominately North American tradition but the interest in them has grown exponentially worldwide and Colombia has been crowning Little Miss World, since 2005.

Apart from the broader cultural implications, Pinilla believes that these pageants give young girls unattainable body aspirations that induce eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia.

“Girls and boys are a population group that require special protection by the state and therefore, there should be a law prohibiting this type of event to minimize any risk to their mental health” stated the legislator.

Colombia Reports has so far been unable to reach Pinilla for comment. The bill would appear before Colombia’s House of Representatives.

Sources

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