Will France ban childhood beauty pageants?

BY William Brangham  December 19, 2013 at 5:11 PM EST

In the public’s imagination, France is renowned for many things: its cuisine, its culture, as well as a very open embrace of female beauty.

You can’t seem to walk a city block in Paris without noticing scantily-clad models showcasing France’s high-fashion industry.

Given all that, it’s perhaps a bit surprising that a controversy has erupted in France over what some argue is the “hyper-sexualization” of young girls.

In January, France’s national legislature will vote whether to ban childhood beauty pageants. Critics contend that the pageants send the wrong message to young girls and only add to what they argue is an already over-sexualized environment for children today.

NewsHour Weekend reports from Paris.