This week’s “Bad Bill of the Week” could easily be renamed after the 2006 film Little Miss Sunshine.
Rep. Annie Mobley (D-Bertie) introduced legislation (HB 1348) to “establish the joint legislative study committee on the regulation of beauty pageants for youth under thirteen years of age.” As if the government is not already in over its head, Rep. Mobley thinks it can prevent any physiological “damage” preteens ensue during a beauty pageant (or is it a scholarship competition).
While the state sits in a budget crisis, HB 1348 would allot funds to “study” beauty pageants – events that less than one percent of young girls participate. The study committee would be comprised of five members of the House and five members of the Senate – since our elected representatives are obviously experts on the topic – and has six goals.
The goals include collecting data on how other states regulate beauty pageants (sounds like a simple Google search to me), finding an agency to regulate youth beauty pageants (really, we need to regulate them) and criteria to impose on them.
I am excited about the prospect of government forming the North Carolina Agency to Regulate Beauty Pageants for Girls Under Thirteen (they need to come up with a better acronym, though; NCARBPGUT isn’t catchy enough). Good thing there aren’t any real problems the government should be spending time or money on; like double-digit unemployment, a $3 billion budget deficit, or our state’s 70 percent graduation rate.
However, the best part of the bill falls on the second page, line eight. Among the study committee’s other pressing concerns, they will be looking into creating regulations on the “use of excessive makeup.” I can see it now: a government agent standing by to say, “No, sorry, she is wearing too much eye shadow.” Once and for all, North Carolina will have official make-up police. Why this will only apply to pre-teens is beyond me. Have you been to a mall lately (or the General Assembly for that matter)?
Half of us are too fat, but enough of us are too thin, for the government to come sweeping in and save the day, and regulating child beauty pageants is the way to do so. Besides, I can’t think of anything – minus the unconditional love of parents, a supportive community, or a developed sense of independence and self-worth – that would set these young girls in the right directions for their future more than government officials telling them their perm doesn’t fit the guidelines.
Never mind Barbie’s outrageous proportions, the scandals of Disney stars or the way women are portrayed in magazines – apparently a young girl’s biggest threat comes in the form of a frilly dress and the cat walk. That’s probably why no other legislator signed on and what makes HB 1348 this week’s Bad Bill of the Week.