15/02/2014 08:18 GMT | Updated 15/02/2014 08:59 GMT

Russia Could Ban Child Beauty Pageants

Contestants of the beauty contest mini Miss France 2014, for children from 5 to 11 years old. Russia could ban similar events.

Children in Russia could be banned from appearing in beauty pageants because of concerns about the mental damage such competitions can do to youngsters.

Politicians from the right-wing United Russia party and the Liberal Democratic party have submitted a bill to the Lower House, according to Russia Today.

It wil outlaw any competition where children have to show themselves off to judges who rate them based on physical appearance, because of the risk it could harm a child's wellbeing.

The lawmakers have stressed they do not want to stop contests for children entirely, only ones where appearance is the main factor.

Parents taking their children to take part in beauty pageants could be subject to a £85 fine, with officials licensing the event subject nearly £1000 in fines. The organisers could be fined up to one million roubles, equivalent to £17,000, and banned from operating for three months.

Foreigners who organise such events can also be held for up to 15 days and deported from the country.

The bill's sponsors said that "according to psychologists and teachers, participation in beauty pageants can cause damage to the mental and sometimes physical health of children and can form a distorted understanding of beauty," RIA Novosti reported.

A similar plan was announced in December last year by St Petersburg politician Vitaly Milonov, who says his intention was to allow participation in beauty pageants only from the age of sixteen.