ST. PETERSBURG, March 26 (RAPSI) – St. Petersburg lawmakers adopted a bill on Wednesday that prohibits beauty pageants for children younger than 16 years old, the city legislature announced.

Lawmaker Vitaly Milonov, who initiated the bill, said children's pageants can result in anorexia, suicide or mental disorders or problems among the children who do not win.

The bill defines beauty pageants as competitions that involve the demonstration and assessment of the participants' looks and the choice of a winner. It says that the participation of children in such pageants may be damaging to their health and their mental, physical and moral development.

As many as 27 deputies voted for the bill, which will be forwarded to the St. Petersburg governor for signing.

The bill also stipulates liability in the form of a RUR 5,000 ($139) fine for participants, 40,000 – 50,000 rubles ($1,110-$1,390) for officials, and 500,000 – 1 million rubles ($13,915-$27,830) for legal entities.

A similar ban has already been imposed by the legislative council in the Krasnodar Territory and introduced in France last September.