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LETTER OF THE DAY - 13-year-old as sex object
published: Tuesday | September 16, 2008


Caribbean Model Search contestant Shermonique Ivey. - Contributed

The Editor, Sir:

I must express my discomfort with seeing a young child being elevated to a position where she is being represented by an overwhelming view of sexual imagery under the guise of the Pulse fashion model competition.

The gaudy make-up and revealing swimwear being worn by 13-year-old Shermonique Ivey in a photo that appeared in the media is extremely disconcerting, especially in a country like Jamaica, which has such a high incidence of carnal abuse.

According to newspaper reports, female contestants were clad in little 'sexy' shorts' and other revealing outfits. Is this the imagery that any concerned parent would want of their underage child? And when she goes off on those overseas trips, that are part of the competition, at such an impressionable age, who is going to protect that child from all the negative influences of the fashion industry, including eating disorders, sexual exploitation and drug use?

Since the parents of Shermonique and the principal of the school she attends see nothing wrong with this scenario, I call upon Children's Advocate Mary Clarke to take a stand on this issue in fulfilling her mandate as the protector of our children.

I am, etc.,

Dr MARCIE HAMILTON

Kingston 6

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