Glamorous photo ?? s of soldiers do not dilute their contributions to the Singapore armed forces (SAF), the Defense Ministry said yesterday after the issue of objectification of women in uniform had been put in the spotlight.
marked online after two SAF service women last Wednesday.
Military Expert 1 Gorgina Choo, 24, and Captain Sengie Chong, 25, both from the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), said that more attention should be paid to their military performance than their appearance.
The debate comes after ME1 Choo was presented at the National Day Parade on 9 August and commented on her appearance on the HardwareZone online forum.
A post on a blog, Alvinology, also had an opinion poll asking readers to rate five servants on their attractiveness, including ME1 Choo and Capt Chong.
Online media outfit Rice Media published an opinion piece last Wednesday. It criticized the SAF for using the "cheap recruitment tactic" to exhibit attractive young women.
In answer to the questions from The Sunday Times, Mindef said that it regularly includes its servicemen and servants across different platforms and channels.
These images may contain glamorous photographs of them in their civilian attire, taken with the approval of those out there, it said.
"This is a standard trade practice used by many organizations to emphasize individuals in their versatile roles and attributes, and in no way thins their contributions into the SAF," added Mindef.
In the online article "Does the SAF only offer attractive women?", Rice Media described how the television broadcast of the National Day Parade zoomed in on ME1 Choo. She was one of the staff of the RSAF guard of honor quota who spoke with President Halimah Yacob during the parade inspection.
ME1 Choo and Capt Chong responded the same day to the online article and said that more attention should be paid to what they have achieved in the military.
Capt Chong's critique, which she made on her earlier public Instagram account, expanded to how she was on the back page of the monthly Pioneer magazine published in April 2015 by the SAF. she found the article superficial and selective in how it was.
Although the back page of Pioneer magazine – which started in 2009 – mainly includes women, other men and couples have also been interviewed before.
Capt Chong wrote: "We should cherish and strive for a culture in which we are recognized for our potential and ability, not because we look better as a flower vase."
ME1 Choo has the message of Capt Chong on shared her Instagram stories and added: "If you follow me because I have inspired you in one way or another, I thank you with all my heart but please stop objectifying women."
As of last Friday, the Instagram account of ME1 Choo was no longer available, while Capt Chong & # 39; s account is now private.
Tampons GRC MP Baey Yam Keng said: "For publicity efforts of an organization they would certainly look for people who look pleasant as one of the most important factors, because that is generally attractive to readers."
Those who agree to be characterized are also likely to have self-confidence, or even have been able to sign up for it, said Mr. Baey, who was formerly director of PR company Hill + Knowlton Strategies.
"So it is a confluence of different factors that can lead to what we think are stereotypes of faces or looks, but after all, beauty is in the eyes of the viewer," he said, adding that a poster boy or -girl can only do so much to attract attention.
"We need an appreciative employer, a good working environment, good career prospects and a job to have a sustainable HR practice," he added.