Miss Jamaica World must protect brand
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I wish to use this medium to respond to the ongoing Miss Jamaica World (MJW) fiasco where Shaneke Williams was selected as a finalist in the pageant.
I believe that the Miss Jamaica World competition should conduct thorough screening of contestants to ensure that its brand is being protected. That would have prevented the fiasco involving Shaneke Williams.
Character and reputation matter. But I guess, the sole purpose of this pageant was to choose the prettiest girl to represent Jamaica regardless of who she is as an individual.
We were told that the case against Miss Williams was dismissed not for lack of evidence, but, it was the complainant who did not wish to proceed. Provided that this is true, this neither proves innocence - or guilt - on Ms Williams' part. Inevitably, the public will have concerns.
People need to protect their brands better if they desire to represent their country, both locally and internationally. Ms Williams is beautiful, but that is inadequate. If one aspires to be a role model, your character and reputation must be indisputable. The MJW franchise holders were right, though belatedly so, to have her removed from the pageant, as the competition shouldn't be the outlet for her to rebuild her tainted reputation.
As a former Festival Queen, I must laud the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) for the tremendous work it has been doing in selecting ladies to represent their parish at the local and national level.
The Festival Queen competition goes beyond having a beautiful face and physique. On submitting an application, each contestant is asked to submit two character references. Having done so, a thorough background check is conducted on each individual. If the individual's character is not in keeping with the standards of the JCDC, she can be pulled from the competition, even on the night of the coronation.
If the MJW franchise wishes to protect its brand, it might want to adopt a few things from the JCDC rather than employing a 'just-come-enter' strategy. Until then, citizens ought to boycott MJW events.
Festival Queen 2016