On March 24, Shek Lei Catholic Secondary School and Islamic Kasim Tuet Memorial College argued the motion 'The pseudo-model phenomenon is a cause for concern in Hong Kong'.
This was a first-round match in the 12th Nesta-SCMP Debating Competition. It was adjudicated by Jeff Bell, a NET from HKFEW Wong Cho Bau Secondary School.
Islamic argued for the affirmative side, and Shek Lei for the negative.
Islamic argued pseudo-models make young people believe showing off their bodies is a way to make easy money. They added the practice was disrespectful to women. First speaker Wilfred King Ka-yiu, Form Six, said: 'It is not a lasting career. Many of the models are young and [poorly] educated, with no [formal] model training.'
Shek Lei argued the pseudo-model industry provides job opportunities and boosts the economy - the products that pseudo-models promote are popular. First speaker Au Yeung Mei-ho, Form Four, said: 'Young girls [can] earn pocket money, gain work experience and confidence.'
Second speaker for the negative, Kwan Ka-pik, Form Five, added that pseudo-models add to Hong Kong's cultural diversity: 'Their shows are ... different from the [usual] singing and dancing.'
The affirmative said pseudo-models do not benefit society, despite the financial gain, because they affect morality. Islamic's third speaker, Bibi Tayyaba, Form Five, said: 'Pseudo-model photo albums are considered bad taste. Although there seems to be a demand for products related to pseudo-models, it has a negative effect on society. It causes disrespect to women.'
Bell said both teams' content was well matched; deciding a winner came down to the delivery.
'I think the affirmative is the more cohesive team and that makes them the winners,' he said. 'The negative read too much from the note cards and are not as confident with their speech.'
Bell had some advice for the debaters. 'In a debate, it's important to give a good first impression. Debaters tend to be less confident with rebuttals. So it's easier to warm up the audience with material you know really well before moving on to the rebuttals,' he said.