The girls at a charity carwash for Singapore Red Cross. Photo: Miss Singapore Beauty Pageant/Facebook
Thanks to the fast-paced, ever-changing world that is the internet, Singaporeans would have probably forgotten by now last month’s Miss Singapore Beauty Pageant that was savagely ripped apart by netizens. It was a picture of the finalists circulating on social media that garnered vicious online commentary from keyboard warriors who probably didn’t give a second thought to their hurtful words.
But for the contestants, the trauma lives on beyond the competition.
According to STOMP, pageant organizer ERM Singapore Marketing has arranged to provide counseling services to the finalists after the nasty backlash reportedly left them distressed. The photo in question — allegedly not taken by an official photographer — had made netizens question the quality of the contestants and hurl abusive remarks at the girls.
Shin Min Daily News reported that since the incident, some of the contestants refused to make public appearances for fear of being filmed or photographed, and one finalist apparently missed her training for three days and suffered from an anxiety disorder after being maliciously told that she looked like she was a result of a hit-and-run accident.
A fellow 19-year-old finalist said she was “saddened by the negativity of the netizens”.
“Some of the finalists are still young and may not know how to cope with the negative remarks. So the company organised for counsellors to help them rediscover their confidence a week after the incident,” explained a spokesman for ERM.