A poster featuring a naughty message has scandalised some people from the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) schools in Singapore.
The large circular poster, which depicted the school’s crest at its centre, included a caption in bold capitals that read: “In need of a one night stand: CHIJ girls please stand up!”
A photograph of a few girls posing with the poster was published by The New Paper, and was sent to the CHIJ board of management.
Its chairperson, Vivienne Lim, told the paper that the unauthorised use of the school’s logo in the poster was “highly inappropriate and demeaning”, adding that it was “insulting” for “thousands of CHIJ alumni and current CHIJ students, some of whom are as young as six years old.”
The poster is believed to have been created as a decorative part of a school-themed party held at Filter Members Club, a nightspot located near Mohamed Sultan Road, last Saturday, alongside a similar one featuring the Anglo-Chinese School logo carrying the caption: “In need of a sugar daddy: Where my AC boys at?”
The party, part of a series of school-themed parties known as Vice Convent, advertised its dress code on its Facebook event page as being “scandalous school girls, East Coast preppy school boys”.
One of the club’s owners told Yahoo! Singapore that Filter’s policy is that it does not comment on “what happens inside the club or the actions of its guests”, and would not say whether or not the posters were made by Filter’s party organisers.
Former students of CHIJ who spoke to Yahoo! Singapore were angered by the poster featuring the CHIJ crest, however.
“I think it’s highly offensive and ridiculous,” said Kimberly Gwee, 17, who graduated from CHIJ Toa Payoh (Secondary) a year ago. She felt that the poster tainted the names of both CHIJ and ACS. “Each school (CHIJ and ACS) already has bad publicity from rumours that circulate from generation to generation, but this is a whole new level of offence… to slander CHIJ’s name with sexual slurs is really too much.”
20-year-old Isabel Francis, another CHIJ alumnus, agreed, saying that the poster implies that girls who are or were from CHIJ are sleazy.
“It’s so in your face; I’m not sure why no one is suing yet,” she added.
University graduate Corinne Chow, 23, disagreed with the content of the poster, but said she “had a good laugh” over both the CHIJ and the ACS posters.
“I think they’re playing out age-old stereotypes which aren’t necessarily true anymore, and certainly don’t apply to every single student from both schools. However, it’s in the name of good fun, so I take it with a pinch of salt,” she said.
ACS alumni whom Yahoo! Singapore spoke to seem less offended by the poster.
University undergraduate Zed Tan, who spent his primary and secondary school years at the school, admitted that ACS boys are “easy targets” because of their known stereotypes of being wealthy and mainly English-speaking.
“I’m guessing that most are used to it, although there may be some who are sensitive to it,” he said. “I found it funny and wasn’t offended. The stereotype is not new, and of course not true of all AC boys,” added the 24-year-old.
Another alumnus, Jevan Li, said he also found it amusing, and was not very offended by it either.
“But I can see how others might feel that it perpetuates unwanted stereotypes. It’s marketing that could potentially backfire,” he told Yahoo! Singapore.
He admitted that the CHIJ poster was “terrible”, although he put it down to “controversial marketing for the sake of it”.
“Filter wanted the publicity, be it good or bad,” he added.