This comment was made after Stab had published a picture of a barely-covered young lady on its front cover, and it was later revealed that this local Kingscliff girl was a 16-year old who was anxious to become known as a model.
Jennings reported in his article that although the girl's mother was horrified, the father commented that, if the girl was successful in becoming a model, the family would need to become used to this type of exposure.
The Tweed Daily News contacted Mark Pearson, Professor of Journalism at Bond University who was quoted as saying, "The danger with this kind of thing is, young people don't always realise the longer-term consequences of their actions; that is why all branches of media have to be especially careful of their management of children."
This view was confirmed by an experienced model, Ms Harris, who commented that she was worried that the girl might consider these actions a 'mistake' in years to come; that maybe it might not have been the smartest move. She further stated that models need to draw a distinction between "high-fashion" and "men's magazines".
Stab magazine "is known for its edginess and celebration of parties and sex" and 'leering' appears to be a central focus of the magazine. According to the apparent philosophy, stated above by Mike Jennings, 'leering' is legitimate as long as you're aware that the boy or girl is not under age.
Well-Being Australia chairman Mark Tronson, stated that he was fascinated by this philosophy of Stag on the one hand, and the accompanying social commentary on the other.
The dictionary states that leering is "to look with a sidelong glance, indicative especially of sexual desire or sly and malicious intent." http://www.thefreedictionary.com/leering
"Stab avoids the most obvious and critical question about who is responsible for determining if the person is under age, and how this is perceived by the reader," commented Mark Tronson.
"It other words, it purposefully avoids responsibility, as if it hadn't a clue. It seems happy to publish a picture it knows its readers will find attractive, then wash its hands of responsibility by claiming that its readers are at fault if they 'leer' inappropriately."
M V Tronson further asks the incisive question: "How can the reader know the age of a well-endowed young woman, particularly with the skill of make-up artists and electronic photo-enhancements?".
The quotations from community members are equally as interesting, according to Mark Tronson. The girl's mother apparently realises the possible future, unsavoury consequences; however the father seems to accept the path trodden so far is a necessary and appropriate one if the girl wants to be a model.
On the other hand, an experienced model suggests the sixteen year old wasn't mature enough to realise where that pathway might lead and the academic concurs, and raises serious issues about the wider social consequences of the use of under-age models in the public arena.
"This modern real life story illustrates the dilemmas about social responsibility that exist for every young person and parent," M V Tronson concluded. "There are unspoken and legal boundaries about what is 'acceptable' public behaviour, and if parents are in doubt, there are many advocacy groups that they can turn to who will speak for families in order to maintain a well-balanced society."
He says that both Wesley Mission and Baptist Community Services (two name just two) can provide such wisdom and guidance while any Commonwealth or State Government Youth and Community Services Department can provide statutory information.
M V Tronson is reminded of two verses, Psalm 103 verse 17: "But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and His righteousness unto children's children." And Proverbs 5 verse 21: "For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings."