So there were a lot of different thoughts running through my head while I watched the “Scouted” video in class yesterday; however, there was one that seemed to be a recurring thought throughout the whole video: these girls seemed (to me) to be treated like cattle. (Now, admittedly I do not know a whole lot about what exactly a cattle farmer does, so some of the comparisons might need to be taken with a grain of salt).
Seeing the girls lined up side by side, practically naked, being looked over by the scouts to see who looked “best” reminded me almost immediately of what I imagine a farmer picking out the best, meatiest cow to look like. Furthermore, when the scout explained how he saw the girls, he used the words “breed” and “material” to describe what the girls were to him. Perhaps those two words are more apt for breeders and not cattle farmers, but the underlying point seemed to be the same to me. These girls were treated like animals, objects, or even just seen as profit to the scouts. This is probably what disturbed me the most about this video; these people are humans and they did not appear to be treated as such. Never mind the fact that these humans are young and innocent and an adult’s job is usually to look out for the next generation.
And I know that a lot of others on this site have already explained that from a purely financial standpoint what the agency is doing is “smart” but even if that may be true, it is the equivalent of judging a whole puzzle on one piece. Sure, financially it makes sense. And yes, there are a lot of factors that play into scouting models of such a young age – parental responsibility, family obligations, personal choice – but my overall response was not one of “yeah, this is okay.” My personal response on this mirrors what my gut told me, and that is this: overall, this practice does not seem right. The way the girls were treated – (or perhaps a better phrasing is “how they seemed to be viewed by the scouts”) – did not seem humane to me, and it all felt a bit wrong.