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Few teenagers would want their [...]; IT'S hard not to feel a little sympathy for Paris Brown, the 17-year-old who tweeted her way out of her job as Britain's first youth commissioner.

Byline: Annie Brown

Few teenagers would want their outpourings splashed across the media and many a mummy's little princess will have tweeted about sex and drink in their time.

But Police and Local Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes is wrong to have ever suggested Paris is a typical teenage girl.

Not many are named after European capitals for a start.

I can't be outraged by a hormone-filled girl bemoaning a lonely night in bed.

Any woman with a memory knows that teenage girls have sex, even if they delude themselves that their daughter is the exception.

But it was her racism and homophobia that were so offensive.

One tweet ranted: "******* hell why are the people from Direct Pizza so difficult to talk to!! IT IS CALLED ENGLISH. LEARN IT."

And she attacked the men in the reality TV programme Made In Chelsea, writing: "Everyone on Made In Chelsea looks like a ******* fag."

Paris has defended her comments as just bravado but they came too naturally to be dismissed as naive bluster.

Whether it is her fault that she holds such nasty views is all down to the nature versus nurture debate.

Her caterpillar eyebrows and orange glow suggest that she is one to follow the crowd. The girl is rough, as the twin-set brigade would say.

But Paris is also an intelligent and articulate young woman, so what a terrible pity that she lost the opportunity to transform her life and was sacrificed at the altar of her own ignorance.

She has been programmed by her environment, since prejudices are not a congenital condition, and what a terrible waste that makes her.

The appointment of a youth commissioner is perhaps too idealistic to be realistic but Ann Barnes seems determined to try again.

She says she never planned on hiring an "angel" but that might be exactly what she needs if they are to withstand such intense scrutiny.

It is difficult to see the real advantage of a youth commissioner since not all teenagers are the same. It is no more constructive than a token woman or black person.

Don't suggest to a miner's wife that Thatcher was a typical woman.

Paris could have been a role model for teenage girls and, if she has learned the error of her ways, she still could be.

Perhaps young people will look at her and edit their thoughts more conscientiously on social networking sites.

It was uncomfortable to watch Paris face the flashbulbs this week but in the end she carried herself off with an aplomb beyond her years. Most teenagers who make mistakes get grounded and sulk in their bedroom, but Paris has been subjected to public castigation.

If she has the insight, she will rethink her prejudices, recognise their senselessness and be the ambassador for young women she still has the potential to be.

'Paris was sacrificed at the alter of her own ignorance. She could have been a role model she may still be'
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Apr 10, 2013
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