Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Beyond Bullying
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Beyond Bullying

Photographer focuses on getting past teen stereotypes

- August 12th, 2013  

Recently, photographer Megan Bezemek looked through her lens to create a photo essay with an anti-bullying message for an online program called THINK TWICE.

“Basically what the program is, is local girls and boys, women and men, telling their stories about how they were bullied, or were the bully,” she says. “A lot of the stories that you can read on their Facebook page hit home.” (See https://www.facebook.com/ thinktwiceproject ) Bezemek, 19, is currrently attending Traverse City Beauty College to obtain a cosmetology license in 2014. Initially, she was asked to do makeup for the THINK TWICE site, which was created by model Nikki Martell and Randy Meyers, owner of Afrnt apparel.

Teens on the site appear with black electrical tape criss-crossing their faces with the message “Think Twice” about what you say about others.

“In the second shooting I did makeup and was also asked to be in the pictures, which meant I had to share my story,” Bezemek says. “Before all this happened, I was bullied for years. A lot of people could tell you before my story went out they had no idea the life I was living in because I was ‘very good at hiding it.’ Which I was.

“Writing my story to Randy was probably the hardest thing I have done, she adds, “because before this only two people knew my whole story and what I was going through, but I wanted to help people going through the same things as me, which is why I took part in this.”


After sharing her experience on the site (see sidebar) and receiving positive feedback from friends, Bezemek decided to take her photo skills a step further and create an essay that shows two sides to her friends.

“Bullying is a big issue, but to me bullying starts with judging. And I’m sure everyone has heard ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’ But when you look around, that’s all people do, is judge other people. With or without knowing them. Which then turns into bullying.

“So what I did was take a group of girls that are friends of mine and asked them to do a photo shoot of two different sides of a person. None of the ‘characters’ the girls are playing are who they really are. I just gave them a role and asked them to get a wardrobe together and show up playing that part.

When you look at the pictures the girl you see is what other people see her as. And the girl in the mirror is ‘who she really is.’” A 2012 graduate of TC West Senior High, Bezemek used a Fuji S8200 camera for her essay, editing the photos with Adobe software. She also does photography and videos for local models. For more of her work, check out Facebook.com/StylesbyMegan-Photography.

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