Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

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

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.”

TWO SIDES

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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