Letters

Letters 08-29-2016

Religious Bigotry President Obama has been roundly criticized for his apparent unwillingness to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” His critics seem to suggest that through the mere use of that terminology, the defeat of ISIS would be assured...

TC DDA: Focus On Your Mission What on earth is the Traverse City DDA thinking? Purchasing land around (not within) its TIF boundaries and then offering it at a discount to developers? That is not its mission. Sadly enough, it is already falling down on the job regarding what is its mission. Crosswalks are deteriorating all around downtown, trees aren’t trimmed, sidewalks are uneven. Why can’t the DDA do a better job of maintaining what it already has? And still no public restrooms downtown, despite all the tax dollars captured since 1997. What a joke...

European-Americans Are Boring “20 Fascinating People” in northern Michigan -- and every single one is European-American? Sorry, but this is journalistically incorrect. It’s easy for editors to assign and reporters to write stories about people who are already within their personal and professional networks. It’s harder to dig up stuff about people you don’t know and have never met. Harder is better...

Be Aware Of Lawsuit While most non-Indians were sleep walking, local Odawa leaders filed a lawsuit seeking to potentially have most of Emmet County and part of Charlevoix County declared within their reservation and thus under their jurisdiction. This assertion of jurisdiction is embedded in their recently constructed constitution as documentation of their intent...

More Parking Headaches I have another comment to make about downtown TC parking following Pat Sullivan’s recent article. My hubby and I parked in a handicap spot (with a meter) behind Mackinaw Brew Pub for lunch. The handicap spot happens to be 8-10 spaces away from the payment center. Now isn’t that interesting...

Demand Change At Women’s Resource Center Change is needed for the Women’s Resource Center for the Grand Traverse Area (WRCGT). As Patrick Sullivan pointed out in his article, former employees and supporters don’t like the direction WRCGT has taken. As former employees, we are downright terrified at the direction Juliette Schultz and Ralph Soffredine have led the organization...

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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