Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

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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