open letter to bullies, from a boudoir girl :: maine boudoir photographer

this blog will probably be one of the most honest, heart felt things you'll ever read on here. it's from a boudoir girl, but this part is from me: i stand up for every single one of the women who come to me for a boudoir sessions. i don't care if they are 18 years old or 58. some are college girls, some are grandmothers. i've had expectant mothers, and i've had women who just had a baby. i've photographed girls who were size zero and girls who were size twenty-two. some girls do it for their soon to be husband, and some do it as a divorce present to themselves. the only similarity between them all is they all took a risk and built up the courage to be photographed in a rather intimate, and sometimes scary way. and not one of them is judged by me. i build them up, show them how beautiful they are, and help them realize they really are beautiful. the instant i see a negative comment on a photo, i delete it and block the person. (luckily that has only happened a couple of times.) i can take care of the girls' self esteem when it's on my page, and usually their self esteem is boosted by the multitude of likes or positive comments they receive. but when it happens in real life, by people in their own community, it breaks my heart. i can't protect them anymore, and the bullying causes things that can't be undone. have you ever heard of the metaphor about the stone thrown into the pond? the effect doesn't stop at the first splash, the ripples keep going and going. everything said or done has an effect on people we never quite know how one small action might ripple out and change the world.make sure your ripples are positive.

enough from me, this is the open letter from my very brave boudoir girl. i haven't changed anything about this. i am incredibly proud of her, to be this open as these are her words, her feelings, and her reactions to being bullied by her own peers:

You, yes you, the one judging me!

It makes me really sad when I think about some people I know and I don't know.  We live in a small town and for the most part we care about one another, we rally together when someone is sick and help raise money, we bring food when someone dies, etc.  We try to raise our children to be loving and kind people.  We tell them not to bully others, but in reality go and do everything we teach them not to do.  Too many people judge other people.  Gossip about them behind their backs, say bad things about each other and make a big deal about someone's photos.  Until you've walked a mile in someone else's shoes you have no idea what they've been through in life and maybe you should strive to be the person you want your children to be.  When you gossip, send e-mail and texts to other people trying to create rifts in other people's relationships, friendships, whatever, you are being a BULLY!

So before you go ahead and judge me, maybe you should know what I have had to overcome to get where I am today.  I was brought up in a middle class home like most, but my parents had nothing extra, so I vow everyday of my life to work the hardest I can so my children have opportunities that I didn't.  When I was a teenager for two years I was abused physically, mentally and sexually by my boyfriend at the time.  my life could have gone down hill drastically from there but I refused to let it.  I had issues with men my whole life, I wouldn't even let my dad hug me, so to be the kind and loving person I am today is a miracle in itself.  I had to go through years of counseling to trust people, to let people be a part of my life, to lose the fear that someone was going to use me and hurt me.  But here you all go proving me wrong, when you talk about people behind their back you hurt them.  What you say always comes out, nothing is truly a secret.

This time in my life also caused me to have issues with my body.  How other people see me is not how I see myself.  I have struggled with eating disorder issues my whole life and I still do.  I have to tell myself every day that I am beautiful and love myself for who I am, but when you sit there behind your computer and your phone judging me, that old insecure part of myself doesn't want to eat and I have to shoo that part of myself away because I refuse to hurt myself like that and I am not going to let you hurt me!  Some see the pictures, they may not agree with them, because maybe that's not your thing, if you don't maybe you shouldn't like the page and then you wont be exposed to it.  When I see the picture, I can sit there and pick about every little thing I don't like about myself in it (ie: My stomach is sticking out too much, should have sucked it in a little more, my thighs look big!, I could go on and on), but it takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there, so other people will see it and it will encourage them to get over their own insecurities and have the courage to take pictures themselves.  Believe me I am judging myself WAY more then you are judging me.

I am a successful person despite what I have had to go through in my life.  I graduated college with a 4.0 GPA, while working full time so I wouldn't have to be in debt for the rest of my life.  I have a wonderful husband and children whom I am very proud of.  Our family does a lot in the community to help others, which I am also very proud of.  So go ahead and judge me.  There's only one person I need to answer to and that's GOD! 

I am very sorry you don't like my photos, I am very sorry you feel the need to gossip, I am very sorry you feel the need to judge people, I am very sorry that you have nothing better going on in your life that you have to spend time on the computer looking at my photos and then dreaming up ways that you can cause trouble in my life.  I am not going to let you knock me down, life will go on and you wont have to see my pictures ever again.  I just hope that the next person you decide to bully is as strong as I am because if not you will be responsible for ruining someones life.  I hope you are happy, probably not because if you were you wouldn't do what you do.


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