Last month, a friend of mine, Brandy Britton, was subjected to a juvenile and hateful prank by a fellow photographer and woman 10 years her senior (you can read her story here ).
She was initially defeated and obviously upset someone would spend money and take time out of their day to send her a “glitter bomb”, complete with a hateful letter included. When she mentioned this to our photography group in Hawaii, they took it upon themselves to rise up and above this nonsense and rally around her. The actions of all these women warmed my heart. They made sure Brandy knew we were all there for her and her spirit would not be broken!
It also brought to light a situation that, sadly, is not uncommon – adult bullying.
I know the term “bully” is thrown around a lot lately. Some people argue that this shows our society is becoming weak and needy. I think it shows we are becoming more considerate and compassionate. The only thing weakening is our tolerance for people to treat others so horrendously without consequence.
In light of rallying around Brandy, I set up some of our own #takebacktheglitter shots here in Maryland. I couldn’t be there in Hawaii to support her, but made sure she knew I was still there for her. A small group of us came together to take these photos and ended up sharing our own stories of bullying. After listening and shedding a few tears, I realized we all had one thing in common. We all rose above and refused to let our character, resolve, morale and heart be broken.
To quote some of the women:
“Nothing I ever did was good enough. In her eyes I could never be enough. But I never let that stop me.”
“I haven’t been bullied since middle school, but it definitely plays a role in who I am today.”
In my opinion, the best thing you can do to “get back” at a bully is show them their efforts have no negative effect on your life. Prove to them you are the opposite of their thoughts and never stoop to their level. Share your stories and don’t be ashamed. You never know whose life you may touch or whose heart you may open because they realize they are not alone. To see the strength in these select few, I can only imagine the strength in the masses.
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Beautiful. http://t.co/XdGorrn890 #takebacktheglitter
Jealousy is unfortunate but true. I admit I’ve felt jealousy towards others’ photography work, but I try to channel that emotion into something positive by continuing to hone my technique. There are so many different photography “styles” and there’s no way to do them all, so instead I’ve learned to appreciate others’ work for their own unique abilities and hope that others will appreciate my unique work. We are all individuals with our own style; let’s embrace that rather than hate each other for it.