Jennifer McKendrick (AKA Jen McKen), a self-employed photographer from Pennsylvania, recently came across a Facebook page created by a number of teenage girls as a sort of “Burn Book” for the purposes of “say[ing] mean and hurtful things about their class mates.”
“It was beyond ‘your clothes are ugly’ or ‘you don’t have any brand clothes’ or ‘you are ugly, your hair is not right,” she told 6 News. “It was vicious. It was talking about sexuality.”
McKendrick recognized some of these girls as clients who had senior picture photoshoots scheduled with her. She promptly sent those girls (and their parents) an email letting them know that she will not be able to proceed with the sessions.
“[H]ow I could spend 2 hours with someone during our session trying to take beautiful photos of them knowing they could do such UGLY things,” she wrote on her blog. “Realistically, I know by canceling their shoots it’s not going to make them ‘nicer people’ but I refuse to let people like that represent my business.”
McKendrick says she’s received emails back from two of the girls’ parents, expressing shock at their daughters’ actions and apologizing for their behavior. “So far I haven’t received any backlash but I’m ready for it,” says McKen, who understands that this decision may affect her business.
But her new policy stands, cemented with a powerful motto: “If you are ugly on the inside, I’m sorry but I won’t take your photos to make you look pretty on the outside.”