The Huffington Post reports that McKendrick discovered a Facebook page with nasty comments from high school girls whose names matched her upcoming clients. She was so appalled by their viciousness that she canceled their appointments.
McKendrick then posted on her blog, “i won’t photograph ugly people”:
Now I realize it’s going to be hard to know that every person that ever contacts me isn’t a bully, I understand that…but in this specific instance it was right in front of my face. I saw it with my own eyes… it wasn’t hearsay, it was right there… with their smiling face right beside such an ugly statement. I couldn’t forget about it, I mean how I could spend 2 hours with someone during our session trying to take beautiful photos of them knowing they could do such UGLY things. 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.
This morning I sent out 4 emails to those clients while CC’ing in their parents explaining WHY I was canceling their shoots. I also included screen shots of the comments they made. They couldn’t deny it, I had the picture of what they said. I informed them that I’d be sending their deposits back and that they’d have to find another photographer.
I have received two emails back from their parents that claimed (I’m paraphrasing) they were shocked that this had happened. They apologized that their child acted in such a way and that they would deal with the matter. So far I haven’t received any backlash but I’m ready for it. I’m a small business owner and I have the luxury of making that decision. 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!
Since then, McKendrick’s Facebook page has been flooded with hundreds of supportive and appreciative comments.
Three lessons teens can take from this:
1) Your actions have consequences. What you say or do to others can boomerang right back at you.
2) The Internet is your permanent record. Anything you say can and will be used against you.
3) McKendrick is right. No matter what you look like on the outside, if you’re ugly on the inside, you’re just plain ugly.