A lot of people have contacted me about modeling over the last couple years. Standing at 5’6 ¾ with a relatively small frame, I guess I kind of fit the description. Recently the requests for photo shoots have been through the roof so I decided Hey, why don’t I try this out. I ended up booking two photo shoots this month. I was super excited and nervous, but I was thinking maybe I can build a portfolio and start making some money. Everything was going well until last night.

One of the photographers I agreed to do a photo shoot with contacted me yesterday afternoon. Mind you, I was skeptical at first, but many of our Facebook friends are mutual so I thought okay he’s legit. I looked through his Facebook and saw a wide span of photographs that were professionally done and really nice. I also noticed that a couple of my acquaintances had done photo shoots with him, so I felt confident that he was cool.

However, last night changed everything. The photographer contacted me about doing a fitness photo shoot. He told me I looked in shape and he thought it would be dope. I liked the concept and when I asked what did he want me to wear, he told me whatever I felt comfortable wearing, so everything sounded all good. We started talking about if I should wear make up for the photo shoot since it is a fitness photo shoot. He said he preferred no makeup, but I told him that I wanted to wear it. He replied saying:

“Regardless, you’re sexy as hell and you have a nice ass body. But let me keep it professional.”

I sent him back a simple “thank you” and then we proceeded to discuss times we could meet up for the shoot.

In the midst of discussing times for the photo shoot, a picture appeared in the text message thread.  I was wondering what the picture could be and assumed it was an election related meme like everyone else was sending me last night. And then I open the picture… it was a very disturbing picture of a certain body part with the caption “You like?” I couldn’t believe it! In no way, shape, or form did I give him any indication that it was appropriate to send me that. I did not flirt, I did not say anything, or give any signs that I wanted to receive a picture of his penis. I immediately blocked him from my phone and on Facebook. There is no way I would deal with someone so disrespectful and inappropriate.

This is not the first time this kind of situation has happened. I have had opportunities to promote, write and co- plan events, but ended up walking away, because of men being pigs. In the past I have heard comments and sexual advances, but this picture getting sent to me takes the cake for inappropriateness. It is so difficult to network being a female. I want to be in the entertainment business, but whenever I meet someone who is making moves, this happens. It’s like I can’t be a model, promoter, event planner or journalist without someone trying to have sex or date me. It is annoying. Look at me for the talents I have, not for my assets.

I have met successful men I would love to work for and collaborate with, but they end up getting inappropriate and I have to walk away. I don’t see why people can not keep it PROFESSIONAL. If someone can benefit your business or hustle why would you mess that up by thinking with the wrong head? I don’t get it. If roles were reversed and I was attracted to someone who wanted to network with me I wouldn’t make a move unless I was 100% sure that the person was interested. Even so,  I would think it through and probably decide to keep it professional if they had talents that could benefit me. Do not mix business with pleasure, we hear this all the time and ignore it people.

I guess that I will have to strictly network and try to gain success with females. However, females and males bring different talents and perspectives to the table so I wanted to be open minded. But at this point I am tired of being disrespected and sexualized. I just want to make it in the entertainment industry and be recognized for my writing skills, personality and other abilities. Is that too much to ask?  This makes me think of how males exploit female singers and actresses and manipulate them so they can get ahead.  I do not believe that opportunity knocks once. If someone puts me in an uncomfortable position, I am walking away period point blank. But some people want to make it so bad they sell their soul. Not I.