How my good-girl grooming primed me for a predator...

     “Why don’t you come over and we will see if you make the cut?” The photographer stated, after hearing me express my insecurities. I was so nervous because I knew that models had to be at least 5’9 with perfect skin… I already had stretch marks and I am only 5’2… certainly I would be turned away at the front door… 
This was one of my myspace images that the photographer said he liked from my myspace profile.

   Looking back, I can see that all the fire and brimstone shame and guilt from my religious cult upbringing and my strict father had trained me for this moment… for me to truly believe I was not good enough for this photographer. Despite everything in my fiber telling me I shouldn’t even TRY modeling, I still drove myself there to do my first photo shoot ever. We agreed over the phone to shoot lingerie and swimwear, because I told him I was not ready or confident enough for nudity. 

 

     “You see these fancy lights? This is how I will make you look hott!” …but I am hott… that’s why I am here… right? “Look at this on the camera, that’s called a hiss-tuh-gram” he enunciated slowly, as if I didn’t understand anything in the world… “This will help make you look good in the photos!” The pit of my stomach sank. He already knew I was insecure about my height and stretch marks. “Go brush your hair again, we are about to start.” 

Another self shot pic of me that I had on my myspace at the time. Just turned 18.

     “Now slowly start turning in a circle while taking off your top” he instructed, as if it was a casual process of all photo shoots ever… “But….” I stammered, confused by his conflicting instructions, “you said we were just doing a lingerie shoot? Not nudity right?” Speaking up for myself- especially in the opposition of a MAN- was still foreign to me. 

     “Listen here, missy, these photos have to be COMPETITIVE with everything on the internet!” His toxic tone turned me into a deer in the headlights. “If you don’t get naked, you are just wasting my time here!” 

Me age 18, looking insecure at a photoshoot.

     I crossed myself, and did as I was told. I didn’t want to upset him further… soon I was fully naked in front of this strange angry man… “Wow, you’re a natural!” his tone shifted from Hyde back to an enthusiastic Jekyll… “You’re even BETTER nude than with clothes on! You’re doing so great! I think you’re ready for an EROTIC shoot!” 

     “What’s erotic mean?” My naive little voice peeped…

      “I’ll show you!” He began pulling up his laptop.  “Would you like a bump of cocaine? It’ll really help your confidence!” he asked nonchalantly… as if I had experience with cocaine already… 

     “Um… No thanks…” I politely declined, while listening to the familiar dial tone of his AOL connection booting. and started showing me videos of women sucking his dick. 

     “This girl is only 18 and makes $10,000 a month! You’re just as pretty as her, you could be making the same if you make a website like this with me!” 

Deer in the headlights awkward erotic look.

     I had never seen porn intentionally before. I had accidentally seen a flash here or there when typing in the wrong URL… but I would quickly click away… I only ever sucked my boyfriend’s dick a couple times by that point in my life… and it was a really nerve wracking experience for me to do that with someone I dated… “I… I did that with my boyfriend a couple times…” I stammered, afraid to set this boundary… but even more afraid to be forced into sucking this guy’s dick… “but… I don’t want to do that with you…” 

     “All right MISSY if you’re not going to play fair, I need you to sign this non disclosure agreement!” Hyde came back ever so suddenly… I was back into the deer in the headlights mode again… and did as I was told. My hand trembling while he continued to hover over me and rant… “You look REALLY young so I am going to need ANOTHER photo of your driver’s license, next to your FACE this time, I don’t want any legal trouble because of you!”

   I signed whatever he handed me, page after page, and obediently offered my driver’s license… “NEVER tell anyone about this photo shoot! Never mention my name to ANYONE! Understand?” I politely nodded. He basically ran me off the property after that. I exited in one piece. 

And that was my first ever photo shoot! A bit traumatic….


     Reflecting on this experience, it’s clear to me that I was reacting based on how I was raised. I was not told about sex, boundries, consent etc. The topic was completely avoided at all costs. I WAS taught that I was naturally impure, and that I should respect my elders, that men held authority over women. I was trained by my dad and by the church like pavlov’s dog to please angry men, do whatever it takes to make the anger subside… follow orders, repent, say please and thank you, never “whine”, etc… My dad might not realize the negative side effects of this punishment and reward training system… but in my current age of 35 looking back to these confrontations… it’s clear as day. 


*Kristy

XoXo

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One Response

  1. Disgusting tactics to escalate the situation into nude so quickly then into overdrive insisting you do hardcore porn! I can only wonder how many girls this one man has lured into his trap, even more unsettling is how many girls doing nude or porn over the whole industry have been intimidated into it. As always these insights are critical and I hope new models can learn from your trauma and avoid the same experiences from it. Sorry you have gone through so much!

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