DISCLAIMER: This blog has been edited since it’s initial publication. It has been edited for spelling errors, grammar, clarity, tone, updates, corrections, and overall saltiness. Thank you.
So, if you’re joining me for part 2, thank you.
If you haven’t read the first part, it’s not necessary for context, but it will put a lot of this post into perspective. You can read it here
Quick recap. Meg Bitton is a child photographer who shoots with very young models. She got internet famous after a post of hers went viral. And from there, she adopted a “controversy leads to sales” approach to marketing. She stopped taking clients, and focused on shooting agency models, and convinced a lot of photographers to buy her “educational” materials.
(As I write this, it has been brought to my attention that Meg was well known before her transgender viral post. But I can only write from my perspective, and she was unknown to me before that. She was well known in her newborn/toddler/maternity/kids circles. So for the purposes of this post, I will consider her transgender post when she got really famous to people outside those circles).
So, last I spoke, I was talking about a change in Meg Bitton’s “creativity.” She beagn using a “Controversy breeds following/sales” approach to advertising and marketing.
Also, this caption.
“Go naked” is in reference to the photo being “naked of photoshop.”
But that’s not a thing. SOOC is already a thing. Saying “Go naked” was unnecessary. (SOOC for those who don’t know means Straight Out Of Camera, IE; no photoshop).
DISCLAIMER: PHOTO HAS BEEN REMOVED: At the suggestion of people with more expertise in the legal matters of this topic, this photo was removed because it could cross the line of child porn. Whether it actually was child porn was irrelevant, just that it could be, and could cause people who viewed and shared this blog to run afoul with the law. And censoring it wouldn’t be enough. As such, the photo has been removed. I have zero desire to get anyone in trouble, whether intentionally or inadvertently. The purpose of this post is awareness. Nothing more. I will leave my comments referencing the photo intact, because they are somewhat relevant still.
This is on her website. For professional, promotion purposes.
Now, many argue, and have argued, that her work isn’t inappropriate or illegal.
This isn’t a client. This wasn’t a candid photo. This was a model, who she works with many, many, many times.
This is a photo where the photographer told a model what to wear. This is a shot where the photographer directed the model to do this. And if she’s like any other photographer, took multiple bursts, but still somehow thought this was appropriate.
This photo was approved by a parent. And an agent. And a photographer.
This is not an accident.
And to anyone who argues “But you’re seeing what you want in this photo. You’re making it sexual. You’re objectifying the model” then why is the photo no longer on her FB? It was good enough for her website. Where a photographer puts only the best work they’re most proud of, for everyone to see, to sell her products, but is apparently not on her Facebook page where it would get maximum exposure because her FB page is where she has the most followers.
If it’s good enough for a website and her IG, why is it not on her FB page?
And that’s where Meg is calculating and aware of what she does. And where it started. Because this photo was on her FB page at some point. And was intentionally removed.
And this is the pattern in her behavior. She posts photos she knows will attract mass attention, and then when it hits a fever pitch, she removes it. And when people see the photo, they will go to her page or website, and claim they don’t see anything wrong with the photos on her page, BECAUSE THE CLICK BAIT PHOTOS ARE GONE.
This is how she attracts followers. That and paying for followers (There is only one reason someone would have almost 400K followers, now 330K, but only average no more than 6k likes on her most popular photos).
And this is the problem with photographers like her, and Holloway, and Olson; they only care about the attention and the money it can bring in. It’s about sales, not clients. More likes = more money and fame. And for them, infamy is just as good as fame.
She plays the victim so well, her zealous fans are committed to defending her, that they will shame and censor anyone who questions her.
And this is partly why she’s been able to fly under the radar for so long. Because her followers will defend her.
This is an “admin” for her page. A 2 decade veteran of the police. Whose day job is working sex traffic cases, and abuse cases. But she totally sees nothing wrong with Meg Bitton’s photos.
I assume being an admin for Meg is a full time job in and of itself. But good on you Officer. You are a totally helping. What cop works a 9 to 5? I have never met an officer of any kind who works 9-5. And every officer, municipal, state or federal, that I’ve mentioned this too laughs. For them, it’s a 24/7 job. Not a “day job.”
UPDATE: The officer requested I remove her name. Allegedly, they are being accused of pedophilia. No where in this blog is the word “pedophile”used in reference to people in this blog (other than ACTUAL pedophile sites).
For the record Meg’s photos are shared on pedophile forums in foreign countries. Where members can request girls by age.
And no, even I won’t go to that site and take screen grabs. Nor will I even reference the name of it. But I can assure you, Meg Bitton is a featured photographer on that forum. She has threads dedicated to her work.
At this point, her portrayal of the bold, creative artist is taking shape. She pushes boundaries, she creates art. It’s not about the images, it’s about the artist.
This was the first post I really saw of hers. It made the rounds in a few photography groups because it got a lot of attention in newborn/children groups.
Her fans loved it. They shared stories of their childhood looking just like this.
This is the same girl from earlier.
In less than a year, she is now modeling this for Meg.
Rollergirl. Knee high socks, skates, small bikini, a pulled up small tank top with what appears to be nothing underneath it, and a cigarette.
And Meg was very proud of this photo. She shared it to Facebook groups.
Just a small town girl.
This must be how big city people view children from the Midwest, or the Plains, or anything not in New York.
I grew up in a city that had about 30,000 when I was a kid. I lived in a suburb outside the city limits, surrounded by cornfields and surrounded by small towns, and even smaller towns past those. I am a little familiar with small towns.
“Small town girls” did not dress like this.
This photo got talked about. And was probably the first big controversy Meg caused. And she defended it by saying the model was 12.
There is nothing about this photo that is magically justified by being 12. Smoking? Not legal. Driving? Not legal. Driving with skates on? Not legal. Dressing in a manner that makes you look like a Lolita? Probably not illegal, but for a photographer to book a model for this, and intentionally do this, probably not legalish.
But her fans leapt to her defense. Stories of “This is exactly what my childhood looked like!” and “I see kids like this all the time where I live!”
Maybe at a beach, or a park. But no, this is not how “kids were.
I went to Disney World one time, and visited the Water Parks. And even the foreign children who didn’t give a fuck, because they grow up in countries that aren’t as prudish as America, dressed more conservatively than this.
When I was 12 (which would have been 6th and 7th grade), kids didn’t dress like this.
Especially not with lipstick, blush, eye liner, mascara.
UPDATE: Person’s name was removed upon request.
This person was at Meg’s shoot.
I do appreciate the last line. Because when handing a child a lit cigarette, second hand smoke is the thing to be concerned with.
You had a very long talk with her and told her never to smoke. You made sure she didn’t get second hand smoke. And then proceeded to shoot a staged photo romanticizing underage smoking, with a very young child, in order to sell a workshop.
(Didn’t the cigarette companies get in trouble for making smoking look cool in their PSAs?)
And of course, the aftermath of this was Meg laughing at people who saw this as ANYTHING other than just a young, innocent girl. And anyone who questioned her “art” was obviously a pervert who sees children as sexual objects. Of course, her fans jumped on that band wagon.
And the pattern started all over again:
1. Photo gets posted, and she’s proud of herself.
2. It gets attention.
3. People question her, complain.
4. She laughs at them, mocks them, and tries to shame them into silence by accusing them of being the perverts. She blocks them.
5. Her fans do the same.
6. Photo gets more attention.
7. Repeat steps 3-5
8. Photo hits critical mass, and BAM, she deletes it from her Facebook page.
9. People come to her page to see what the fuss is, don’t see the photo, and claim all the haters are just jealous, her work isn’t illegal.
10. Meg then proceeds to whine about bullies and being the real victim.
11. Fans feed her narcissistic ego and incessant need for attention and validation.
12. BOOM! MEG BITTON SALE!
Yes, every time she pulls these stunts, she conveniently has a sale. Because new followers mean new sales. And she knows this. She even admits it and brags about how the controversy makes her money.
For the record, as of the writing of this blog, this photo is still on her website.
UPDATE: The photo has been removed. Interesting.
I should mention at this point, that Meg is a pseudo fan of both Sally Mann and Mary Ellen Mark. She never posts anything about them, except for these two posts, as far as I can tell
Sally Mann was a photographer who gained notoriety for photographing her children nude. I’m rusty on the case (been ten years since I took my history pf photography class), but she was taken to court for the photos of her children, accused of child porn. But they had no real definition of child porn at that point, And her case brought about changes in the legal aspects of child porn, namely they finally defined what constituted child porn.
The definitions were a little vague. But they still finally defined it.
Mann won her case, even though people still hated her.
But Meg I’m sure envisions herself as a brave artist, challenging what’s acceptable. And sees Mann as a personal hero (even though she’s never really mentioned her). The difference is, Mann took pictures of her children, doing what they did. They were nudists, and grew up nudists. Her children weren’t directed to get naked. They weren’t paid models. And the photos weren’t produced by a photographer trying to sell workshops and videos and classes and presets.
They were real photos of her children.
Mary Ellen Mark is someone I’m not familiar with. But from what I can gather, she did a lot of street photography, and documented people, candidly as well. But she photographed a lot of kids, being kids.
UPDATE: It’s been brought to my attention in the comments that since I’m a “real” photographer, I should know other “real” photographers before I speak about other “real” photographers.
Mary Ellen Mark documented a child prostitute. So, photojournalism. Not staged “art” to sell workshops.
But again, it’s the candid part that is the issue here. Maybe these kids wore make up, but they weren’t directed to. Maybe they did illegal things, but they weren’t directed to.
This is the flaw of photographers who became famous through controversy on social media. They think they’re the next big artist, but they never worked like the greats. They can name drop a few, but they never took hundreds of photos, to find the peak moment of action like Bresson. They never hiked mountains to find that one perfect shot in the 20 second moment of dawn like Adams. They never followed their subjects for months, to tell a poignant story. They never documented life.
And the fact that her idols were celebrated for candid photos gets twisted into somehow being validation for what she’s doing.
Her new concepts have become common at this point.
And a lot of the “that sweater’s too big for you kid!”
And remember the Rollergirl smoker that was “12 years old?” she does not look 12 here.
Maybe 10? 11?
At this point in her FB page, the photos are tame. Normal kid and baby photos, some family portraits with families that look way too pretty to be normal, nude maternity photos in the middle of a busy intersection. Same old same old. Flying under the radar, just promoting her work. Some throwbacks. A post asking what languages her fans want her videos translated to.
(this has nothing to do with her specifically, I just really personally hate this “technique.” It’s weird)
Stop with the Neon white eyes.
We get it, you want people to connect with the eyes. But for the love of all that’s holy, stop lightening them so much that they no longer look round, and become so white they are no longer considered white on the visible spectrum.
Stop turning eyeballs into specular highlights.
And stop over sharpening them. It’s weird.
Seriously, how much does she spend on agencies fees at this point? Because she shoots these girls all the time. Like, ALL the time. I mean, one of them has an IMDB page. You know she isn’t cheap. She’s gotta have iCarly rates.
Also, if your subject is about 2-3 years old, there is no need to add “make up” in post. It’s creepy.
At this point, it should be noted that her likes on her photos are steadily dropping. We’ve gone from about 1.5k before her trans bathroom post, to higher than 6k after, to about averaging 300 per post, even for her popular models.
There has been some question about why her likes are mentioned and whether this author is “jealous.”
No, this author isn’t jealous. I don’t envy someone who uses controversy and exploitation for their own fame and benefit. It’s mentioned to show a pattern.
By now you’re asking yourself where is this going? What is this writer’s point? I don’t see anything wrong. It’s art!
At this point, Meg dove right in, and started trying to do some sort of Hawaiian Tropics baby theme, where she portrays kids how she thinks kids are. Out of the blue themes, props, and outfits choices start to go in a direction they never seemed to before.
Captions like “Gritty city,” and “slow down, you move too fast,” and “run-in’ wild and looking pretty” become common.
She also puts these children, dressed up like chic orphans, with strange props. Like lighters.
And of course, her fans LOVE them. Everything about them.
(this was a public street, with traffic)
But still, less than 500 likes per photo, when she was getting thousands.
Which means it’s time for something controversial.
A week or two ago, Meg uploaded a new series she created. And for a while, it went under the radar, as usual. Until it started being talked about.
At this point, most of the photos have been deleted, so all that remains are screen shots.
And remember, these aren’t clients who paid her for her “creative art.” These are young models, paid with photos, to model her concept. Her idea, her “art,” and directed to pose by her.
Starts off normal enough. Nothing really outrageous about this.
Ok, not my thing, but nothing outrageous.
Is that a $100 bill?
Oh, yeah, it is. Ok, why does a 10ish year old child orphan living on the streets have a $100 bill (or whatever large bill it is)? Did she get paid for something?
And of course, her fans had plenty of theories behind the meaning of the photo, so we all knew it was safe.
Sure, they’re totally sisters, with a rolled up bill.
Oh, THAT’S what the rolled up bill is for.
And from the same workshop (different photographer)
Also, another from her “workshop” on how to shoot street urchins in pretty clothes (different photographer)
Jee. I’ve never seen a juice drink with a bottle shape like that.
And more, from that series
Wait, are they orphans? What’s going on here? Is this some sort of glamorous street urchins in a gang?
Oh, “Daddy” is here.
This is the series that started this whole post, specifically this photo.
They’re wearing knee high boots and platforms. I’m pretty sure that’s a reflection of water in the background. And that man is older than them. And has a walkie talkie in his back pocket.
That’s a pimp.
These girls ware working a dock.
Look. I was molested as a child, and raped as a teenager, I am the last person who would want to look at children and see anything other than children. But there is no way these photos can be seen as anything other than intentionally, ambiguously sexual.
Children don’t hang out at docks in those clothes hanging on guys with walkie talkies. They don’t hang out in alleys with a tooter made from a hundred dollar bill, drinking booze.
Unless they’re working.
And this dear reader, is the problem. Meg Bitton thrives on this.
Let me repeat.
MEG. BITTON. THRIVES. ON. THIS.
And she knows this, and she enjoys it. This is how she makes her money now. Selling presets, tutorials, webinars, workshops, videos, and even PRINTS by producing content that at best is ridiculously stupid, and at worst, meant to provoke a response because of how inappropriate it is and get people to have a visceral reaction and then give her their money to learn how to do this.
Her content has slowly evolved from pretty portraits to contrived themes of sexuality, drug use, alcohol, orphans needing to make money, and exploitation. With no explanation of why.
Two days ago, when her photos started getting attention, people spoke out. And she defended her “concept.” Her claim was they were a “social commentary on children growing up too fast and making bad decisions.”
Hopefully this wasn’t from a workshop Meg got paid to host…
Derp. This was from a workshop she got paid to host.
You can’t claim it’s social commentary if it was something unrelated that you got paid to host. That’s like saying when you hit on your secretary, you’re teaching her how to handle sexual harassment in the work place.
This is just poor teaching. Encouraging young models to crawl under a fence, on government property, because as long as you were willing to accept the consequences, Art. And it was trespassing. Government property isn’t “publicly owned” property. It is “OPEN to the public.” You do not own a brick of City Hall. And that was a Dept. of Transportation facility. With a no parking sign because it’s an active driveway, with a fence, that the models had to roll under.
The fence wasn’t even open a bit. She can’t even claim implied consent. She encouraged a mother/her assistant, and two under age children, to break the law. Because even if there weren’t any “No Trespassing” signs, that doesn’t make it ok. That is just irresponsible teaching. That’s how children die on train tracks for photoshoots. Because they’re trespassing (and yes, railroad tracks are private property).
So, let’s recap: We’ve encouraged underage drinking, underage smoking, underage drug use, underage prostitution, and trespassing. All for art. And make no mistake, romanticizing those things is encouraging it.
She sold entries to this workshop, staged the photos, and let other people shoot them. And these photos had been uploaded one at a time, over the past few months, with captions like “#anglesonfire” and “Love.” This is not a long form social commentary project. It was a workshop she was paid to put on. Nothing more. If it HAD been social commentary, she would have said that, BEFORE the criticism for her photos happened. But she used it as a crutch, just in case people complained.
Social commentary would use models of age, who possibly just look really young. Or they would have done what Sally Mann and Mary Ellen Mark did, follow people and take candids. They wouldn’t stage an elaborate shoot that requires whole crews, and make up, and hair, and styling, and lighting, and a guy to pretend to be a pimp.
But that explanation didn’t last.
It didn’t take long for her fans to climb on board the SS Shitshow though.
At first, they stuck to the tried and true arguments of “There is nothing inappropriate or illegal about this.”
That evolved into turning it into some political statement about not sexualizing children.
Everyone else is the problem for seeing anything inappropriate.
Meg of course piggy backed this. And tried to turn the narrative around from inappropriate content, to something about LGBT awareness and speaking out about it.
And in typical fashion, she cuts off anyone who doesn’t see things the way she told them they were.
Yes. The photographer who not only built her brand on controversy and provocation, doesn’t want any of your shit on her page. Either blow smoke up her ass, or she will ban you. Because she has to maintain that illusion. She needs people to believe she’s not using children to further her business and for financial gain. She needs you to only view her as a pure artist, creating stories.
And she knows this. She knowingly embraces the viral nature of her posts.
From redoing old concepts that upset people, minus the things that upset people.
To admitting she’s thankful for the publicity.
She’s a hero in her fans’ eyes. A lot of her fans saw their own story of being a 10 year old street walker doing drugs and drinking in back alleys, while working the docks.
She tried to romanticize her images and the response they got.
And STILL riding that story that they’re just kids standing around.
On a dock. Or an alley. Or around a trashcan fire.
Totally not drinking. Or holding a tooter. Or payment for services rendered.
Or talking to their pimp.
All the people who followed her, yes, she is grateful that you bought her products. Because she isn’t an actual working photographer. She’s a salesperson. She has a brand to sell to you. Also, while Meg was trying to remind us there was nothing sexual going on in her photo series, this mother of a model came in and educated us on adolescent psychosexual development.
These girls are willful participants in their own sexual development.
On the docks.
With an older gentleman with a walkie talkie.
Popping their hips.
In clothes that are definitely not typical adolescent clothes.
With a cocaine straw. And booze.
So, these photos are both totally not sexual in anyway, and totally a commentary on adolescent development and exploration of sexual identity and sexual desire.
At 10. Or 12.
OH, and the typical “You are nobody therefore your opinion doesn’t matter because I say it doesn’t” argument. Also, you can’t read gud.
Don’t believe her fans, and her delusions of being an important figure?
Just remember, 15 year sago, she created child photography as we know it. No one did it before her.
Yes, her flock of followers will not falter in their fealty.
They will proceed to report people’s profiles for saying bad things about Meg. They will leave bad reviews on facebook pages.
Meg will call people’s employers and threaten legal action if that person isn’t terminated. She has done this to many people.
But remember, they’re just kids standing around. Doing kid things.
And she really does crack that whip.
Excited that she’s a “trending topic” again.
It doesn’t matter what they say, just as long as they’re saying it. Because for her, it will lead to sales. And that’s all that matters.
Because remember, Meg is the victim here. She’s just an artist with a vision. Everyone else is wrong for seeing something in her photos that she didn’t put in there. Also, go fuck yourself.
Yes. She created a sale specifically to honor the “hate” and “bullying” she was receiving.
I think starting a bully sale, in response to someone calling you a bully, which you followed up with “go fuck yourself,” is kind of proving their point. And wish they could teach like you? You trespassed on government property, encouraged your students and models to do it in the future, gave minors lit cigarettes, hooch, and drug paraphernalia, recorded it on a video and then sold it. That’s not good teaching.
Even though she ultimately ended up deleting the photos.
But of course, she still needed a more believable story. Something that would really pull the heartstrings so no one would question why she did this series.
Yes, it wasn’t a social commentary on growing up too fast. It wasn’t the academic interpretation of a preteen’s blossoming sexual eruption, at a dock, at night, with her pimp. And drug money. And booze.
It was nostalgia for the time she grew up on the streets of New York.
Now, Meg is 46 years old.
Which would put her birth year approximately at 1972.
How does she remember this? She would have been 8 when the ’70s ended. And even the pictures she showed don’t reflect what she shoots, because the people in the photos are easily 17 or older. Except for a few young boys running in the streets.
Does she expect us to believe she was roller skating at midnight on a dock with a pimp and other 5 to 8 year olds?
My guess is this was her inspiration for the shoot. This is where she got her ideas for styling and feel. And she used her mood board as her “story.”
Currently, her fans are working overtime making sure any negative reviews she gets on google, yelp, or other places, are countered with positive reviews (from people who have never actually worked with her, but are just fans). Also, any negative press about her is just a “hate campaign.”
And that is the problem.
It’s not a hate campaign. It’s the fact that people do not like that she exploits pre teen children to make a quick buck. It’s the fact that she, as a “leading” photographer, is giving a false representation of what photography is.
She makes other photographers look bad, through her content, and the way she treats anyone who doesn’t praise her on high, and the way she markets herself.
She is a poor reflection of what the photography industry really is.
She will pretend to be receptive to the criticism…
But the reality is, she’s going to twist it to her advantage. Because at this point, she is starting to play the victim role.
Yesterday, she was not only thankful for all the new fans she was getting, she was bragging about how the attention was improving her sales. And thanked everyone, including the people “hating” her.
But today is a different story. Today, she has to shut it down, or people might see behind the curtain.
Today we get to see Meg the victim.
Today, she blocks anyone saying negative things about her on facebook. Today, she whines about how people are treating her (even though she has zero problem treating people rudely when it suits her). Today we get to see that all this publicity and negative press is too much for her. Even though it made her money.
Phone’s shut off, but…
Lawyer? She has a layer now? For what? People hurting her business? She literally acknowledged the publicity got her MORE business.
UPDATE: The lawyer has since publicly stated she is not representing Meg Bitton.
Also, the dynamic duo of Jake Olson and Lisa Holloway have her back. Jake even praised her for finally becoming infamous.
And somehow made it about him. Probably because he got jealous people were talking about Meg and not him.
(For the record, Jake got in trouble of his own for some homophobic comments, and misogynistic one too. But I may be wrong. That story was a few years ago. And is all over the internet. Or you could ask him. He apparently has the links. He wears them like a badge of honor. Also, for those of you who know your internet photographer shit shows, Lisa is Lisa J Holloway. You can google her too)
He is congratulating her, for pissing people off. Because it will only improve her business.
These people advertise themselves as leaders. As mentors. As educators. As true artists. But they treat anyone who doesn’t worship the ground they walk on, like shit. Because in the end, all that matters to them is LIKES. And money.
Jake Olson has deals with Canon and Publishing companies. I wonder how they would feel if they saw this.
Jake Olson makes his perspective clear. All that matters is money, no matter what.
Remember folks, Jake Olson has photos on books. And he even gave you the link where you can buy them.
Pro tip: whenever Jake puts out a new workshop video for $300 to $500, just wait a few weeks, he eventually drops the price to about $2 to $3, to maximize volume.
Also, the videos are just recordings of a phone conversation he had while trying to teach someone to add a cool backdrop in an image.
You can’t understand what’s being said really, and there’s no structure. So they’re really not worth buying. You can get better help from YouTube.
Also, unless you have VLC, they do not come in a format compatible with Macs software.
You’re welcome for the plug Jake 😉
Seriously, if you like shit shows, Jake is Grade A.
And Lisa Holloway is busy making her rounds trying to leech off the attention this story is bringing, so she can gain a few followers as well. Trying to argue that there is nothing wrong with this because other people do it. And if you’re not going after everyone, then you’re just being a “mindless internet mob.”
Also, you’re a useless nobody, because she has lots of money from treating people like shit on the internet.
Why do they always say they don’t care if people outside of the industry know them, when people outside the industry are the ones who buy their workshops and tutorials? Wouldn’t a business model where you try to appeal to as many customers as possible be a better business model?
So what is my point?
Meg thrives on the attention, the controversy, pushing that boundary a little more each time. And she knows this. And she twists the narrative so no matter what, she comes out on top.
She badgers anyone who questions her photos. If that doesn’t shut them up, she shames them and accuses them of being the problem. If that doesn’t work, she tries old school stalking and harassment.
And unfortunately, it’s worked for far too long. People were too afraid to speak out, because she deleted her photos, so no one could prove anything. Meg always made sure no matter what, SHE looked like the victim.
She intimidated and coerced people into silence, because she had the numbers to do it. Her fans will do anything and everything they can, so Meg can remain untouched.
But this time, people spoke out. And she was unable to control that narrative. In the past two days, she and her minions have been on a crusade to do their best to make sure the narrative goes a certain way.
But that’s the point of this post, to paint a more accurate picture, with photos she hides from the general public. With comments that get deleted after they’re made. She can’t control the narrative anymore.
And she knows it. Which is why she’s still trying to repeat the same narrative, over and over. Because she thinks no one can contradict her.
Yes, if you dislike her, it’s because you’re a loser. Implying if you support her, you’re obviously a winner. Also, insulting the people you sell your brand to. Marketing at its best.
And it doesn’t matter if what she did cost her loyal followers, because she gained more as a result. She knows what’s she’s doing is upsetting long time followers, but it doesn’t matter, as long as it brings in more NEW followers who are unaware of her history.
They will see her as the valiant hero, fighting stigma, and inappropriate thoughts. I think it’s hilarious that her fans recognize jumping on a bandwagon and doing anything to get attention, but are oblivious to it when it actually happens, because they’re ok with it, because Meg has taught them so much already.
They think people’s minds went to sex when that wasn’t there, despite the photos being of children embracing with money, and drugs, and booze, on the streets, and young girls dressed on clothes that are obviously meant to imply one thing.
No, millions of people are wrong. Just the few people who support Meg are right, because Meg told them she didn’t make a photo series inspired by adolescent prostitutes.
They even acknowledge that everything in our society is sexualized now. Just not Meg. Meg is just an artist.
Which brings us to the biggest problem behind this; Social media.
People have reported her photos on Facebook and Instagram, to no avail. Facebook, doesn’t care. Facebook will claim her photos don’t violate their community standards. But it will remove any photo of hers that people share on their wall.
So facebook is being hypocritical. Facebook allows her to post what she does, because she makes them money, and and she pays them money (for ads and followers).
This photo, is just an innocent “small town girl,” Facebook took it down from anyone who posted it with a criticism of Meg.
Yes. The photo that Meg swore up and down had nothing wrong with it because “she was 12,” is considered “an offer of sexual services, solicitation of sexual material, threats or depictions of sexual violence, or threats to share intimate images or any sexual content involving minors.”
Facebook took down photos of Meg Bitton’s, for being child porn.
The same photos her fans claim are neither inappropriate or illegal. They’re just young kids being kids.
IG of course has been way more lenient. They don’t think the photos violate their terms.
But Meg still took them down anyway (also, as of this writing, her IG profile is locked and private).
And it’s not just one photo.
For two days, people have reported about facebook having their posts removed, if they’ve been critical of Meg Bitton.
This is a post on facebook that was deleted, and then the poster reposted it with the “offending” photo replaced with a screen grab of their claim that it was child porn. Not only were three photos removed for child porn (that weren’t labeled in the first post), but they even reported screen grabs of comments. I can only assume Meg went into damage control and had her followers report it.
The post had 151 shares after 30 minutes, at the time of it’s removal. Facebook banned the poster for 30 days for making the post. (Facebook has since claimed they were mistaken and the original post didn’t violate their terms, and restored it. But it’s still hidden, with the photo of the girl in the truck still removed. The poster also still is on a 30 day ban, even though their post didn’t violate Facebook’s TOS).
But Meg bitten can post those same photos, and profit from them no problem. And when people report them, facebook says they don’t violate their TOS.
So, which is it Facebook? Are they porn or not?
Because they can’t be both.
As I stated before, Pedophile accounts on social media, and forums in foreign countries, collect Meg Bitton’s photos and celebrate her work. But she claims she doesn’t care about that, it’s not her problem, and laughs about it. Who cares, more attention, and they’ll probably buy prints.
So this is a direct question for the operators at Facebook; Why are they porn when they’re critical, but ok when they make you money?
Because that’s the only real difference here, one person is making a sociopolitical commentary on a topic that is very important to a lot of people, the other is an infamous photographer who pays you a lot of money. I would hate to think the only reason you as a company had such differing reactions to the same photos, is because of money.
And when we get down to it, that’s what this is, people at the top making money.
Meg has deleted offending photos en masse this weekend. She has locked her profiles. She has blocked and banned people, and deleted negative comments. Even though her photos are “appropriate.” If her photos are just a social commentary on growing up too fast, why remove them? If they ‘re just nostalgia for a childhood she probably barely remembers, why hide them?
Oh, good job IG.
These workshops used to go for thousands. Now they’re going for $29.
She lowers her prices dramatically, in order to fill seats. Maximizing profit. Like Jake Olson.
But Facebook is more worried about people making posts on their walls, stating their displeasure with a photographer who exploits children for personal gain and wealth, and with Facebook’s lack of proper efforts of limiting the photographer’s ability to continue doing what she does. Facebook is targeting the people speaking out and claiming they’re bullies, but it gives a pass to the actual bully.
And on this particular topic of underage exploitation, facebook has a bad track record.
It’s amazing that in the time of SESTA and FOSTA, this is still happening.
These models will be teenagers soon. They will be in school with boys who have access to Google. And young boys are terrible. These young girls will have to navigate a world where their male peers will only know them from these photos.
Puberty is hard enough on its own without that kind of mind fuck.
So, in conclusion, there it is. You can interpret it however you want, and I’m sure many of her followers will.
But there’s only one way to interpret a barefoot child in boys underwear, in an alley, with a legalize it T shirt and a pack of rolling papers.
Or a child hanging out at a bench on the streets, in front of people smoking “hookah.”
Or whatever this is
Or this fan who is WAY too excited to shoot a 10 year old girl with the same legalize it T-shirt, a middle finger, and a questionable crease in the crotch of her shorts, that would be edited out of ANY portrait other than skin mags.
Or whatever this… wait, what the fuck? Seriously Meg? What the fuck??!?!?!
And before anyone tries to argue about how “she could totally be wearing a bra/tube top/thing underneath the gloves. It doesn’t matter. This is called an “implied nude.” It is named as such, because it gives the implication of being nude. And there’s no reason for that.
No matter what, social media and the internet needs to do better. Stop trying to shame people and accuse THEM of being the problem, just because you don’t want to admit your hero is questionable, and has done suspicious things for years, and hidden behind “It’s art, you just don’t get it, cause you’re creepy.”
Stop claiming “Freedom of Speech.” This is not just Freedom of Speech. Freedom of Speech is not a blanket protection. It also doesn’t protect you from people speaking out about what you’re saying.
Stop claiming “Well the parents were obviously ok with it, and they’re the ones who have a say in it.” There are parents who will do anything to get their kid famous. Even at the expense of common sense.
Which is how she flies under the radar. People are afraid to speak out because they don’t want to be labeled as objectifying or sexualizing children. And Meg knows this, and her fans know this. It’s why she’s so controlling about what images show up on social media, and when.
And it’s time for that to change.
If nothing I have said has convinced you that all of this is inappropriate, then let me ask you two questions:
1. If a middle aged man was shooting photos like this for years straight, would you be ok with that?
2. If your boyfriend/husband/older brother/uncle/boss/best friend/cousin/grandfather or any other male in your life, had photos like this on his phone or computer even though he was not connected to them, would you be ok with that?
If you answered yes to EITHER of those questions, then I have some news for you. WE are not the problem.
Because when it comes down to it, Meg Bitton does this because it makes her money. And she knows it.
And that’s not right. Society needs to do better than that. We can no longer give a pass to exploitation, because “art.” And we can no longer let internet famous photographers with hordes of fans shame their critics into silence, so they can continue to build their business off exploitation.
Because where will she go next? What brave new concept will she try next?
Even now, Meg is painting an ornate picture that she’s the victim. That she’s just a misunderstood artist. That she is suffering from this. And quoting inspirational people to validate her woe is me crying wolf crocodile tear act. And her fans will eat it up.
I’m pretty sure Elizabeth Gilbert wasn’t thinking about creepy people who exploit children for financial gain, Meg.
It’s simply about money for her. So much so that even though she bragged about how much money she was making from the publicity…
…She is now brow beating her followers for how cheap they are and how terrible they are for thinking she charges too much.
Yes. Her customers are horrible because they won’t pay her her rates. She dropped her workshops from hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars to $29 for the recent one (it covers four different workshops actually) and you are all just making excuses. And it’s your fault she had to lower her prices.
Even though this is the same person who won’t tolerate any complaints in her page or group.
It’s all about the money.
Because you just wish you were as good as her.
And as long as she blocks these people and deletes their comments, no one will ever see how she treats them. So she will always be able to maintain that illusion of being the poor victim, who is bullied for her art. Like Sally Mann.
Then there’s this. A random 15 year old, commenting on her post in response to homophobic comments. Which Meg took, put a glitter background on it(that I believe she sells on her website), and put her logo on it.
Meg’s trying to make it an LGBT thing. She wants make it seem like people are hating her because she’s pro LGBT. But no one had an issue with “two girls kissing.” They have an issue with Meg posting two 10-12 year olds looking like they’re going to kiss, after doing drugs, and drinking, and making $100 on the street. And then talking to their pimp. To sell workshops.
It was never an LGBT issue in the first place. But that’s how she molded it. Because she is a master at controlling the narrative so she always comes out on top. She needs you to think she’s the victim.
The above photo originally was portrayed incorrectly. I apologize for this oversight. A correction has been written and can be viewed here…
Her words are obvious, but her actions say more.
Here are some photos from a Meg Bitton Workshop.
But Meg “Hold my Beer” Bitton was having none of that.
Yes, that’s a MAYBE 7-9 year old girl, in the middle of a New York street, with a sex toy. And in her underwear. While a group of mothers stand off to the side and watch. And a random dude on a bike rides by.
Totally a normal thing to do.
Where do kids even buy those? Sex Toys R Us?
If a middle aged man shot these photos, we would be having a very different discussion.