Model Mayhem / manipulation
This is not really a complaint. I just noticed a lot people shared their stories about why they were banned from Model Mayhem, so I just wanted to share mine. My story is lengthy:
In February of 2010, I joined a social networking site called Model Mayhem. It’s a site for models, photographers, photo editors, make-up artists, and stylists to get together and create photos. I was really excited when my profile was accepted, but then…
I started posting on the discussion forums. I never made any friends... except one. This friendship began on March 31 and ended on Memorial Day in the most ugly way.
On March 31, after reading a post I had written in The Suicide and Violence Help Thread, a photographer from the east coast wrote me this message:
“…I just want you to know I’ve followed your recent posts with great interest and complete sympathy. I hope you’ll continue to have access to a community of online friends. On MM, via email, on the phone, you have access to me as well.
…I encourage you to believe you’re more than capable of self support. You’re also unusually pretty, which never hinders finding work or friends in a shallow world.
I was fascinated by the sheer volume of images you’ve put up on your myspace page. I committed myself to looking at each of the first hundred pages and did so. Happily. It’s a painful, beautiful exercise you’ve undertaken that way – modeling for yourself in isolation.
It seems music is your closest friend. I don’t recall a time when, despite “real world” attachments of all types, it wasn’t mine. Talk to me about it or anything you wish, as you wish. I’d enjoy knowing you.
Email is easier for me (I log on here less and less). But whatever is comfortable for you. I prefer actual conversation, minus the typing, so let me know if you’d prefer it as well.”
That was the beginning of our friendship. He asked me to look at his portfolio and he very much wanted my opinions. I happily went through his port as he asked, and left comments. From there, we exchanged private messages on Model Mayhem every day. He hinted at dating me. He gave me his phone number and email address, and constantly told me how pretty I was, among other great things. He encouraged me to move our conversations to email & phone. He even strongly encouraged me to move in with him, and get out of my home which he referred to as “a toxic pond I was swimming in”. I made the mistake of publicly venting about my isolation and very protective family, so tried to use my own family against me.
The conversation moved to email when I gave him my email address so he could send me a photo of himself. We were emailing each other every day, and quickly getting to know each other…or so I thought. The conversations got increasingly flirty, and he was constantly praising me, and offering encouragement and support. He replied so sweetly to every single email I sent, complimented every photo...in private. He kept inviting me to move in with him, and always flirted with the idea of us dating and living together. I very kindly and thankfully declined to move in with him, and he was cool with it.
One night, I surprised him with a phone call instead of an email response. He was delighted to hear my voice. We chatted & flirted for about three hours. We shared our histories and personal tastes. We talked about Model Mayhem and the people on the forums. He vented about how he was tired & jaded with MM, among other things. He trash talked some of the members, lol. We had about three or four phone conversations like that over the course of our friendship. The phone call he gave me on my birthday was the most fun. When we learned we had a lot of the same tastes in food, he became intensely flirtatious and even joked about our “wedding cake”. I really liked the younger "Tyson Ritter" photo of himself he sent to impress me.
Honestly, as much as I enjoyed the flirting and the attention, It also worried me because I wanted to keep things platonic, and I wasn’t sure how serious he was about the flirting and the marriage jokes. I expressed that to him, and he assured me he was cool with being friends.
So we continued to email each other. Sometimes he would post on the forums, and a couple times he even stood up for me when others were rude to me. I really looked forward to his phone calls and emails, and his friendship really lifted my spirits and boosted my ego, but I sensed he was growing distant, so I sent him this good bye email for my own closure:
"Well, I just want you to know that I really enjoyed talking with you. Your words were a real comfort to me, and your emails, PMs & phone calls brightened my day. I still have them. If I never talk to you again, I’ll still remember your words whenever I’m feeling down or caught up in yet another ugly argument or critique."
But he replied that he wanted to continue our friendship.
As I looked at his portfolio, I wanted the friendship to be more public, like all of his other friendships, and because he was my only friend there. It also dawned on me that he never ever left public comments on my photos, and he rarely interacted with me publicly on Model Mayhem. All of his communication to me was private. I started to question our friendship and tried to make it public. That’s when it started to go downhill.
I tried to communicate with him in public by bumping his discussion threads with witty replies, commenting his photos, and leaving comments on his profile. He got annoyed with that and deleted them. It really felt like he didn’t want people to know we were friends, as if our friendship was a joke that he wanted to keep hidden. After I asked him about it, he explained it away and grew more distant. He stopped replying to my friendly emails.
The final blow was when I simply commented "Happy Memorial Day" on his profile the night before Memorial Day. He deleted it the next morning and then accused me of “stalking” him. After all the conversations and jokes about “living together”, I was really furious and hurt that he said that. I left it alone, thinking he’ll cool off and we’ll resolve it eventually. But I never heard from him.
Three days later, on June 3rd, I noticed he logged into his MM profile. I tried to reply to our original private conversation on MM, only to find that he blocked me and that was the end of our friendship. I was crushed and insulted that he called me a “stalker” and just totally cut me off without any closure.
I sent him another good bye email, this time it was angry. But that wasn’t enough closure for me. I wanted to be heard. So…without revealing his identity, I vented about him on the forums. I started a thread called “cheesy pickup lines…” and I posted every compliment and invitation he sent me from day one, to prove that I am not a “stalker”.
Everyone who read it got a good laugh out of it, and said whoever this guy was is a “master # artist”, “cheesy”, “creepy”, etc. The site moderators deleted the thread, and brigged me for violating the privacy rule.
Everyone else has laughed and moved on, but I’m still upset. Why did he go out of his way to reach out to me, act like he deeply cared about and empathized with me, and then abruptly cut me me off at the most difficult time? Did he mean any of the things he said? Or was he just amusing himself because he was bored? Has anyone else on The Suicide And Violence Thread been lied to by "supporters" on the forums?
I still have all his praise, glowing reviews, and everything he wrote to me in my in-boxes. I still have his final email to me: his lengthy, beautifully written attempt to cover up all of his flirtations, suggestive emails and phone conversations. That final letter was condescendingly sweet, as he used everything he learned about me against me, and to his own advantage. (In the video above, I present his most moving messages with matching images.)
After another month of posting on the forums, I realized that he and rest of the forum clique have always perceived me as nothing but a “forum whore” - not that their forum behavior is any better. I finally came to accept that he was no better than the rest of The Forum Clique, but in fact he was much worse.
The only difference between him and the rest of the site’s Forum Clique, is that he is the only one who actually went out of his way – for two whole months – to secretly pretend to care about “the forum whore” …and then abandoned me when he didn’t get what he wanted from me.
I will never understand why he did this only to me and no one else.
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