Thursday, June 18, 2009

I blogged about "it" and "it" got us fired.

I have wanted to write *this* post for eleven months now.

July 2008 was the last time that my children modeled. I was never and will never be a stage mom so that statement isn't so profound since I could care less if they ever model again. However, what is profound is the reason behind the sudden demise of their modeling careers.

I blogged about it.

The night before "the" last job I sat before my computer utterly exhausted and vomited words that filled my screen quite naturally. My brutally honest take on modeling ended with one of my usual upbeat epiphanies to fill my soul with rainbows and provide the therapy I needed to continue. I hit publish and crashed, completely unprepared for the day ahead.

The company, whom shall remain nameless and asked that I remove their company name from the original post, got word of my blog by lunch time. I sensed the hemming and hawing coming from the creative arts director during the shoot and the best way to describe the afternoon was awkward.

An hour after leaving the shoot my modeling agency called me. And, I am totally paraphrasing here. "Do you blog?" "You do? Did you write about the shoot?" "You did? Well they aren't very pleased." "They are mad. Very mad." "Do you think you can remove the post?" "No? If you can't remove the post can you remove any mention of the company?" "Ok. Remove the name and do you think you can write a letter of apology? They are very mad."

I ran home and removed the names as my fingers shook in equal fear and amazement. I remember thinking how powerful the internet was if the company was worried about my silly but honest blog post. The post? The only thing edited was the removal of the company. Here it is.

And we haven't had a job since then because I refused to write a letter of apology. Perhaps it was unclassy of me but I didn't feel the need to apologize. For my blog.

The thing is. My daughter mentions modeling all the time. "When am I going to model again?" She asks nearly each month and I have to lie to her, which kills me of course, saying that the Cleveland market is low due to the economy. Heh. And I divert her attention to elsewhere "Oh look shiny lights" while overwhelmed with guilt. Because of my blog.

I did it. I took that happiness away from her. She thrived on the attention and I enjoyed seeing her confidence build. And my blog took that away from her. Sure, I can substitute other things in lue of modeling for the same desired effect but the point remains that my blog did something.

Which is why I choose not to blog about many things.

Because. Oh. Em. Gee... if I did blog about EVERYTHING, this would be a rocking blog. Or not. But you get the point.

Since "the" last modeling job last July I have really censored myself for my children's sake. It's not that I am creating a happy-go-lucky place for my children to read when they are interested. I could link to a gazillion not so happy posts regarding them. It just that this, blogging, is still generally a very new avenue and who knows what might happen.

And so. My blogging mantra for the past year has been just the same as the method of madness I use for conversations. Think before you speak. Will this hurt someone in the future? Words are like toothpaste, once you get it out it is hard to squeeze it back in.


Lola on a billboard nationwide. In her hay day of modeling.


Which means one day, I will have to let my absolutely gorgeous and uber confident children, know that I made a mistake. Which is really good and very real and still breaks my heart. All because of my blog.

But.
I still won't write *that* apology to *that* company 11 months later.

80classy comments:

the mama bird diaries said...

I don't blame you for not writing that apology letter. I just read your entire post about modeling and there really wasn't anything in it that was offensive. What exactly were they so mad about? Crazy.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I remember reading that post when you originally posted it! I admire you- and I agree- what could they have been so mad about? Good for you for sticking to your guns, er, blog.

Steph

anymommy said...

I can't believe so much came from a blog post, and then again, I can. It's so hard to find the lines out in this world sometimes. But, for what it's worth, I wouldn't have apologized either. For what?

Amy in Ohio said...

Interesting. I don't see what the big deal was? The original post didn't seem bad to me?

Rachel said...

I remember chatting with you after this happened and how upset you were over it.
I still think you handled it well.
{hugs}

Crystal D said...

Seriously, I think that companies/businesses that do not understand blogging need to step off. How do they know you wouldn't have written a glowing post about them the next time? You didn't even write anything derogatory.
Sigh. Well, boy won't they be sorry when Lola make it big. :)

Hailey said...

What was there to be upset about? I most definitely would not have written an apology letter either. Whatev.
Great post. Love it!

JCK said...

First of all, your children are gorgeous. And the whole thing is ridiculous on the Modeling Agency side of it, not yours. If your daughter really loves modeling, couldn't you just sign with another agency? When I was an actress the contracts were pretty easy to break, and if it has been a year the contract may have expired. Just a thought. :)

I was an actress for many years and the stuff that goes on...

Jessica said...

I don't blame you for not writing an apology - I don't understand why you couldn't blog about it. What was the big deal?

I do see, however, how you could feel guilty, but remember that Lola is now absorbed with horseback riding, etc.

Marinka said...

I don't understand what you have to apologize for, but then again, they're modeling agents, not rocket scientists, you know?

Regi S. said...

Maybe because you're popular, hence unless they can have some kind of control over your perceptions of their company you make them nervous. It was a good post though, nothing offensive. Hope things work out for you all. And TOTALLY hear you about that frequent update thing ! "Jane Doe is in the shower" "Jane Doe has the best husband" "Jane Doe is feeding the baby".

Stephanie said...

I went back and read you blog and i don't see what was so bad. Just think ahead to the future, OHMommy. What happens if Lola goes through a chunky stage and couldn't get any work? Or if she dreamed of being in the spotlight all the time and got involved in a bad lifestyle? something tells me this could very well be providence here for Lola's future. this way, Lola can focus her talents on things that really matter in life! good for you!

Loukia said...

YOU did not take away your child's joy of modelling; the agency did. That post where you talked about her modelling was lovely - and they had a problem with it? Yeah, they can suck it! You write beautifully, and honestly, and your children WILL be proud. You have no reason at all to write an apology letter! By the way that is a gorgeous billboard of your daughter! I was a 'child model', but only in print. It was fun, but it was just a hobby.
I'm wondering if you can find a new agency for your daughter? Just a thought!

Colleen - Mommy Always Wins said...

Remember - actions speak louder than words. Yours say "I'm not perfect - I goofed - and I hope you'll still love me anyway, just as I love you when you goof up."

That's a priceless lesson!

DysFUNctional Mom said...

Wait - they wanted you to apologize for THAT post? There was nothing in there to apologize for! I wouldn't have apologized either. For one thing, I wouldn't have known what to say! That's ridiculous. You've done nothing wrong.

moosh in indy. said...

Dear Modeling Agency Asshats,
I am not sorry for having an opinion.
I am however sorry you're such douchebags.
xo
CC.

Desiree Fawn said...

I was a wee little baby model.
I hit a shy stage around age 3, says my mother, and she didn't force me to continue.

I always wonder what my life would have been like if I'd continued!

Laski said...

when you share this story with them . . . they'll get it. They'll get you . . . and they'll love you all the more for being human. But most of all, for making it about them, no matter what.

Elaine A. said...

I don't know why they were so upset. I don't think there was anything to apologize for. I'm just sorry they felt that it was cause to lose 3 beautiful models (assuming you were going to have Fifi do it too...). Please don't feel badly...

Jill said...

Um... I'm still trying to figure out what was so wrong with your posting. The agency sure does have their panties in a bunch... and it's causing less oxygen to their brains.

Naomi said...

I too read the original post and quietly applauded you for saying it "how it is" in my own corner of the snowglobe.

Isn't that the point of women/moms being able to stand up for themselves?

It stinks that there should be any consequence for just saying what you feel.

No apologies.

Cheryl (The Budge Bunch) said...

I don't blame you for not writing an apology letter. You didn't say anything to apologize for. and I think when your kids do find out about this someday, they will be proud of you.

Anti-Supermom said...

I'm proud of you for *not* sending a letter of apology.

I voted for you too - you are in a tie for the win, yahoo!

Jennifer said...

Sometimes I can't blog about the things I want to most because of this. Things happen for a reason...blah, blah. Maybe this saved her from being very heartbroken down the road?

So Not Mom-a-licious said...

Good for you. There are so many companies out there that would probably LOVE to be mentioned on your blog. So screw the one that didn't. Their loss. And too bad that they lost Lola. She will still make it big someday!

LiteralDan said...

I don't even know how you would write a letter of apology for that. "Sorry you decided to be mad about something at random"?

There's nothing I could see that could get even the most sensitive company reps upset. It's not even ABOUT the company or anyone but you and your family. So I dunno what you would say.

Oh well, hope everything works out for the best!

the planet of janet said...

no apology needed, in my opinion.

and i can't for the life of me figure out what they were so mad about.

whatever. your children WILL understand.

Jeni said...

Reading this post tonight, I knew I had read the "offending" post but couldn't remember ever reading anything in your blog that I thought was offensive so I went back and re-read that terrible post again.
And you know what, I didn't find a darned thing about that post to be offensive! Honey, they don't know you aren't the author of "Classy Chaos" for no reason, are you? They are the ones who were/are still offensive! I'm really proud of you for sticking to your guns, your principles, and NOT apologizing to them. Why should you when you didn't do a darned thing wrong but their demands, their ultimate treatment of you and of your children -well, now for that, they owe you a lot more than an apology!

carrie said...

I REMEMBER that post from last year P! I can't believe they made a stink about that! You were honest, funny and not "unclassy" in any way, shape or form.

I mean, I get that the blog can be a very powerful thing but what kind of harm did they think your post would do for them? If anything, you wrote about it and you may have inspired others to check out the whole scene because hey - you LIVED through it after all!

Geesh, I am sorry that happened. And...I am proud of you for sticking to your guns.

In the long run, that will prove to be more inspiring to your children. :)

Smart A$$ Mom said...

pretty much EXACTLY why I don't have BlogHer ads anymore.

Lisa said...

alright...I must say, I just read the post from last summer & you didn't write anything disparaging about the company she was modeling for or the product. You wrote an honest opinion of some of the other mothers/children that were at the go see, but not negative. To me, they'd be happy to have it out there that they hire real kids that come from real families where they aren't out there pimping their kids. You are a good Mom with a real little girl who happens to be naturally beautiful. Why wouldn't they want that out there? I'm confused.....but glad you stuck to your guns & didn't write the apology. There is NOTHING to apologize for!

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

I just read the post and I don't blame you for not apologizing. You didn't even say anything bad about the company. Stick to your guns.

Kash said...

Why in the world would they be mad about that!? I think the interent, is an angel and a devil in disguise. Luckily we are privy to more information and as Americans we have the right to speak. It urks me that a big company like that thinks they can take that away from you.

Amazing Greis said...

I agree with everyone else, I don't see what was so bad about the post from 11 months ago.

Love Lola's billboard, she's a cutie!

Scary Mommy said...

Good Lord, overreact much? (Not you, them.) And apologize? Were they kidding??

Kelly said...

THAT is insane. Where is freedom of speech? If you can't be honest in your own writing on your own blog, where can you be?? I can maybe understand them wanting there name out of it, but not wanting an apology and not hiring you anymore is stupid. I'm mad and it didn't even happen to me.

I am Barking Mad said...

I've read the questionable post three times now trying to find something that might justify the client's point of view. Being the daughter of an attorney, I tend to look through things like this with attention to every little word.

Unless I missed something, I didn't see anything more than a mother voicing the identical frustrations that any of parent in a last minute situation might express. Sure, the removal of the client name was probably prudent, but I'm not sure what they wanted an apology for?

Bravo for sticking to your guns!

Auds at Barking Mad!

Gotfam said...

Here's the thing - I was an Art Director (before my much cooler job of...mommy) and i would have LOVED it if someone blogged about their experience with my company.

Why? Because it makes more people pay attention to the final product.
Whomever that company was or that "art director" was sounds like a total tool that has no concept of how art, advertising and marketing really works.

Someone much cooler (and more in tune with how advertising really works) should have had that persons job. And they would have THANKED YOU for blogging about the gig.

Don Mills Diva said...

I reread that post and I have no idea why it would make a company mad - and I work in PR! If anything I would say it would boost their positive recognition.

I am sorry that this happened but I wouldn't have been able to write a letter of apology either - it's ridiculous and your children do need to know that you have your prinicples.

Having said that I agree completely with your thought that it is wise to temper your emotions on your blog - I know I do because it is not just about me - my husband and my child and my friends and my employer all deserve privacy and respect.

The White House said...

I remember that post... they're lame, *that* company. I think they will be writing you an apology letter soon enough. Do they not know they are dealing with OhMommy's children?

Is that the post you are going to read at BlogHer? If it is, you should totally read their name... hee hee!

Amy said...

Wow.

I saw her btw in Home Depot last week and thought the ad was super cute!

I think they way overreacted. Also, your agency is plain stupid. So don't send that company your kids anymore, but still give you work! Can't they just say please don't blog it going forward? Not a good decision.

Jaina said...

I thought that post was great the first time I read it, and I still think it's great. I don't see how they could possibly have been offended by that. There's nothing bad in there. Sure, you talk about being busy, but, hello! You're a mother of 3, busy comes with the territory. And all in all it was a great post. Honestly shows the modeling world, but you still say it's worth it and fun. There is nothing there to apologize for. They're crazy.

Blessings From Above said...

You got in trouble for that post??? Ridiculous! Glad you didn't apologize.

LceeL said...

The whole situation is just plain stupid. Of course, it would be helpful if they were to explain just what it was they found objectionable in your post. Because then it might be a little clearer to me, and everybody else in the world, just what it is you can do or say that will get somebody's panties in a twist .. oops, I'm sorry. He probably goes commando.

imbeingheldhostage said...

wow, having read that post I can't even figure out where anyone would be offended. You were blackballed for that?
Amazing. When Lola is older and she can read that for herself, you won't have to explain anything... you're a great Mom and avery fun to read blogger.

I am P said...

I wouldn't have apologized either, and maybe your children will see the that standing up for what you believe in is admirable.

No one should apologize unless they mean it!

Domestic Goddess (In Training) said...

You're right. They're wrong. And, I don't dig child models if they work too much anyway. So, you're winning battles all around.

Ringleader said...

There was not one offensive remark in this post. A company or person who is irrational and ridiculous enough to be offended by this post and to stop calling you in because of it, surely had future, intensely frustrating situations in store for you. I have worked for irrational and ridiculous people and it is never worth it- you are probably better off without THAT company- but it is it possible to look elsewhere for work? BTW, isn't it usually the company's task to provide wardrobe for shoots? Just wondering-

Flea said...

The only thing I'm wondering is if there's something about it in the contract.

I remember reading that post. It was about the time y'all were considering selling your house. You're in a much better place now and the original reason for the modeling is no longer as urgent?

Sounds like Lola's life is pretty full. Maybe this taste will give her something to go back to later.

Andrea's Sweet Life said...

I don't find your original post offensive in ANY way, and I certainly don't see how you could have been completely blacklisted from modeling based on not apoligizing for THAT.

That being said, one time I posted a photo of my kids riding in a car-shaped cart at Lowe's and said I was going to shop there from now on, since Home Depot didn't have them. The next day, I got a NASTY email from an "anonymous" person about how Home Depot had them, too and I should update my post to reflect that (to clarify - MY Home Depot does not have them). I checked my stat counter and woops! Maybe Home Depot Headquarters should take the time to hide their URL. They had done a blog search of their name with Lowe's.

So, sometimes businesses are craptastic. What they don't learn from that is that if THEY showed a little more class, they'd earn more respect and business from us.

Krystyn said...

First, I love the billboard.

And, secondly, I think it's crazy that they wanted an apology. It didn't seem like you bad mouthed them at all.

But, I'm sorry that you guys got fired because of it.

Tiffany said...

I went back and read your modeling post - there wasn't anything in there at all that was offensive. I don't get it. I can see how things posted on the Internet can get people in trouble, but seriously. There was NOTHING in that post that was offensive, insulting, anything! Good for you for standing up for yourself.

Kat said...

Hmmm. I'm a little confused. I remember that post but went back and reread it anyway. I just don't understand what the problem was. There is absolutely nothing in that post to get upset over. Very strange.

They are just one company. I bet the agent will call again for a new company. And if not, that is okay too. I'm sure Lola will be fine either way. :)

Heather said...

I too, remember reading that post. I really didn't think it was bad at all. I think that they might have been embarrassed and as well they should. I mean, do they think that people will sit by the phone and wait until they call. You would think they would give you more notice than less than 24 hrs. I am sure that they have the pleasure of setting up appts with more time than that.

Is it sad that this happened? Yes. But I agree with you that you shouldn't write that letter of apology.

Becky said...

I just read the original post and see no reason to apologize. If they had read all the way down, they would have seen that it ended well. I too have been burnt by writing honestly...on facebook...someone was reporting their take on my status to my husband who decided I was not supportive. Ahhh! He wasn't willing to read for himself tho. And I don't know who the reporter was or why their take was so skewed. I hear ya sister!

Tara R. said...

I remember the first post, I'm like everyone else... what do you need to apologize for?

Stick to your convictions.

The 5 Bickies said...

You wrote nothing offensive in your original post and they are being very short sighted and childish to require an apology in order to book your children again.

They are certainly the ones missing out!

CarrieJ said...

WOW! That must have been a REALLY sensitive company!! There was nothing in that post that should have gotten you fired. You didn't cuss, you didn't moan (too much). You got what you needed to get done and you were there. Yeah, I understand about them not wanting their name on anything that could be in anyway construed as negative ... but DANG! Especially when they know that they are taking away Lola's chance at a PONY!! Shame on THEM ... not the other way around!!

Nan Patience said...

I may have sabotaged a couple of things myself on my blog. I really didn't want those things anyway.

Green-Eyed Momster said...

I remember that! I'm sorry you got fired. Lola is beautiful and you didn't make a mistake. IMO, you were just blogging about your life. It was a part of your life.

Classy, please don't let them get you down. You're the best! And, a great Mom!!

Big hugs for you and your precious kids!!

Dani said...

I am so confused - what were they so mad about? Seriously?

Christina said...

Yeah, I agree. I read the post and whatever were they mad about??? You weren't awful about the company, the process ... just how crazy it was to get ready!

And I would also find another agent if she is really interested in modeling. Your agent didn't stand up for you? And isn't sending your kids on any more work? Move on ... better agents are out there!! :o)

Renée aka Mekhismom said...

I read your original post and I just don't get what they were upset about. You didn't bash the company you simply talked about your life. Makes no sense to me. Good for you for sticking to your guns!

Stesha said...

They should just get over it and let the beautiful girl model again.

Hugs and Mocha,
Stesha

Sue said...

Wow. I agree with others that YOU did not take her joy away. I can't see how you did anything wrong? Why did they get so upset about it?! If anything, it would have given them more attention, positive attention, even. I don't understand how anybody would have been upset with that post. Shame on them. Find another agency.

The Daily Stroll said...

What did they want you to apologize for "the free advertising"? There was nothing derogatory about the post that you wrote. Lola is a beautiful little girl. My guess is you can find another agency that will appreciate you guys :)

Nap Warden said...

I never understood what they were so whipped up about?

When you coming to Chi.?

Heather Leigh said...

Apologize for what, exactly? Your honest feelings about being a stage mother??!! Honestly? That's, as my husband would say, riDONKulous.

Shellie said...

I think they were a tad oversensitive. Any better agencies out there for Lola? I guess there is a lesson to be learned. If the company name had never been included, they may not have known. How else could they have found out about it unless they are constantly checking up on what is being said about them online?

Maureen said...

Oh I think everything happens for a reason. Good for you for the post. Good for you for sticking to your guns and NOT apologizing.

And good for all of you NOT to be associated with that awful company any more. Thank goodness you accidentally revealed their true colors early on.

You'll see; it's an opportunity, not a detriment.

Deb said...

WAIT. THAT post set them off? Are you kidding? There was absolutely nothing offensive in it. That's just shocking.

I come from the world of advertising, and I would never have allowed my creative teams to treat a model like that -- short notice and the whole nine yards. Never! I can't imagine.

MsMommy said...

OK, I read the original post. What was so bad about it????

MsMommy said...

And I wouldn't apologize either. Not like that girl who posed provocatively in her stewardess uniform ON the plane of the company for which she worked. Now THAT was stupid.

Jro said...

Yeah, so what was so offensive to them about your post? What were they thinking??

CC said...

You didn't edit it at all except for the company name? Then I really, truly think they've got something up their arse. There really was nothing bad, insulting, or even very negative in that post at all. So there. ;)

Our Crooked Tree said...

I found absolutely nothing in your post that warrants an apology. people are so PC and sensitive these days. I don;t blame you for not bloggin about everything though; especially after this experience.

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Okay that post was before I found you, so I went back and read it...what the heck was so offensive about it?? I wouldn't have written an apology letter either!!

She sure looks cute up on that billboard:)

Lisa

Brigette Russell said...

Okay, I just read the original post. They were upset about that post? That post??? THAT post???

May I please just say, WTF?????

I just don't get it. I'm very sorry Lola is missing out on something she loves, and that you feel so guilty about it. But there just isn't anything wrong with what you wrote. It was about your life, not their company. I am stunned speechless.

Michele said...

Stick to your guns. I am with you though I try very hard to watch what I say that is negative about my children whether it is blogging or FB or Twitter. I look at J and K + 8 and how embarrassed those kids are going to be when they look back at what their parents allowed to be viewed by the world. We have to be so careful. I love you analogy of the toothpaste and words. Awesome!

Tiffany @ Lattes And Life said...

There are so many things I'd loooooove to blog about. But like you, I always think first about who could get their feelings hurt by it. I've considered an anonymous blog for those days, but I'm sure some super smart computer whiz could match the internet numbers or something.....

 

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