Updated Thu, Dec 12, 2013 9:03 am
The story of a Chauncey woman’s journey to confront her cyber bullies has been shared across the Internet, radio stations, news publications and will now be featured on the Investigation Discovery television series ‘Karma’s a B*tch!’
In October, The Messenger shared the story of Caitlin Seida, 25, of Chauncey, who was shocked to find that a photo of her taken on Halloween dressed as Lara Croft from Tomb Raider went viral with the caption “Fridge Raider.” Seida found several websites using her photo along with many hateful comments criticizing Seida’s weight.
Due to polycystic ovarian syndrome and hypothyroidism, Seida says she struggles with her weight although she eats healthy and exercises.
Seida and her friend, Glouster photographer Terri Jean, decided to take on the Internet bullies by asking that the photos be removed from websites and confronting those who left nasty comments.
“We got the photos off all the websites and we went after the people making comments,” Jean said. “Then Caitlin’s story started gaining momentum.”
On Friday, a film crew from the Investigation Discovery channel came to Athens County to interview Seida and Jean about the ordeal. ‘Karma’s a B*tch!’ is a show that premiered in May and is hosted by Steve Schirripa (best know for his portrayal of Bobby Baccalieri on HBO’s ‘The Sopranos’). The show focuses on how people have sought revenge for wrongdoings, from upset exes to deadbeat dads. Schirripa also interviews people on the street to see how they would handle the same situations.
The crew shot the interviews at Jean’s home in Glouster. Jean said the crew also shot footage of Court Street in Athens. Jean said she told the film crew that the fact that Seida’s Halloween costume photo went viral is upsetting since Athens County is known for its costumed revelers during the holiday.
“We dress up. It’s what we do,” Jean said. “It’s an important part of the story.”
Seida and Jean have become close friends as Jean has photographed Seida several times for her Eye Candy Girls project. Jean’s Eye Candy project encourages women of all shapes and sizes to fee confident and beautiful during photo shoots.
Jean said it was surreal to have the tables turned and to be in front of the camera on Friday instead of behind it.
“Caitlin was much more comfortable in front of the camera,” she said.
As a freelance writer, Seida said talking to the film crew was an interesting lesson in how to tailor her message to a television audience.
Since writing about her experience on her blog, Seida said her story has taken on a life of its own. She said she’s been approached by big name television shows and magazines about sharing the message. She’s been featured as a panel member during a discussion about cyber bullying on the ‘Huffington Post Live’ and she wrote a piece for Al Jazeera America.
Seida said other victims of cyber bullying have reached out to her to tell their stories as well.
“I’m honored they have confided in me,” she said. “I’ve been told I’m a role model and the voice of people who are being put down due to their appearance.”
Seida said that her story hasn’t been an easy one to tell, but that she feels a movement has been started.
“We’re trying to turn the Internet into a little nicer place,” she said.
Jean and Seida formed a blog called I Feel Delicious designed to promote good vibes and celebrate being a woman — no matter what shape and size. The blog can be found at www.ifeeldelicious.blogspot.com.
Jean said they’ll also be launching a new project on Sunday called Lipstick & Letters, which is a campaign to get women to write letters to their younger selves. Jean said she hopes the letters will be published in a book in the future.
Seida’s tale about tackling cyber bullies will air on ‘Karma’s a B*tch!’ in April.