Following the outrage that sparked online, social media influencer and YouTuber Donnalyn Bartolome has formally issued an apology for her viral baby-themed photoshoot, criticized for "promoting pedophilia". Donna's photos, released for her birthday, show herself clad in sexualized baby outfits, wearing a bib and cloth napkin.
While several of her friends showered her with birthday greetings, an alarming number of netizens shared their take on the "malicious" snaps. "It's not anyone's fault that rapists and pedophiles exist, it's their fault, but they obviously lack a moral compass, and the least you can do to prevent them to act on their thoughts is simply by not posting things like this, displaying infantilism behavior that could only fuel their fantasies more," wrote once concerned Facebook user.
"It was an honest mistake," Donna began her statement. "It was never my intention to enable one of the most horrifying acts here on Earth."
She explained that she couldn't take down the post sooner because they had to fix copyright matters. "I couldn't remove my post right away because I needed to copyright the photos to prevent the spread of it furthermore until I got a go signal from Facebook and other socmed managers, an assurance that they know I am the owner of the photo and they'll help me correct this by taking down all of the posts involving this photoshoot. You may help us by sending the links of the post of anyone who reposted this for any reason at all."
She also shared her true intention behind the shoot. "Almost a million people across socmed platforms thought of it light and funny because they know my personality and didn't look at it that way hence our initial reaction to the idea was the same.. but upon reading other people's perspectives, I completely agree. I feel terrible, sick to my stomach and had disturbing flashbacks I'd rather not say."
Opening up more about her personal life, she continued, "I was called crazy for being overprotective to all of my siblings, ones I took care of since they were babies. It has come to the point where I had to go to a psych to understand my actions because the level of protectiveness was quite extreme, all I'm saying is I've taken care of children since I was 11 years old, this was the last thing I would ever intend to do."
Holding herself accountable for her posts, she also expressed gratitude to everyone who shared their feedback. "Thank you to everyone who let me know, especially those who did it so kindly, you're the type of people who help me become a better person every day as I hold the responsibility of influencing millions. It's not easy.. but I'll do my best."
Donna concluded her post by promoting an advocacy she holds dear to her heart. "While you're here. I'd like to use this attention for those who want to help abused children.. There is a care-facility I was admitted to when I was a minor: Nayon ng Kabataan.
"The children admitted there carry so much pain, you can donate or send them little gifts to make them feel better. Thanks everyone and I'm sorry."
Read her full statement here: