“I feel terrible, sick to my stomach.”
Content creator and singer Donnalyn Bartolome expressed this in an apology letter she penned following the backlash she received for her birthday photoshoot posted on Sunday.
Donnalyn previously uploaded a baby-themed photoshoot on her page in celebration of her 28th birthday on Saturday, July 9. This was a accompanied by a vlog where she can be seen wearing a onesie and a bib.
The “kakaibabe” later took the posts about the baby photoshoot down after some Filipinos called the theme out for allegedly enabling pedophilia.
“Donnalyn bartolome’s bday concept is NOT CUTE AT ALL. It’s bothering. Stop sexualizing toddlers,” a Twitter user said.
Donnalyn then penned a long letter of apology to her 15 million followers on Facebook and explained why she had to delete the photos.
“It was an honest mistake, it was never my intention to enable one of the most horrifying acts here on Earth,” she said.
Donnalyn, who also boasts 9.2 million YouTube subscribers, initially thought the shoot was “light and funny” because of the initial reactions she received from it.
It was only later on when she had read the criticisms that she realized the mistake she made.
“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,” Donnalyn said.
“But upon reading other people’s perspective, I completely agree. I feel terrible, sick to my stomach and had disturbing flashbacks I’d rather not say,” she added.
Donnalyn shared that she knew what it’s like to take care of children.
The singer recalled that she once went to a psychiatrist before because she became overprotective of her younger siblings whom she had taken care of since they were babies.
“This was the last thing I would ever intend to do,” Donnalyn said, referring to the criticisms of her photos.
The vlogger then thanked her followers and other concerned Filipinos who called her out.
“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 everyday as I hold the responsibility of influencing millions,” Donnalyn said.
On making amends
To make up for her mistake, Donnalyn also requested for donations and gifts for Nayon ng Kabataan, a state-run care facility where she was admitted in back when she was a minor.
The facility is being managed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Following the backlash, the photos and the vlog of her pictorial were not immediately taken down on YouTube and Facebook.
Donnalyn explained on the letter that she had to copyright them first to prevent further spreading them on the platform.
“I couldn’t remove my post right away because I needed it 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. (via message),” Donnalyn said.
Filipinos, especially her fans, were glad that Donnalyn seemed sincere in her letter that she made a terrible mistake with her latest content.
Some Redditors, however, were a bit skeptic about her “honest mistake” remark.