This is why your parents tell you not to take nudes, even though everyone does it. It doesn’t matter how much you trust the person you’re sending them to, you can never trust technology to keep them safe in that person’s hands.
I am not anti- nudes. Although I find the female body to be one of the most beautiful and sexy creations to walk this planet, I do not look at it as a sex object. A nude body doesn’t equal sex. A nude body is simply, a nude body. And when you’ve worked as hard for your body as I have (naturally losing 140lbs and maintaining the loss while shaping your body with muscle) a nude body is not only that, but a display of your hard work.
I left the gym this afternoon and when I logged onto instagram was confused at the influx of new male followers and direct messages on my personal account. I stayed up late last night searching for and “liking” Buddha quotes and couldn’t understand how the hell my activity had resulted in so many new male followers. Then finally, I opened a DM that included a picture of me, topless, on another woman’s profile. I immediately went to her page and saw the picture was no longer up; she had either deleted it or it had been reported.
Although I have never met her, I know who she is. She is an ex of someone I have ties to who recently spoke up about not wanting to communicate with her any more.
My first reaction was anger. For about 30 seconds I felt the desire to message her and go off, but I soon realized if I am going to stay the bigger person, I can’t behave like a child. I realized that even though it is my photo, this has absolutely nothing to do with me, and I am not going to make it about me.
This is a woman in pain who doesn’t know better. She is hurting because for a long time she has been trying to convince someone to be with her, who is not interested. I know how that hurts. I know how it feels to love someone who doesn’t love you the same way. I know how it feels to learn that person is interested in someone else, the way you wish them to be interested in you. It hurts. She is hurting. And unfortunately for me, she allowing the conditioning of society to tell her “the other woman is to blame.” As if i have done something wrong, by involving myself with a single man.Society tells women to hate each other and blame each other and that if a man doesn’t want you, its another woman’s fault… even when in reality that man would not be interested even if he didn’t have another option.
Her feelings about him moving on have absolutely nothing to do with me. I didn’t pursue this man. I didn’t ask him to cut ties with her. Those are his choices. Nothing he has done has anything to do with me. I’ve never asked him to cut anyone off, but rather, distanced myself once I realized someone from his past was still attached. And still, that’s the choice he made. It was nothing to do with me.
As a woman, I know how it can be. Sometimes we think if we do certain things for a man he will need us and it will keep him around. The thing is, if a man never asked you to do what you do for him, he will be just fine when you stop doing it. We get this twisted idea that if we take care of a man he won’t know how to survive without us and he will never leave. I have done that shit. And i’ve been left. It’s fucking crazy to think like that. And then we get all offended and hurt because “i do everything for you and she does nothing!!” and “it feels like you used me!!” when in reality he didn’t take, we just kept giving. We project this as anger toward men and say they’re hurting or taking advantage of us…. when really, we are mad at ourselves for putting so much into someone who didn’t want it. We feel stupid, we feel embarrassed, and we feel hurt. So we act out. That is what she is doing. Choosing to punish me for something he did is not logical, but neither are her thoughts right now.
If this were a few years ago, i’d have verbally assaulted her via DM and considered ways to set her up somewhere I could show up and beat her ass. I am not violent by nature but when someone hurts my family or makes me feel incredibly disrespected, it was easy for me to flip a switch. Today has been an incredible test of my personal development and growth because not a bone in my body feels the desire to assault her, physically or verbally. On the other hand, within minutes of seeing what happened I was analyzing “What would i have to be going through to make me do something like this? How bad would i have to be hurting?” And the answer is, pretty fucking bad. This woman doesn’t need me to flip out on her. She is already hurting bad enough.
A sign of maturity is accepting an apology you never got, and I know very well I will not get one from her. But still, I forgive her, because I realize this has nothing to do with me and I am just in a crossfire at the moment.
It also helps that I am in love with my body right now. Honestly, trying to make someone look bad or embarrass them with one of the best nudes they’ve ever taken in life, is not exactly effective. Fortunately, it was only a topless photo- one i loved so much that I wished I could’ve posted it online. I knew it wasn’t appropriate because society has sexualized nipples, so i took another version of it with my hand covering my nipples and i did share that one on the internet. So basically, she posted a non censored photo I had already shared the censored version of. Seeing my naked body didn’t make me feel embarrassed or ashamed- that’s a body i am proud of showing off and honestly, i don’t feel any kind of way about the world seeing it. It’s upsetting it was without my consent, but it’s nothing I am ashamed of.
It probably helps that I have had much worse things done to me, because without those experiences, this might feel like a tragedy. But so much worse has happened and I survived and came out, honestly, better than ever. It would be ridiculous to allow a little thing like this make me feel ashamed of my body, or ashamed that I’ve shared my body with someone I cared about. This doesn’t and will not effect my life and choosing to be upset or stay upset over something so petty is unwise. For the better part of 2 years I’ve been on a mission to consciously choose happiness and this doesn’t change that.
The majority of the women I know have taken and sent nudes. I will not apologize for loving my own body and choosing to share it with someone i trust. I will not feel shame because someone who is less evolved than myself is intimidated or hurt by my existence.
If you’re under 18, i do not encourage you to send or take nudes because even if they’re of yourself, they’re considered child porn. Additionally, a boy who isn’t fully mature is not a wise person to have on the receiving end of something you intend to be private. However, if you are a grown woman who wants to celebrate living in a body you love by taking pictures of yourself or sharing them with someone you love, I will not knock you for that and you should know there is nothing wrong with that. Yes, your nudes could end up public if they get in the hands of the wrong person and for some, that is reason enough not to send them. But that wont happen to most people; and those it does happen to, shouldn’t be shamed for doing something most people do, and just don’t get “caught.”
Girl, I realize this has nothing to do with me, so i forgive you. & please know, that i am praying for you to learn to love your self so much so, that your entire world isn’t ever turned upside down by whether or not a man wants you again. You are worthy of love and worthy of finding a man who will love you the way you need to be loved. Continue to work on yourself and I have no doubt you can rise from this and will end up a better person.