Read one girl’s story about how some sexy photos broke her heart — but not her spirit.
"I had been dating Gary for 8 months, and he was my first boyfriend. I’m a Sophomore and he is a Junior.
Gary spent pretty much every weekend at my house hanging out in our basement…. We never had sex, but we did a lot, and even in the heat of things, we’d take sexy pictures of each other with our phones.
It wasn’t to be weird or dirty, I completely trusted him, and when we were apart, we’d send the pictures to each other and wish we were together.
In April, my family took a trip during spring break to Myrtle Beach. Two days after I left, I noticed he was being tagged in a lot of pics on Facebook of him at parties with lots of girls, mostly Junior and Senior girls…. Then a lot of the girls in the pictures started friend-requesting me on Facebook. I thought it was weird, since I didn’t really know them super well, but since they were hanging out with Gary, I figured it wasn’t a huge deal.
My fourth day in Myrtle Beach, Gary stopped responding to my texts. I started getting really mean posts to my Facebook wall from the girls he’d been hanging out with. Some of them saying they’d seen the naked pictures of me on Gary’s phone and they were all laughing at how disgusting I looked, and how they were going to post them all over Facebook and send them to all their friends.
It was so embarrassing, and I felt helpless. I was in tears trying to text Gary all day, and he wouldn’t respond at all. I tried to remove the posts and block the girls, but they kept using other people’s accounts.
My parents eventually saw what was happening and my mom was crying and my dad was so upset. They were angry with me about the revealing pictures Gary had of me, but they were more angry at what was happening to me online.
By the time we returned home, my dad had set up a meeting with the school principal, but I was so afraid it would make things worse. I tried to talk to [Gary] at school, but he was always around his friends, and they just laughed at me and called me names like skank or fat, or told me that I smelled.
I was so confused about what happened. I cried at school and I cried at home. I just wanted it all to end. I hated myself for trusting Gary so much, and I hated my body because of all the bad things they were saying about it. I even considered killing myself because I just couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t want to be seen as this fat, easy girl. And, how could I be a skank if I was still a virgin and Gary was the first boy I even kissed?
My parents tried to make me get rid of my Facebook page, but we compromised by me making it entirely private and only keeping close friends as contacts, and I also changed my cellphone number.
The principal met with Gary and the main girls in charge of attacking me online, but they didn’t really get in trouble. They stopped talking to me altogether, so I went from being made fun of all the time, to being a social outcast.
I have transferred to a new school for next year. I’m going to try really hard to control what I put out there about myself, and that includes never, ever taking any revealing pictures of my body, or sexting with guys on my phone.
My dad always says, 'If you don’t respect yourself, how can you expect anyone else to respect you?'
So, that’s my goal: respecting and loving myself — regardless of what lame ex-boyfriends and their hateful friends have to say about it."
–Leah, 16 years old, Michigan
This story courtesy of Curvy Girl Guide. The names have been changed and the text shortened.