Peter and I have been friends forever. Every night we talk on the phone, sometimes for hours.
A few weeks ago, he asked me to send him a nude picture. I laughed at first and told him, No way! He started sending messages begging for one. I ignored them, hoping he would stop.
One day, on our way home he asked for a race. He said the loser would send a naked picture of himself or herself to the winner. I agreed. Somehow – I lost.
I sent him a photo of myself in my bra. He begged me for one without the bra – saying I owed it to him. Eventually, I gave in and sent him a topless picture.
I regretted it instantly. I asked him to delete it, but he said no. I was confused. I was sad. I thought he was my friend.
I was ashamed of my action. I started keeping to myself. My mum noticed the change in my behaviour. She tried to find out the problem. However, I was afraid to tell her what happened. I didn't want her to get upset.
But I knew I had to talk at some point. I didn’t want to keep anything from my mum. Moreover, I didn’t want to break my promise to always come to her when in trouble. I knew I could trust her even if she was a bit upset.
And so, I approached her. I asked if she could please be kind with me. I knew I had made a mistake. She agreed. When I told her what happened she was shocked and very disappointed. She remained calm just like she promised.
She said to me, as girls grow and go through puberty, they might start to get a lot of unwanted attention from boys. Sometimes, these boys or even friends might pressure them to try out things they’re not comfortable with. Because everyone is doing it. But at times like this, it is important we speak to people we trust can advise us to do the right thing. People like a parent, guardian or close friend.
Together we talked through ideas of how to overcome the situation.
In the end, we decided to talk to Peter together. She taught me how to share my feelings of confusion and upset with him. This really helped Peter understand that his actions hurt me and he was happy to delete the picture.
I wish I had talked to my mum sooner – there’s no problem she can’t solve!
Girls, we want you to know that;
- Sending a picture you are not comfortable with is not always a good idea. It can get into the wrong hands
- People who ask you to send pictures you are not comfortable with might not have your best interest at heart
- Whether it’s your mum, sister, friend or a neighbour – find someone you can report to or talk to about anything
Have you ever done something you were not proud off out of pressure? Tell us how you addressed the situation afterwards in the comments section.