Teen Talk

Teen Talk: His picture request is disrespectful

Kelly Richardson
Kelly Richardson Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

DEAR KELLY: Recently, a boy I text a lot asked me for a picture of my breasts. He said that I didn’t need to send my face, just my breasts in case that made me uncomfortable. I thought about it, then I said, “No.” He seemed OK with it and said it was no big deal, but he seems to text me a lot less.

When I asked him if he was angry that I said no, he said no, and that he’s OK with it. But I think it’s changed.

I know it’s wrong to send pictures of nudes where they see your face, but what if they don’t see your face and no one knows who it is? I hate that things seem so uncomfortable between us because we got along so great and I could tell him anything. If I just send him a picture of my breasts, with no face, is that really a bad thing? Plus, I totally trust him to not share it with anyone but having no face means no one would know it was me even if he did.

Darcy

DEAR DARCY: What do you mean no one would know? You would know – and that’s the most important person. You would know that you sent something that was so personal and private with the hopes that he felt the same way and kept what you sent confidential. And if he didn’t, then you would feel vulnerable, used and exposed. The most important person could be hurt deeply and once you hit send, there is no going back.

Step away from the situation for a few minutes. He asked you to send him a picture of your breasts and when you said no, he pulled away. He didn’t get what he was looking for, so he stopped giving you attention and is making you feel bad. To look a little further, he asked for a picture of your breasts and didn’t even want to see your face, just your body. How in the world could that ever make you feel respected and cared for?

Imagine if my husband asked me to send him a picture of just my arm, nothing else. Or just my toes. Wouldn’t that seem odd? We send pictures of our faces to people because that is what makes us different and interesting. We relate to pictures because faces show emotion. Our faces define us.

When someone asks for a picture of just your breasts, what message is he sending? Does he really care about you if all he wants is a picture of your body? It really doesn’t matter who knows whose breasts they are, what matters is that someone disrespected themselves enough to send a picture of only a body part.

You are so much more than your breasts. Any guy who just wants a picture of those doesn’t know you, care to know you or have respect for you. I don’t care how “kind” it seems that he is protecting you by not having you send your face. He is selfish and you can do better.

Please see your body as sacred, private and special. Don’t risk sharing it with everyone by sending one guy a picture. Anything you send can become public content with the push of a button. You are giving him so much power by sending him a picture of your breasts. He has the ability to cause you great harm and change the way people see you. Don’t give him the opportunity to use this in a way that affects your life negatively. Trust me, no person is worth this.

Move on, let him go and don’t look bad. He isn’t worth your time texting if his friendship is conditional. Value yourself more than you value this “friendship.” He really wasn’t that good of a friend if he pulled away when you showed self-respect and self-love. Question his real motives in texting you – was it to get to know you, or to get you to send a picture of your body? Listen to your inner voice – the one that spoke up when he asked for the picture. Stay true to what your values are. Don’t compromise yourself for anyone. There will be other boys and other people you connect to who don’t ask for inappropriate pictures of yourself or your body. Any boy who says, “You don’t need to send your face” should be kicked to the curb promptly and swiftly.

When people walk away, let them. Your future is not about people who walk away, it’s about those who stay and treat you with kindness and respect.

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