There is a new and disturbing epidemic that is happening with our children. Boys are asking girls to send nude or semi-nude pictures to them via their cell phones and the girls are doing it – willingly. Inevitably, the boy cannot resist and sends the picture to half the people in his contact list. He becomes known as a stud and the girl becomes known as a tramp. And this happening in middle schools and high schools where the ages of the children usually range from 11-18.
One of my best friends is a high school guidance counselor and I have heard her talk about this for the past few years. Several of the girls sent pictures of themselves thinking that only their boyfriend would see it (how naive) and others sent it just because they were asked (for attention?). She often gets the parents of both parties involved and there are a lot of tears and embarrassment. A few times, legal action was taken because the student who sent the pictures was 18 and the girl was underage. No matter the situation, the damage was done.
This weekend, my niece told me about a girl in her class who sent a picture of her breasts to a male friend who proceeded to send it to half of the people in the school. She is now being called a “whore” and gets taunted by the other girls every day and many of the boys snicker and whisper when she walks by. At 11 years old, she has ruined her reputation. And she is only in 6th grade.
The fact that seemingly so many girls are willing to share their bodies at such a young age is extremely disturbing to me. Parents and teachers need to talk with girls about not using their bodies for attention or love. I know that is a tough thing given all they see on TV shows, in music videos and all over magazine covers, but they must realize that their private parts are just that – private.
I will never forget my mother giving me a piece of advice I have followed all my life. She said, “Don’t ever do anything that prevents you from holding your head up high as you walk down the halls.” That was one of the most valuable things she ever told me and I wish more girls would heed that advice. We all knew girls in high school who did things that caused them to have terrible nicknames and bad reputations. Back then, it was for fooling around or “going all the way” and people had to decide whether or not they believed the boy or the girl. Today, kids can SEE the evidence.
Girls must be more respectful of themselves and their bodies. They must understand that one bad decision can lead to years of misery. All with a click of a button.