The Gen Z Phenomenon: Sending Nudes

By: K

These days if you don’t have either the stereotypical curvaceous hourglass figure or that tiny skinny tumblr inspo body – you are made to feel you are not good enough – you don’t only have to look good with your clothes on, you are supposed to look good with them off. Since the birth of the internet – more importantly – Snapchat, girls and boys who’ve just hit puberty exchange nudes all the time, sexting has become a norm, and no one seems to understand why. Especially though, why do girls feel such a need to send them? What is in it for them? A date? Pleasure? Attention? It’s actually both more shallow and more deep than you might think, so here are 4 reasons girls of this day and age send pictures of themselves naked to their “partner”.

One: Sexual Validation

Rejection hurts – a lot – especially if it’s from someone we’re attached to, someone we’re insanely attracted to, or even worse – someone we love. Post rejection girls want feel as if there’s nothing wrong with them – more precisely – that there’s nothing wrong with their sexual appeal, and so they start a rebound phase which hurls them into the sexual exploration sans attachment phase  – aka – friends with benefits. Validation is basically the “recognition or affirmation that a person, their feelings, thoughts, opinions, and sexuality are worthwhile”. This is a lot like economics; girls have something society views as valuable (so they do too obviously) and thus they trade that something with boys with something they view as equally valuable. They give their sexuality in exchange for attention – what the girl and guy playbook call the “sexual validation” – which is a myth in reality. Why is this a myth ladies and gentlemen? Sexual attention will not make you happy, nor will it satisfy your feelings of insecurity.

Two: Insecurity

Insecurity is a human being’s worst enemy – insecurity can lead toward actions and habits that one can regret their whole life. If a girl feels as if she’s not pretty or beautiful – based on the aforementioned beauty standards – she’s stuck feeling like she’ll never be good enough. That is enough incentive for her to start thinking of solutions to her insecurity – instead of looking up affirmations, reading about how beauty is a construct, or seeking help from an adult, or any other healthy, productive method of coping, girls turn to one sole thing – boys. The girl’s line of thought goes exactly like this; “Girls really don’t understand what beauty is, they’ll all lie to me and tell me that I’m pretty cause they just want to make me feel better, just like my family. Wait though, don’t guys know? I mean, they’re the ones sexually experienced right? They’re the ones who know which girls are pretty and who aren’t, should I go ask?” Then she does, and thus she presents the guys with a golden chance, he’s going to sweet talk her into showing him her body just to “confidently satiate her inner turmoil regarding her appearance” and the deed is done.

Three: Socialization

Girls are programmed to need being objectified. They need to be “hot”; that is what girls are taught is valuable to boys – because they need to be “sexy enough” for a man to marry or be sexually attracted to. Sucks though cause only 20% of all men are attractive to most women – yes women only want to mate with the upper “most attractive” men – in terms of social status, financial state, appearance, and even attitude. Girls are brought up to crave being objectified – it’s something they cannot control unless they unlearn what is ingrained in them. Is it possible? Quite, it just needs a lot of self exploration, reflection, and support from surrounding people.

Four: Pressure/Blackmail

Here’s a golden rule – only toxic boys pressure girls to commit any sexual act with them. “I love you”, “I want all of you to be mine”, “please you’re so gorgeous”, “show me how much you love me”, “I’m the luckiest man alive”, “be a good girl for me, don’t you want me?”, “I need you so much, you know there’s no other girl in my life but you” – that’s a bucket load of lies. The sweet words, the “i love you”s, that guy is one that just wants to get in a girl’s pants, fa kda not only will he break her heart – that’s not enough is it? – he’ll also instill trust issues in her, and cause her to feel pressured to do whatever he asks because she doesn’t want whatever transpired between them to get out – yes, that’s the primary blackmail tool. So the love pressure is out of the way? here comes the blackmail. “You did *one, two, three, four* with my *his name*”, “I’ll leak your nudes”, “I’ll photoshop a nude of you if you don’t send me one right now”, “If you don’t meet me at *the place* I’ll tell your brother about what you did with *his name*”. That’s a desperate, ugly, good for nothing, kind of guy – but remember ladies, even in this case you have a choice, find someone you trust (an adult please) and report whatever has happened to them, while they might be upset, it won’t be as bad as if they find out the catastrophe he’s bound to create/fabricate.

But girls, if you already sent a nude, or if someone fabricated one of you – take a deep breath and move on. Lesson learned. If you consider it a mistake then remember that it doesn’t define you, you do you girl. The most important rule is though – wherever you are in the world – take care of yourself; in all aspects. These are all problems that stem from you, don’t allow yourself to be pressured, don’t attach yourself to toxic people, don’t give in to blackmail, we know it’s hard, but find an adult you trust and confide in them, save yourself, for yourself.

“I was a victim of revenge porn at 15, I was already bullied, it got a whole lot worse, it was the first and last time I ever sent a nude, I thought myself ugly and my friend persuaded me into sending him a picture of me so he could assess whether I were or not, I was blackmailed, I was humiliated, to this day, it affects me. I know it’s partially my fault, I know it was a mistake, but despite having been grounded for a whole year, the one good thing I did was tell my mom. She sent me to therapy, we worked on my self confidence, we read into sex ed, and it helped me grow and heal from this traumatic experience. I’m also very much thankful for my school counselor for having helped me when it got really bad and for reporting.” S.A, 18.

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