Max used to send half naked pictures to boys... & she loved it.
Max is a friend of mine. She shared this story with me recently and asked me to publish it.
She remembered it like it was yesterday. Back then, she had no identity- didn’t have a clue who she was or what she stood for. She felt the only way to feel desired and loved was through her body. After all, that's all she felt she had going for her.
It started just as sexy smile selfies- she was single, who cared, right? The boys she was snap chatting were flirty back, it was fun. She hadn't known them for long, but they weren't being gross and she wasn't looking for a serious relationship.
After a week or so, the conversations progressed and the pictures became more than just flirty. Max had started to send the boy she really liked pictures of her in her bra and panties. She thought again, "who cares? I'm single. It's just snapchat, the pics are only there for a couple of seconds. It's not like I'm posting them on FB..."
She loved it. She felt sexy, empowered, wanted, & loved. She was getting attention and that's what made her feel worthy. The snaps kept going for a couple of months- she'd never felt more empowered, especially now...
Skip forward a year. Max had a 2nd interview coming up and it was with a company she'd wanted to work for, for awhile now. She had already spoken with her would be supervisor and she just knew she was going to get the job. She had one more person left to speak with, it was the human resources director, Elizabeth. She was a real classy lady. She entered the room, wearing a white button up long sleeve shirt, with a black pencil skirt. Max remembered thinking to herself how pretty she looked, even though she was very covered.
Elizabeth introduced herself and started by explaining that integrity and values were held extremely high at the organization. She explained to Max that she always told employees or would be employees to think before acting, "if you'd be embarrassed to show or tell your grandmother, then it's probably not a great idea". Max nodded and agreed.
Elizabeth then explained, "Max, it really pains me to have to be the one to tell you this. I'm really sorry, but we can't extend you an offer."
Max just sat there, stunned. She didn't know what to say. What happened? She thought she had the job in the bag. "Why?", was all she could squeak out.
Elizabeth went on to explain, "We do extensive background checks on all potential employees, especially those that get a second interview. Through the course of that, we feel that you wouldn't be a good fit. I'm sorry to have wasted your time Max, but I wish you the best".
Max reluntantly shook Elizabeth's hand and thanked her for her time. She walked out to her car, almost in tears. She had wanted to work for this organization for forever. She immediately went home and started to dig.
She ran her credit, it was pretty good. She checked her FB, IG, & Twitter, all good there. At this point she was getting angry, "they could have at least told me the truth, there's nothing here that a background check would pull and reflect negatively". Grr....
Then, she Googled herself and there it was. One, two, three screenshots of her in her bra and panties. Her face absolutely clear in the photo. She knew this was one of her snaps. She buried her face in her pillow. How could she had been so stupid? How could she had let a picture ruin her chance at her dream job?
She didn't feel very empowered. Now she was angry. She text the boy who she'd sent the picture to and this was the response she got, "Hey. You shouldn't have sent it to me if you didn't want anyone to see it. It's the internet- don't you know that whatever you put out there, stays forever?" He went on further, "that was a really nice picture though. Maybe I could buy you a drink, to help with the bad news and then we could come back to my place?"
Max slammed her phone down on the table, "Jerk." She knew he didn't care at all that she had just lost her chance at her dream job. He was only trying to capitalize on her bad news. She was mad, but mostly mad at herself.
She told me later, "Why was I so stupid? Why did I think that the relationship would lead to anything more than sexual?"
I listened. She needed to vent and answer these questions for herself.
"He didn't care at all", Max said. "I thought that sending the pictures put me in a position of power, I was calling the shots, this was something I could control. In the end, the relationship ended as quickly and as shallow as it had started, not to mention my so called 'career'...". She started to tear up.
I told her that when you don't have an identity and know what you stand for, it's hard to set boundaries... or know what you're worth, "Babe, you know what a good person you are. Don't let this mistake define you. You are worth a lot! But, you have to carry yourself like that. Own it. You're worthy of so much, Max. Now go show the world."
Max grew up in poverty, like I did. Honestly, worse than I did. When someone lives in poverty, it's hard to feel empowered in your identity when it's not nourished, but starved. The TV is your best friend and the role models there are usually less than modest. Max lived in a rural town too, that didn't have a church bus and her Dad never took her to church. Church is a great resource to instill worth and value in kids, when parents don't or don't know how. This explanation is not to excuse her behavior- kids that aren't in poverty send half naked pictures too. It is a glimpse into the why though.
I reminded her, "Max, tomorrow is a new day and you can only go forward. The only thing you can do is learn from your mistakes and use them to guide you, to make better one's in the future."
That's when she asked me to share her experience here. She wants other young ladies to feel empowered too, but in a different way than she did. She wants young ladies to know that they are worth more than their bodies and the decisions you make can and do affect your future. If you're looking for a man, look for one that thinks your mind, heart, & body are amazing. Relationships that start as booty calls or as half naked pictures never work out in the long run or aren't of high quality. If you're looking for your dream job or will be in your future, head Elizabeth's advice before acting, "if you'd be embarrassed to show or tell your grandmother, then you probably shouldn't do it".
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