Women don’t have to do this.
“I was Snapchatting this guy that I had met maybe a handful of times. He sent me a Snapchat and I opened it. I was walking in Times Square to my boyfriend’s house. And there it was. It was a picture of a screenshot with two men pointing at it giving it a thumbs up.
My jaw literally dropped. I thought my life was over, my face was in it.
I had to be very, very polite because if I’m a dick to him he’s not going to give me the information. I say, “Listen, this is very serious. I know how this was leaked. I sent that to one person and that person is harassing me. So I need to know where you found that.”
I wanted to know if it was something being sent around from friend-to-friend or was it on a website? And it turns out it was on a website. It’s so crazy to think about that because it could have been something that ruined my life. I was so anxious about it. I was so scared.
So I just started telling people. And I remember I told three people and one of those people is actually an editor at XOJane. And she told me to write about it. And I wrote about it.
The second it went live was the last second I felt any anxiety towards it. Because I felt like I was in control of my narrative. And that was more important. Yeah, it was out there and I knew no matter how deep I go into getting it removed it would still always be out there somewhere. But at least I can control the story. And to think, literally that incident is what turned me into becoming a writer. It was the confidence of knowing that NBC, CBS, MTV, Sirius Radio, and the local news were reaching out to me to talk about it. It’s something that is going on and right now there are laws being passed in a bunch of states.
It’s really interesting to see how something that was supposed to be the end of my life was kind of beginning. I think about that all the time. I remember the weather that day, I remember everything.”
This story is the reason why I started Beautiful Army. I want to take something that men do regularly, such as release sex tapes to revenge porn websites, and show them the behind-the-scenes of their consequences. I want you to look right in the face of the woman you are affecting. And she’s not yelling at you or telling you that you are an asshole because of it. She is simply relating her experience for you. She’s telling you what she went through and she’s doing you a favor by being completely naked and vulnerable as she does so.
We as men do not deserve to hear these stories.
I can’t be more appreciative of the experiences that women tell me every day. I don’t think they do it because they want to piss us off or make us feel guilty. I think they do it because they want to have better relationships with us. Beautiful Army is a place where, for once, men and women can put down the knives and armor and be themselves with each other. There is no facade or obligation either side has as with being on a date. Rather, men can sit down and look at a woman in her face at a moment where she is being the most vulnerable and become open and vulnerable himself.
And he doesn’t have to judge her because she’s not teaching him anything. Instead, she’s just telling you a story. And you can decide to teach yourself, or you can just read and look. But always remember that women are doing this as a gift to you, and if you are looking to actually have it better with the women in your life, take a moment each day to accept.