Tuesday, April 11, 2023
HomeLifestyleSharing nudes with my friends boosts my self-confidence

Sharing nudes with my friends boosts my self-confidence

If I’m unsure about a dress, or want to show my friend how grateful I am for her bra recommendation, I send photos of my body to them (Picture: Getty Images)

Standing in front of my floor-length mirror, I posed in my new bra and pants for a selfie.

Smiling and pursing my lips for the camera, while sticking out my bum, I snapped some shots – some sexy, some smouldering, and some downright ridiculous.

I felt confident, empowered, free – even more so when I received a row of flame emojis after sending them.

Except, these semi-naked pictures weren’t for my husband – they were for my best friends.

I, like many women I know, send my best friends naked photos. 

Some definitely aren’t the sexiest, or most flattering.

Photos of me in my new underwear? My bum on a good day? My boobs in a good dress? Topless in bed with my blackheads and double chin? 

My besties in the group chat have seen them all, with their consent of course.

And why? Because I get an honest, ego-boosting response that isn’t often given to women – especially not by men.

I’ve been sending naked photos online since I started dating – probably from my late teens – where you had to boot up a chunky computer to upload grainy webcam shots to MSN messenger, or fork out a fortune to deliver a picture via MMS message.

Sending them to men sometimes came with a sense of toxicity, or seediness – or the concerns about sometimes being pressured to send a picture to a boy you didn’t quite trust. 

Then there was a sinking feeling when you’d stop seeing each other, knowing that there was an intimate, secret version of yourself on someone’s phone.

It almost felt as if a part of you was missing – lost forever due to a lapse in judgement, or trust. 

I get an honest, ego-boosting response (Picture: Emmie Harrison-West)

And I don’t doubt that pictures of my body have been shared, or possibly even posted online. It’s something I’ve learned to live with and accept – I’m sure I’m not the only one.

One of my most vivid memories of sixth form is catching wind of a group of lads sending round, and laughing over, a private, intimate video of one of their ex-girlfriends. 

She never returned to school after that, and seemed to disappear off the face of the earth. 

I often think about her.

Yet still, over the years, sending photos of your body felt a mandatory part of dating men. It’s just what girls did, wasn’t it? 

Our bodies were, and still are, considered by many to be for the male gaze – a source of satisfaction to be measured up against other women, or even past versions of ourselves.

As a result, my body never quite felt like mine – it felt like something materialistic to use. 

A shell to masturbate over, rather than pay me compliments for. 

In turn, I’ve never come to worship it in the way it deserved, but compare it against those deemed more sexually satisfying. 

Sad, I know.

Except, now, I’ve experienced the joy in sending pictures of my body to female friends instead. 

The feeling of receiving rows of appreciative emojis when you’re feeling down, rather than being told a sexy photo of you is in the ‘w*** bank,’ is a feeling like no other. 

If I’m unsure about a dress, or want to show my friend how grateful I am for her bra recommendation, I send photos of my body to them. 

They lavish me with compliments, highlighting and worshipping parts of my body that I am self-conscious of – or only previously associated with others’ sexual gratification.

And I’m lucky enough to get photos in return, too. 

My WhatsApp gallery is full of my friends smiling broadly, showing off their incredible, one-of-a-kind bodies, outfits, and undies. 

There’s the naked shots, and the sexy shots. 

And, of course, there’s the rank selfies of double chins in bed, with boobs up to their cheeks; or the ones of them on the toilet, – which I love my friends even more for sending.

As a result, I worship their uniqueness, and raise them up – rather than reduce them to five minutes of fun. 

Because if I don’t, then who will?

Sending platonic nudes bolsters my self-esteem, and confidence. 

It rebuilds a broken trust, and a tricky relationship with my body

Now, I’m used to seeing it more as a beacon of power, strength and femininity, rather than an object of sexualisation, or self-loathing.

My friends and I share a new kind of relationship – a deep, loving and appreciative one, saturated with trust. One where we celebrate our bodies together.

In turn, I have started to compliment myself more: yes, I do look fire in this bra. My bum does look great in these jeans. This top is doing wonders for my boobs.

While I still have a long way to go in fully appreciating my body, and all it does for me, compliments from friends on it makes me feel more at peace. 

Those messages, emojis, and reciprocal photos fill me with a unique sense of joy that I’ve rarely received from sending men pictures of myself.

So, next time you are feeling down, or are worrying that your chest looks like a mono-boob in your new bra – find good lighting, arch your back, get on those tip-toes, purse those lips and spoil your best friend with a photo.

And watch the flames roll in.

Do you have a story you’d like to share? Get in touch by emailing jess.austin@metro.co.uk

Share your views in the comments below.

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