In a candid discussion on the KICPOD podcast with her co-host and business partner Laura Henshaw, beloved Aussie influencer and fitness personality Steph Claire Smith has opened up about a challenging experience from her high school days when her private photos were leaked by someone she trusted.
The conversation began when a listener shared her own unsettling story about racy pictures of herself being found by her best friend's dad. It wasn't long before Steph revealed her own experience, with explicit photos of her circulating in her high school.
“I remember very clearly walking into school and knowing that it had been shared around the night before,” Steph said, before recalling the harsh aftermath of the incident.
“Girls wouldn’t talk to me, obviously my friends were fine, but girls wouldn’t talk to me. Everyone was just looking at me. Guys would just make comments like, you know, ‘oh, nice photo’, you know, they're f***ing teenagers like they just don’t understand like how that feels.”
“I wasn’t dating this person that I sent photos to," she explained, before adding peoples' reactions, "And they were like why would you? Why would you do that? That’s so dumb. Like how dumb are you?"
Laura chimed in to offer support, reminding Steph that the blame rested with the person who distributed the photos, not on her. Steph also noted that the responsible individual received praise for the deplorable situation, which added to her distress.
“He was fu****g championed. He was a legend. It was so bad,” she remembered.
Despite the ordeal, Steph reiterated her current stance on the matter, explaining, “I don’t believe there should be any shame around it… I don’t have any regrets or feel bad about it now... Also if ever any of those pictures were to resurface, I was underage. So like, anyone who has those photos, like you’re pretty f***ed up by now. We’re adults and like, I was literally 16.”
The duo shared a clip of this impactful segment on Instagram, prompting a wave of responses from women who shared their own experiences and thanked Steph and Laura for addressing this often-shamed topic.
“Now knowing that someone I look up to in the health and fitness industry and as a mother, has experienced the same thing I did in high school makes me feel a bit better about what I went through,” one person wrote.
“So many girls in my high school it happened to and the eyes were never on the boy who shared in,” said another follower.
“This has happened to far too many people, and they’re left feeling shameful and their mental health impacted. I think how you both explained this was powerful and healing,” praised a third.
One follower concluded, "We need to continue to educate our daughters about the pitfalls of sexting and social media... It has been happening for way too long and we need our girls to understand how vulnerable and exposed this sort of behaviour could make them."
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