Emily Sears is a Los Angeles-based model from Australia who has amassed over 2.3 million Instagram followers with her stunning photos. But with all of those loyal fans comes some unwanted attention that Sears didn't expect.
"I usually receive at least one or two dick pics per day, at minimum," Sears told BuzzFeed News. "It's just been consistently happening for so long. I became absolutely fed up with these kinds of disturbing and disgusting messages and comments online."
Sears is not alone in her outrage over receiving unwanted photos. A 2015 Match.com Singles in America survey found that most women do not like receiving sexual texts and pictures.
"I truly believe its a huge social problem reflecting the attitude many men have towards women and I want to keep trying to fight against it," Sears told BuzzFeed.
To stop the bombardment, Sears developed a simple and effective solution.
"I'm telling you this because I'm a girls girl and I think women need to stick together," she wrote to one woman on social media. "I want you to know that all types of men do this kind of thing and it's no reflection in you. You deserve better treatment than this."
The plan is working. One guy sent her an apology message for sending her his picture.
Sears is skeptical about the sincerity of the apologies she gets, but hopes that her creative comebacks inspire other women to do the same.
And a study by Hollaback, a New York City-based movement against street and online harassment, suggests that, generally speaking, victims who take action against their harassment are less negatively impacted by it longterm.
"I think the best thing to do is to just keep the dialogue happening," Sears told Buzzfeed. "We have to keep telling the guys why what they're doing is wrong. I'm pretty sure when a guy sends me a dick pic and I respond with a screenshot of his girlfriend's Facebook and a message that says, 'How is your girlfriend gonna feel when she sees how you treat women?' they're probably not gonna do it again any time soon."