Three days ago, Emily White, 18, tweeted a powerful image of her arm inside a condom as a reminder to men who say they're too big for them:
Since then, that post has gone viral with over 10,000 retweets. MTV News spoke to White about what her experience has been like and what inspired the tweet in the first place.
MTV: So, what's it been like seeing your tweet go viral?
Emily White: Oh, it's been crazy! I never expected this. I tweeted it to make my friends laugh, and now suddenly I'm getting mentions from as far away as Germany. It's absolutely mind-blowing! I come from a small town, so this is very new to me.
MTV: What inspired you to take the picture? Do you know anyone who has heard this excuse before?
White: I personally have heard the excuse, and it's always made me roll my eyes. I took the picture just for laughs, but the minute I looked at it, the excuse immediately came to mind and I just had to poke fun at it.
MTV: Buzzfeed mentioned you teach contraception methods in schools. Could you expand on that?
White: No, actually, I'm not a professional educator. I have done research and a few projects on teaching contraception methods in schools that I plan on pursuing with state legislature ... but that's the extent of it. I don't officially travel around teaching about safe sex, but I advocate it through my research and the projects that I've presented in various classes at my school.
MTV: What made you start your research on safe sex?
White: I live in Utah. And here, the state doesn't allow teaching contraceptive methods in schools.
MTV: How do you think teaching sex ed and contraception methods in schools could be improved?
WHITE: There are a lot of schools that teach abstinence-only programs, and I think that's a huge issue. The sad truth is that there are a lot of kids in the world that are going to have sex before their parents and teachers want them to, and by only teaching them that sex is bad, we are leaving them without the tools they need to protect themselves from STDs and teen pregnancy. If we were to teach kids that the only 100% sure way to keep from getting a disease or getting pregnant is to stay abstinent but that there are also ways to lower the risks [if] the choice to have sex is one you want to make, then the teen pregnancy rates and the STD rates in the age group 14–21 would see a definite decrease.
MTV: What would you say to people who say this kind of photo has been done before? Mainly, that foot condom photo that went around a few months ago?
White: I think they deserve credit, too. I was just messing around with a condom ... I honestly don't know why I got more attention from the Internet [than] anyone else did, but they definitely inspired my antics, so I can't take all the credit :)
MTV: How would you advise someone to respond when they were really in that kind of situation? Like, how would you tell them to respond to a guy that tries to make that an excuse to not wear a condom?
White: I'd say steer clear! It's a huge red flag for a guy to pressure a girl into having unprotected sex when she isn't comfortable with it. And if a guy is starting off a sexual relationship with manipulation like that, it definitely isn't healthy. Intimacy needs to be shared by two people who have corresponding values and want to keep the other person safe and comfortable. If he's saying things like that, then definitely run!