Monday, January 25, 2016

What does it mean to be sexy, really? (#DarlingMagazine)

Here's me waxing poetic on the merits of sexiness. Happy reading!


What Does It Mean to Be Sexy, Really?
By Jennifer Cho Salaff for Darling Magazine

When was the last time you felt sexy?

Think back to that day, that interaction, that moment. Close your eyes and let your thoughts linger there. Was it something you wore? Maybe someone noticed something about you and affirmed it. Maybe you were doing something you love and it filled you with purpose, passion, conviction.

Perhaps you can’t think of the last time you felt sexy.

Maybe it’s because you don’t feel like you fit the mold. After all we learn, from the time we are young girls, what makes a woman sexy. Just look inside the pages of a fashion magazine or watch reality TV or go see a big Hollywood blockbuster. Images of stereotypical female “sexiness” abound: She’s buxom with long flaxen hair, batting her feather-like eyelashes, applying cherry red lipstick on that perfect full-lipped pout, always the object of another man’s gaze.

In America, where women strive to embody that size 0/Victoria’s Secret model look, there are places like Mauritania and the South Pacific Island of Tonga where female obesity is considered sexy. For pastoralist Kenyan women, lip plates are beautiful. The Kayan women of eastern Burma wrap gold coils around their necks to feel desirable. In New Zealand, Maori women tattoo their faces.

The idea of sexiness is ephemeral, like sex itself.

Think about this: What if the concept of sexiness doesn’t originate from one’s outer appearance and instead comes from the inside?

Consider these attributes: CONFIDENCE, ORIGINALITY, VIRTUE.

There’s something wonderfully delicious about a woman who is unfazed by the ways of the world. The CONFIDENT woman is poised and self-assured yet doesn’t have to be the center of attention all the time. She knows how to hold her own but isn’t afraid to step out of the spotlight once in a while. She speaks up; she knows when to listen. She locks eyes with you and makes you feel like the only person in the room. She delights in her strong laugh and isn’t afraid to laugh at herself, too. She is sexy.

There is only one of her. Created directly and personally by a particular artist. Since there is no one else like her, she is free to be her true, authentic self. She adorns herself as an outward expression of her uniqueness. She simply shines and shows the world she is empowered. She has talent and a gift. She is an ORIGINAL. She is remarkable. She is sexy.

Yes, a woman can be both sexy and VIRTUOUS. These are not mutually exclusive. In fact, it is extremely sexy when she shows the world her goodness, integrity, honor and worthiness. If something goes against her principles, then she knows when to say no. She is a leader and inspires others to use their power to make a positive change in the world. She is sexy.

Now close your eyes again and meditate on this: You are a confident, original, virtuous woman.

You are sexy.

How do you define sexiness? How does it affect your relationships?

Photo via Hart & Honey for Darling.