A guy told me once that I wasn’t “traditionally sexy”. Upon my immediate reaction, I thought this was kind of insulting. What do you mean I’m not traditionally sexy, you asshole!? I thought as I angrily stirred my wine with a straw (whatever – I drink red wine with a straw). But then I started to think – although his initial comment was probably a really nice way of saying “you’re pretty but in a weird way”, I kind of thought it was refreshing. I started to think – who really wants to be the traditionally sexy girl anyway? That’s fucking boring.
I started to really narrow down what it means to be “traditionally sexy” in my mind – maybe a Charlize Theron or a Halle Berry. These actresses that have sex appeal in the most physical sense – a gorgeous, toned body, perfectly done makeup, and exquisite hair. The starlets who are idolized for their immense, tangible beauty, whose life revolves around keeping up appearances. Maybe it’s just me, but that sounds super-duper mundane. And kind of sad. Perhaps for some, this kind of sex appeal is really attractive – the kind that everyone wants, everyone strives for, the top prize if you will.
But for me, I’m kind of glad I’m not traditionally sexy. I’m weird. I eat more pizza than I do vegetables. I avoid the gym at all costs because I don’t like sitting in other people’s sweat, or my own for that matter. I’m lucky if I wake up in time for work to throw on makeup or do my hair. I almost always get something on myself while eating. I eat hummus off my stomach while watching reruns of “Law and Order: SVU”. I’m not traditionally sexy in any sense of that phrase. I think I’m okay with it too.
I think about my idols – who are all not traditionally sexy either – and am completely reassured that it’s okay to be this way. Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Chelsea Peretti, Mindy Kahling, Maya Rudolph – all huge idols of mine that aren’t considered to be “drop-dead sexy”, but are still hugely influential in the way they carry themselves, inspire girls across the globe, and are unapologetic about being hilarious. They’re writers, mothers, actresses, leaders, motivators, and so much more while still having this crazy beauty that makes them sexy in more ways than one. Which makes me think – who actually defines the word sexy?
To me, sexy isn’t a thing at all – it’s how you feel about yourself. Many women, including myself, struggle with self-esteem problems and insecurity on a daily basis, from which they think “sexy” comes from. However, I really feel that this isn’t the case – sexy is the way to truly feel about yourself. The way you get up in the morning and think, If this is as good as I’m going to look today, that’s fine – I have other awesome qualities that make me extraordinary. It’s confidence. It’s accepting you’re a human being that is different from everyone else in the world – with different flaws, strengths, qualities, and emotions – and still being proud of it. It’s keeping your back straight when all you want to do is slouch with the weight of your insecurities hit you in the back of the head. It’s owning yourself and being unapologetic for the way you feel, while still taking responsibility if you flub up. Sexy isn’t a thing – or rather, it shouldn’t be a physical thing. It’s a confidence you get from accepting yourself exactly the way you are.
I also think that sexy is accepting the fact that others will put a price on your physical beauty, no matter how smart, talented, or brave you are in life. However, it’s the way you accept that harsh reality and still keep your chin up is what makes you deliciously interesting and beautiful. As the lovely Barbra Streisand said as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, “You think beautiful girls are going to stay in style forever? I should say not! Any minute now they’re going to be out! Finished! Then it’ll be my turn!”
What I’m getting at is that you define your own definition of sexy and what it means to be it. If that definition is mixing patterns in your outfit and wearing brightly-colored eye shadow, that’s sexy. If the definition of sexy for you is wear that bikini that’s been hiding itself in the back of your closet since the beginning of college, no matter how much weight you think you’ve gain, that’s sexy. If you think the definition is to get accepted to the Ph.D program you’ve been working towards for the past year, that’s sexy. Bottom line – never let anyone else tell you what it means to be sexy. Sexy is feeling fabulous in your own skin, and knowing that you’re the best god damn whatever you do in the whole entire world – flaws and all.