On Being Sexy

So I took this picture of myself the other day and for the first time I can remember I felt consciously sexy – even with the terrible lighting. As in I made an effort to be sexy instead of just falling into sexiness and enjoying the ride. I undid the buttons on my blouse and took a picture. And then I decided to share it with the world (which is slightly scary because BOOBS. And more specifically, my boobs). And then I wondered what it must be like growing up now when taking photos like this and sharing them is normal – or at least more normal.

For me this is a big deal. This is my body – parts of my body not available for public consumption – and now they are there for everyone to see (kind of). This post isn’t about sexting or the horrific stories about lack of consent and the bullying so many young people face when it comes to intimate self-portraits. This is just for me to say that I have chosen to post this picture.

Maybe that’s what makes me feel sexy? The fact that I chose to do this.

I don’t know.

Is being sexy something you learn – like confidence? I am confident, especially when exercising but I rarely feel sexy in a sports bra designed to flatten my chest. So is sexiness rooted in the size of my breasts on a given day? If that’s the case then I should be in a constant state of despair that my breasts haven’t grown since I discovered I had breasts. And I am not – in fact I am thrilled since it means I can jump without being in pain or knocking myself out.

Out of gym clothes I am called ‘cute’ more than anything else, a word I hate. I am never cute yet everyone thinks I always am.

Am I making a bigger deal of this photo than I should? SO MANY QUESTIONS. It is so much easier to navigate life when all I have to work on is being injury free. Well actually it’s not easy per se, but I know what I’m doing there. And why does this picture make me feel sexy? Undone buttons and breasts?

What does this word even mean? I always think of it as being more than nakedness (though that can also be very sexy). And more than that, what is it through a female lens because I think I know more what it means through a straight male lens – or at least what society wants the world to believe is the straight man lens. The more I try to understand what this means the more lost I become.

All I know for certain, that like most things, being sexy is a state of mind. But how is that achieved? With someone, without, via photography and a hint of flesh, a thought? Maybe it is something different for everyone which means there are close to a billion definitions of it. Or close to a billion people as confused as I am.

So this Christmas, all I ask is for someone to tell me what sexy is!

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