I’ve been thinking about sexy.
How it’s portrayed in the Evil Media and how I see it –for good or ill– in the real world. I remember being young, like twelve, and lamenting how boys would never like me because I couldn’t do helpless. I was an absolute failure at “boytrapping” because didn’t need or particularly want boys to carry my books or help me do math or show me how to play sports (when I learned you don’t really play croquet with flamingos and hedgehogs my sadness knew no bounds). And while some of that has changed –I now make it a policy never to carry anything heavier than a five dollar bill– most of it hasn’t. I’m still good at math, I still don’t give a hoot about any sport that doesn’t involve a live flamingo and I still can’t do helpless.
That’s not to say I didn’t try. Oh for years I threw myself into pretending to be a helpless, dim girl with all the zeal I could manage, which was quite a lot, but it just didn’t work. Boys didn’t like me any more than they had in the first place and I didn’t like myself at all. Why could other girls pull off helpless and I couldn’t?
Because “helpless” wasn’t my sexy.
Just like the yellow sweater that made my best friend look so alluring made me look like a jaundiced ottoman, that sexy worked on them, not on me.
Where we get in trouble is when we try to make ourselves fit into an established and very narrow definition of sexy. That’s where we get the starving, the plastic surgery, the injections and implants and skin bleaching cream (the idea of this horrifies me most of all, perhaps because I have longed my entire Kleenex-white life for just a sprinkling of melatonin.) We know that not every color looks good on us, not every cut of a dress or a pant, why do we think any differently about sexy? It’s not about making yourself fit a look, it’s about finding a look that fits to begin with.
The question isn’t what works for me (high camp, btw. I’m practically a drag queen) but what works for you. Do you feel like an ethereal goddess in those flowy, renaissance-y dresses that make me want to die from the horribleness? Are you the fresh-scrubbed girl next door? Maybe you’re nothing so definable.
In 2008 it’s your mission –if you choose to accept it– to find or tweak your OWN sexy.
Love it, own it, work it and let the whole damn world know you do.