Les Gros Bonnets wrote earlier this month that “what is marketed as sexy is not sexy to me” and asked us to “redefine sexy“.Â I couldn’t wait to explore the subject . . . and then I waited too long, and now the month of October is almost over.
I expected to write a post panning the stereotypical images of sexiness, such as this image from the Frederick’s of Hollywood website, but I actually find the lace apron sexy, even if the setting is overwrought.
I expected to spend even more time on sexiness as an attitude, and I found the perfect example in the older Zumba instructor who taught my class last week. Her biceps are the sexiest thing I’ve seen in a long time! I don’t have a picture of her, but the 70-year-old instructor below has the same effect. An older woman sweating in her gym clothes in front a room full of women can be even sexier than a carefully posed model.
One form of sexiness seems momentary and external–everything must align to produce a certain image: hair, makeup, breast placement, night-like setting. The other form seems to come from within. It’s there whatever the person is wearing, but it especially shows when a person wears something that allows her to demonstrate awareness and acceptance of her body.
For me, sexiness isn’t primarily about being noticed by men (although I did walk a little taller after a man I passed in Harlem the other day muttered under his breath, “Still got it!”). Unless I’m putting on a show for my husband (like the tight tee shirt I wore to a Mets game), sexiness isn’t one of my goals for dressing. Lately it’s been something that sneaks up on me, like when I wear my Urkye Mala dress and remember how great it feels to like my body.Â On the other hand, unless I’m dressing for a setting where all evidence of sexuality must be suppressed, it isn’t my goal to hide it, either.
I haven’t even begun to “redefine sexy” today. I’m not saying anything that you haven’t already seen, heard or thought about sexiness. It can
- mean being scantily clad in a provocative pose;
- be about being confident and strong;
- be intentional;
- be incidental.
I’m really only stating a preference:Â I like sexiness to be a natural side effect of appreciating and taking care of myself, and I most appreciate it in others when it doesn’t seem to be their primary focus.
I’d love to hear your “redefinitions” and preferences in the comments. Also check out these other bloggers who have delved into this multi-faceted subject. (I’ll be updating the list as other bloggers discuss this subject before the end of the month.)
Les Gros Bonnets
Redefining Sexy: New Series Coming Up
2 Cakes on a Plate:
Full bust problems – Bringing sexy back?Â
An introduction and some general thoughts on the theme
What’s up with the high-waisted knickers?
Braless in Brasil
Porn Star Boobies and Breast Feeding
Filling a Niche
How Do I Define “Sexy”?
Redefining Sexy: Underneath Your Clothes
Defining What I Find Sexy; And Why ItÂ Matters
What “Sexy” Means To Me
For me being sexy is about feeling sexy. Also I’ve always been told by men and women alike that I’m flirty and sexy just by natural facial expressions that my face makes when I smile, laugh or make jokes. I also don’t really think sexyness means that one is sexy in the eyes of men and women do look at other women even if they are heterosexual and some women just ooze sexyness. I love that kinda sexy, one that is without effort. The alluring kind. I never try to look sexy on purpose and never make any effort to do so because I’ve never felt I’d need to be anything but myself. For example Julianne Moore is so sexy even in her own, normal style without much makeup or that glued on sex appeal.
I like that phrase, “glued on sex appeal”. Reading your comment, I can see why some women would go that route. If you don’t naturally ooze sexiness, you may study someone who does and try to emulate them.
“…it especially shows when a person wears something that allows her to demonstrate awareness and acceptance of her body.”
Yes! This! Well stated!
Thanks, Missy. How have I not seen your blog before? I’m adding your post to the list. Nice that we both started w/ a Frederick’s image.
Because I’m a newbie 🙂 Thanks for the link!
My definition of sexy is: healthy.
A younger me probably had a different view and ascribed sexiness to attitude, attire & make up or a certain look. A look that could be conventional or not. All of that took health for granted. These days, it’s the look and feel of a healthy and capable body. Lingerie or other clothing is entirely optional.
OMG. This is such an interesting train of thought. I feel like there’s a lot of different versions of sexy and they imply completely different and maybe even diametrically opposed lingerie styles. There’s a costumey, playful kind of sexy, and there’s a serious-as-hell straight-hit-to-the-libido kind of sexy. Like, Curvy Kate Showgirls versus Bordelle. There’s a sexy that’s all about youth — carefree, supple, invulnerable, athletic, puppyish, all glowing health and toned limbs. And there’s a sexy that’s distinctly grown-up: knowing, experienced, mysterious, maybe decadent. Not sure about lingerie analogues for those two. Maybe Huit or VPL for young-sexy, and I don’t even know for knowing sexy. Lise Charmel and Fauve even at their best don’t really cut it. Myla is better, but a tidge young and pissant. High-end corsets could work. Oy. I have to think some more about this.