A few years ago, one of my daughters asked me what “sexy” meant. She was probably five or six years old.
It made me pause and really think about how we use that word today. Images of gorgeous models splashed across magazine covers came to mind — thin, large-breasted, flowing long hair, no signs of acne or cellulite in sight.
I couldn’t tell my daughter that that’s what sexy was. I couldn’t turn on the television and tell her that she had to look like that woman in order to be sexy. So I told her that it means different things to each person.
I define sexy as someone who is confident, who accepts the person they were created to be. Someone who can look in the mirror and truly acknowledge his or her shortcomings and be ok with them. Someone who is kind and gracious. Someone who can be genuinely happy for a friend when he or she succeeds.
Yes, our society defines being sexy in a fairly prescribed way. But we have the choice to accept that way of thinking. We have the power to say, nope, I don’t need to be a size 2 or 10 to be sexy. I’m sexy because I believe in myself. I love myself. I respect myself and I expect others do the same. Like many things, this is not easy. At. All. It’s a constant battle because we are so quick to compare ourselves to others
The truth is, when we compare ourselves to others, we will always fall short. Every. Time. There will always be someone smarter, faster, prettier, buffer (you get the point) than you. So if you play the game of comparison, you may win a few, but in the long run you’re gonna lose. You have to redefine sexiness for yourself. What works for you, what makes you feel good, gives you a little hop in your step, is not going to be the same as it is for Gina or Tom or Monica.
You have to be willing to say, yep, I’m not ever going to have whatever it is but goodnight nurse I’m awesome at _______. It’s about tapping into who you are and rockin’ it. Believe in yourself and others will too.
Courtney Boyer is a mental health counselor and sexuality educator living in the Sandhills.