Thursday, 31 October 2013

The "need" to be sexy?

I'm doing a theme of "redefining sexy" this month as part of my blogging group, and there are many great takes on it that you can find links to at the bottom of my post.

One of my takes on the idea of redefining sexy is that I'd like it to be optional, please. I think Western culture places a very strong emphasis on a woman's "need" to be sexy to have value. We are supposed to have jobs, have husbands, have children, have immaculate homes and be professional, ambitious, charming achievers - who are also sexy. Everything we do has to be sexy.

Reading must be sexy. (Image source)
Being fit must be sexy. (Image source)
Being a mum must be sexy. (Cheating slightly here, as this is also a "fitspo" picture.) (Image source)
Working must be sexy. (Image source)
Not every woman feels this pressure, and some men feel this pressure, but I think it's safe to say that from many directions in our culture, women are told "looking sexy isn't really optional; you gotta do it". The reasons might be different: you owe the people looking at you a nice view, you won't attract men if you don't, if you feel sexy you'll feel better about yourself and so on.

I would like sexy to be an optional extra in being a woman (or man). Sure, when I get married I will definitely want to feel sexy, both for my husband's pleasure and my own. But right now I'm unmarried, single, Christian and would like to be valued in my own eyes and those of others for different qualities. I wouldn't mind if people find me pretty, attractive, cute, even beautiful. But I don't want sex to be the first thing to spring to a person's mind when zie looks at me (bearing in mind that some people will think sexual thoughts about me no matter what I'm looking like, and sometimes even only from knowing I'm a woman without any idea of my appearance at all).

The group I blog in is extremely varied and we run the gamut from extremely conservative (well, as conservative as you can be when talking about bras) to completely open about bodies and sex and the expression thereof.

  • If any of those women want to dress "sexy" all the time, I want her to be able to do so and be seen as a valuable, interesting and competent person and I will fight for her right to do so without being harassed for it. 

  • But if any of those women wants to never dress "sexy", I want her to be able to do so and be seen as a valuable, interesting, competent person and I will fight for her right to do so without being harassed for it. 

I want it to be our choice. Not our defining feature.

Links to the other blog posts on this topic:

Two Cakes on a Plate: An introduction and some general thoughts on the theme
Two Cakes on a Plate: Full bust problems - Bringing sexy back?
Braless in Brasil: Porn Star Boobies and Breast Feeding
Le Gros Bonnets: Redefining sexy: new series coming up
Sevenlies: Redefining Sexy: Underneath Your Clothes
Undiegamer: What “Sexy” Means To Me
Voluptuous and Beautiful: Defining What I Find Sexy; And Why It Matters
Two Cakes on a Plate: What's up with the high-waisted knickers?
Hourglassy: Redefining Sexiness: What's Your Preference?
Wide Curves: The Sexy (R)evolution
Braless in Brasil: Sexy Is...
Hourglassy: Being Sexy and Black



  2. You're so right that there are a lot of images enforcing the idea of "sexy at all times and for all things." For some women, this works well, and they love the feeling. But for others, there can be a lot of pressure to look a certain way for all activities, and in both cases, women can be undervalued. Excellent post!


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