I haven’t felt sexy for a long time.
That is what whispered out between sobs last night as I was trying to go to bed.
It’s been weeks, maybe even months since I’ve been able to look in the mirror and feel yummy in my own skin. I miss feeling sexy. I miss the way I look at myself in the mirror, I miss the way I think other people look at me. I miss the way I feel.
Like you, I am sure that I am not the only person that feels that way. Regularly being bombarded with images of perfect women with perfect faces, great sized perky breasts, long slender legs and a perfectly shaped ass can get downright intimidating and annoying.
Even though I know they are airbrushed with personal makeup artists, trainers and chefs, on some level I want to look like them. Not so much the skinny ones but the healthy, fit and beautiful ones.
It is February and I am already dreading how I will be able to cope with summer weather. Not so much because of the heat, but because with summer weather comes summer clothes and it is harder to hide the bulge of my tummy and thick thighs in a short or clingy dress. I will miss the long johns and double layers that helped hold in, and hide my not-so-pleasant parts.
As I was sitting the other day wondering why being sexy is so important to me I wondered what the word itself means.
(I figure if I want it, shouldn’t I know what it means?)
Dictionary.com defines sexy as :
1.concerned predominantly or excessively with sex
2. sexually interesting or exciting; radiating sexuality
3. excitingly appealing; glamorous
Okay so firstly, I don’t think I am concerned with sex in any excessive terms but glamour and radiating are words that definitely appeal to me. So how do I get that? How do I move from feeling like a useless soft lump to something that is glamorous and radiating?
I don’t necessarily want to be super thin, the truth is I’ve seen many of those women on the Latin network and they are by no means size zero but there is a energy and a sexiness about them that drips off the screen. So I know that sexy does not have to do with size. There are many thin girls I met, that have no excess fat, but still do not embody the word that sexy defines.
Is it an outlook? A certain type of hair-style? An energetic phenomenon? Sexy is not inherited and so there must be a way to tap into what it is that has one women harvest that crop and be able to own that word. I want to be radiating and vibrant, I want the words used to describe me include glamorous, beautiful, sexy, passionate and alive.
“Beauty comes from the inside out”. Now though I know that is true, it still seems like something people tell chubby girls to make them feel better. Now given that I’ve been a chubby girl for a while, I know that is how I’ve tended to think of that phrase. The truth is I know that I am good a person already. I know that who I am is great and that, on the inside, I am beautiful.
BUT I want to talk superficially for a moment, because most people are afraid to say it as it is. As much as I hate to admit it, and it feels gross to write down, the truth is I want to look on the outside like a ridiculously gorgeous sex kitten AND on in the inside be someone a guy wants to marry and have kids with. The funny thing is that most women I’ve spoken to want the same thing.
Over the last few weeks I’ve started looking for where I am sexy. I have started watching women I see that exude sexiness and I’ve found that the woman I meet, that are beautiful or even sexy, are not always the girls that are size 0. In fact I’ve seen women look beautiful and sexy in all shapes and sizes.
So I started to get really interested in what was it that had them occur as sexy. If it is not a function of their shape or size then what is it? I was on a mission to find out what it was, and bottle it so that I could use it.
Here’s what I found, the more I observed the more I saw that what was different about them, then most other women, was the way they talked, ate, danced, walked and even smiled. These women seemed to walk with the knowledge and deep knowing that they ARE beautiful. They knew it in their bones (whether it was true or not) and believed it on a cellular level. It was as if they were just inviting the rest of us in on their own belief.
I have tried using negative reinforcement for years with myself (“you better get up and go to the gym, if you want that dessert tonight) but I had never fully taken on adoring me for no other reason then for the delight of being adored.
I’ve seen woman larger than me speak so confidently and coyly, fully relaxed in their sexuality that it is hard not to be hypnotized by their own degree of self-love.
So I tried it. What did I have to lose?
At first it seemed stupid, telling myself fin the mirror that I was beautiful, suppressing the need to speak out loud with girlfriends about my thighs or body. If anyone ever complemented me, I’d stifle the default response to scoff and roll my eyes to instead smiling and saying thank you.
It seems rather easy to write it down and say “just shift your thinking and speaking”, but it is much harder then this paragraph can capture. I had no idea just how ingrained the conversation of “I am fat and unattractive’ was, it was woven into almost everything I did.
After a few weeks of ‘fake it till you make it’, something started to shift. One day I looked in the mirror saw my tummy, and said “hey, that’s not bad”. Eureka! Now that may not seem like a victory, but to know that I went from looking at my body in disgust and contempt to mild appreciation is huge. I went from catching a glimpse of my naked body and slumping my shoulders to actually being surprised with mild satisfaction.
I have been doing this for a while now, and though I still have to deal with myself and my body from time to time (when I go shopping or when I see I perfectly fit bombshell walk by), I am starting to let the affection I have for my body grow. I’ve noticed I am dressing to attract more attention to me now and I am seeing that the way in which I stand straighter and walk taller. My steady steps that take me in the direction of my dreams are a bit more steady, solid and powerful. The best part is, that when I used to get up to go the gym, I’d hate it (It felt like something I had to do to ‘fix’ my body). Now I am eager to go to the gym mostly because I am excited to move it and work it. If I owned a horse, being able to let it loose and watch it run and work it’s body would be a great experience for me. And so now with my body I have a similar thought process, just like a free and wild animal it wants to move and so the gym, or even a walk by the lake, is a way for it to be free to express the movement it’s been dying to make.
This is not an area I have mastered yet, but being able to find the beauty of my thighs when I’ve just slathered them with cream, or the lovely curve of my neck when my hair is up, has been way more fun than searching for the things that I don’t like.
For all you woman reading this, no matter where you are on your path of seeing your beauty, start today with one area that you would like to see a shift. Maybe it’s not your body, perhaps it is your relationship, job, career or health. Start small, and find one thing that you can say you like or don’t mind. In a way, I am asking you to be on the lookout for magic, in your life, your body, your career or your relationships. Look to see where it shows up or may be close. This practice may seem silly, but I’m pretty sure it can’t hurt to try a different method for a little while. You’ve been doing it your way for long time. So give this new of ‘hunting for magic’ a try for a little bit.
The worse case scenario? It doesn’t make any difference at all and you are right back where you are now.
What do you have to lose?