29th May 2017
This is a topic close to my heart. I believe all women should feel sexy, but do they? Nope. Why is that? Well, I think there are a few reasons.
1. Advertising preys on our insecurities. Its a well known fact that advertising appeals to our emotional needs rather than the functional benefit of the product or service because generally, the functions are all the same - its branding that makes them standout from the crowd. Rather, its how they make you feel - fear is a powerful motivator; products targeted at women such as cosmetics basically insinuate that you will be the ugliest friend in your group unless you buy 'this amazing new lipstick'. Its a stick of paint that colours your lips. We don't need it to live. We need it to feel good, to feel validated. The media portrays celebrities as 'the hottest thing ever' and if you don't look exactly like them then you are not hot. But like fashion, what's hot will change, its pointless trying to stay in style with what the media says is hot.
If tomorrow, women woke up and decided they really like their bodies, just think how many industries would go out of business. - Dr Gail Dines
2. Society has conditioned us to fit a mould of what the 'perfect woman' should be. She should be 'modest', nurturing, thin, and in recent times hold down a career while raising the perfect family all with a smile and perfect disposition. Unrealistic much? I'd say! But with these expectations, women are feeling the pressure to uphold these ideals and they are cracking under that pressure, then feeling guilty about it - they feel like they failed! Without calling to arms my 'fuck the patriarchy' inner feminist, WTF?!? Its not possible to be everything to everyone, and with all this expectation, our own individual identity is being lost. Unsurprising most women don't feel sexy, they don't have any energy left for themselves! Which brings me to my next point...
A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent political sedative in woman's history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one." - Naomi Wolfe, The Beauty Myth
3. Sexy is a feeling, its personal and its intrinsic. If you are acting and behaving in a way that is not natural, not true to yourself then you are not going to feel sexy. You're going to feel trapped, fake and exhausted. The first step to feeling sexy is accepting yourself - tough to do when the media, advertising etc are slamming you with images and telling you you are not good enough from every angle. Here's an easy step; pick one thing that you like about yourself and focus on that. Then choose one thing that you don't like - why don't you like that? Because it isn't the fashionable look? It will be at some point, don't worry about it. But rather than focusing on aesthetics, what function does that attribute provide? I have massive shoulders which means a lot of the (formerly) fashionable strappy tops looked terrible on me - BUT my shoulders are super strong and enable me to do amazing pole dancing tricks!
Beauty is a social construct - we need to stop worry about what other's think about us and start loving ourselves for us! Everyone has their strong points, whether they are aesthetic or intrinsic - EMBRACE those attributes and appreciate the other attributes for their function at least. Check out this video I made with some of the students at Diamond Dance and see what they think being sexy is all about. Its more important to love your body for what it CAN do, because function is more impressive and useful than aesthetics.
Love your body for what it can do
~ Jacinta Diamonds