I always wanted to be sexy.
Now before anyone starts sending me angry messages about negative body image just settle down and hear me out. I’m not saying I wanted to be more beautiful, or thinner, or have larger breasts (although if we are being completely honest I may have occasionally considered that last one), no.
I just really wanted to be sexy.
Sexy isn’t a specific appearance or body type.
Sexy is the way that some women seem to be able to slide into a room like some mythical creature of the night, and immediately command the attention of everyone there, simply by the way they carry themselves.
It’s in a look, a movement, or the specific lilt of a voice. It’s obvious and yet so hard to really describe. All I knew was that I wanted it. I wanted to slide into a room and have people taken by my presence. I wanted to possess the ability to make people swoon. I wanted to be sexy.
There was just one tiny little problem with my goal.
I am quite possibly one of the clumsiest and most awkward human beings currently walking around on this planet.
I was a clumsy and awkward child, and I was told I would grow out of it. Nope. I simply grew into a clumsy and awkward teenager, who then turned into a clumsy and awkward adult.
But I tried…oh how I tried.
Sadly I was the girl who, rather than sliding into a room like magic, would trip over things that weren’t there or command the attention of others by walking into walls.
When I was in college I was rushing to class one day when I was sure I had caught the eye of a young man I found super attractive. As I walked past, trying my very best to be cool and calm I thought I would just glance back and give him a coy little smile.
You know, act sexy. I glanced back with that coy smile, and then proceeded to fall down an entire flight of stairs. Apparently, when you are trying to be sexy, you also need to be somewhat aware of your surroundings.
As a young adult I bought power suits and heels. Determined to command attention in the boardroom. Heels really only look sexy on people who can walk in them without rolling over on an ankle, and power suits are only sexy when you didn’t spill your coffee on them during your morning commute.
I tried all of the stereotypical tricks and ideas that we are told will absolutely make us sexy and of course completely irresistible.
I bought padded push up bras, and slapped on the mascara. I bought sexy perfumes and practiced having an air of mystery. Did you know that the underwire in a push up bra can suddenly just stab you in the heart without warning?
Or that some people are allergic to mascara, or break out in hives from certain perfumes?
Some people are compulsive over sharers when they first meet people. “Some people” are even allergic to latex….sooo…ya…..
When I met my sweet husband, he didn’t seem overly concerned about the constant breaking and spilling and tripping and random allergic reactions. I kind of gave up on the whole sexy thing, and we settled into our life together.
After our kids were born, I started to worry a little that maybe I should try to be sexier for him. Keep the spark alive.
I tried dirty talk. Turns out I am really bad at it. It either becomes something I end up having to explain or something that results in me giggling uncontrollably because I can’t believe the words left my mouth.
I thought maybe some lingerie. The straps were complicated and I ended up asking him to help me get into it. There really should be levels of difficulty labelled on those things.
Maybe a pole dancing class? That would surely get his engine going. When I mentioned this to him however, he gently pointed out that the only engine going would likely be the one in the ambulance coming to pick me up after I flew off the pole and broke something.
He of course reminded me for about the millionth time that I was being silly. He thought I was sexy just the way I was. I struggled to believe him.
Luckily, with age comes clarity. It has taken me over forty years to finally realize this, but sexy, like beauty, really is in the eye of the beholder.
When I stumble into a room my husband can’t take his eyes off of me. He thinks it’s adorable that I can’t be trusted to use recently sharpened knives. He finds my ballet flats and lack of make-up irresistible. He gazes at me just like the mythical creature of the night I always dreamed of being.
I don’t have to, and I never had to, try to be sexy for him. In his eyes, I already am.
I guess that’s why it’s so hard to really describe what sexy is. Because for each person, that description could be something completely different.
We need to stop trying to be anything, and just be who we are. Unapologetically and shamelessly our own kind of sexy.
For me, awkward is the sexy. And I am finally embracing the hell out of it.