When I was 18 – I was about to compete for Miss California. I was a step away from Miss America and I felt so far from beautiful, it was insane. I felt awkward, my hair was too frizzy, I was short, and god forbid I fall on my face during the swimsuit portion of the competition. I didn’t know how to present myself. I felt like a mess in a world where I needed to be graceful and as put together as I possibly could be.
A couple of months before I headed off to Fresno, we had a photoshoot with a local photographer to get some headshots done for the Miss California program book. I felt awkward, like I had no idea what I was doing. He, however, seemed excited over the shots he was getting. Afterwards, he showed me some of them and then turned to my mom and said something along the lines of, “She’s going to be one of the secretly sexy ones. Just wait.” Of course, I blushed and when we got in the car, I kind of scoffed over the comment with my mom. I was not a “sexy” girl – cute, maybe, but I had never been called sexy in my entire life and I really didn’t know what to make of it. To be honest, I still don’t know what to make of it.
This past Friday night, I had some wine and after watching some mediocre stuff on Hulu, my friend and I decided to embark on a mini photoshoot. At 1 in the morning, I was sitting on the floor of my dining room in a one-piece bathing suit and spiked heels, my wine glass sitting a few feet away from me. Feeling and looking sexy is still a daunting idea to me. I don’t know how to do it (and I’m not entirely comfortable with it) and in this situation, liquid courage was my friend and held my hand as we embarked on photos that I NEVER would have taken six months ago.
As annoying as the Kardashians can be, there’s something to be said about the way they take complete and utter ownership over themselves, their bodies and over everything they do. Those women aren’t sitting around making excuses or pretending to be anything other than what they are – they’re out there telling us that no matter what we say, they are fine and sexy ladies and they love themselves and they’re going to flaunt their lives and their bods for all of us to see. Not gonna lie, I’ve got a massive girl crush on Khloe.
The concept of “sexy” can be both empowering and degrading at the same time. Since I’m brand new to the world of dating, I still don’t know how to respond when I get a comment or a message from a guy commenting on my looks or the shape of my body. It’s mine and I know it won’t last forever – which makes the comments fascinating to me. At the end of the day, my face is just a face and my body is just a body. Looks are fleeting. Weight can change in the course of a month. Photos can be (and ARE) manipulated and filters can be put over ANYTHING to make your skin/face/hair/butt/boobs look ten times better than they do in real life. Sexuality can be completely contrived and artificial these days – all you need is a friend who is good at photoshop.
In my mind, I feel sexiest when I’m doing something productive. When I’m out and about with friends, or working, or at a concert, or traveling. When I’m in my element and I feel 100% in touch with myself and who I am. It isn’t necessarily about sticking out the boobs and shortening the hem of the dress to attract the attention – it’s a confidence that kind of comes out of you doing exactly what you should be doing.
When I’m in a little dress at a club, I feel vulnerable and on edge, like I’m presenting an alternate version of myself that isn’t entirely authentic. It’s an idea of what sexuality should be that I’m trying to replicate in my own way, which then just feels forced and posed half the time. However, I feel like I’m on top of my game when I’m sitting in a coffee shop writing on my laptop and my hair is a mess and I’m blasting music into my headphones as I sip on an iced latte. It’s all just a question of makes you feel the most confident; which activities put that little smirk on your face.
That all being said, I challenge you to figure out what makes you feel sexiest. What activities and what outfits make you feel like you can take on the world and come out victorious? Whether it be putting on the one-piece and the heels for a photoshoot at 1am, or just sitting in the coffee shop and saying to yourself as you jam out to your current favorite song: “Damn, any person that winds up with me is one lucky human being.”