Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Confession: Bringing Sexy Back


I will never, not once, fit the mold that our society has created for the perfect female form. My wide hips and short, stocky frame just aren’t made for it. I could work out and become more muscular and get in better shape, but I’m never going to be a “model type” especially considering that these days anything above a size 6 is considered plus-sized in modeling while the average size of women in general hovers around 12-14.

That’s a pretty huge disparity.

What makes this even more telling is not the idea that women were actually bigger in earlier eras. In actuality, the average BMI of modern women is slightly larger than it has been in the past. The difference, however, is that the average BMI of the perfect body form—the ideal that all women are inundated with and pushing for—has gotten smaller. In other words, the average model or celebrity’s BMI has gotten smaller while the average woman’s has gotten larger making it nearly impossible for 95% of women to reach the goal so often shoved down our throats with fad diets, celebrity magazine covers, and fat shaming.

But you know what?

Fuck that noise.

Women can be sexy at every size because it takes more than a number—be it BMI, dress size, or weight—to define what sexy is. It is, most often, a mind-state, the hint of confidence, the walk, the overall package of looks, brains, and heart. We see women on screen, in photos, and cat-walking on super thin legs then feel our own thighs moving against one another as we walk and cringe. We feel a roll when we sit and become distressed. We develop body issues, confidence issues, food issues and, unfortunately, eating disorders all because we don’t look like this highly unattainable ideal form. Why are we doing this? Why has it become so necessary to look like anything other than ourselves?

The answer, simply, is that no good answesr to those questions exist, and we need to stop. Stop obsessing about ideals. Stop stressing over the number on a pair of jeans. Stop wanting to be anything other than
Tess Munster
healthy. That may be easier said than done. In fact, I know how difficult the process of acceptance is…I’m in the midst of it while still obsessively tracking every single calorie I eat. It’s hard to let those old habits die. It’s hard to see someone like Ashley Tisdale and not wish I was 6 sizes smaller but then I see models like the gorgeous Tess Munster loving her body and wish I had that courage and peace with my physical self. It’s going to be quite a journey…a journey that I hope more women will join me on because together we can redefine what we think of when we hear the word sexy, and it doesn’t have to be about flat abdomens, thigh gaps, and bony hips that were meant for holding the lowest cut pants on the market.

It can, instead, be about soft curves, thick thighs, witty comebacks, freckles---anything that defies the current accepted idea. We can bring sexy back to reality and stop holding ourselves to ideas of perfection that really don’t exist unless we become able to photoshop our actual bodies because most often the perfection we’re trying to obtain doesn’t even exist in reality...only on a computer screen that is then transposed onto a magazine page or an ad. We can accept that sexy entails those things that we hold as ideals but includes far, far more than that.

We, ourselves, are the only ones with the power to accept that being real is all that is required to being sexy, and it is up to us to take that shit back.


  1. Whenever I'm feeling bad about my hips, I just imagine some of those little size 0 women trying to give birth to a nine pound baby. I have hips for a reason and I never felt prouder of myself than the day my midwife told me how perfect my hips were after giving birth to my first child. I may never rock a pair of skinny jeans but I rocked childbirth, and that makes me feel good. Sexy is all about confidence, and I think we can find that from different places. Not just the number on our jeans. Great post!

    1. I think back on my own childbirthing experience and I wonder if part of the reason I've had trouble embracing my hips has been because of the way things went down. For a long time, I was sure my body had failed me. I had an emergency csection and almost died in the process. But, the more I realize that it was very likely the hospital's fault, the more it helps me.

      I think sexy has a lot to do with confidence. Women have stopped, I think, embracing the beauty inherent in all our differences because we stay so in tune to the images of womanhood pushed on us by the media, but we're better than that. Sexy should be better than that. Sometimes there's nothing sexier than mom hips and curvy bodies.

  2. You're beautiful and I adore you. Thanks for being here this week.