Sexy Is As Sexy Does
Sexy is a really difficult concept for me.
Growing up with a deep love for Barbie and Seventeen magazine, I would spend hours comparing myself to the beautiful faces, perfect curves, and amazing clothes that other girls seemed to pull off effortlessly, garnering them piles of sex-crazed boys lusting after them. And then there was how I saw myself: a potato.
I had been told I was cute, funny, smart, and every other word except sexy. I wanted to be sexy SO BAD. But I had just decided it was never an adjective I could embody.
After growing up *just a little*, I was trying to reinvent myself. I had begun to realize that sex wasn’t so difficult to come by as I had thought, and I began using it as a way to feel good about myself. I was convinced that being sexy simply meant people wanting to sex me up, and if people wanted to sleep with me, I would finally feel sexy.
Uh, nope. Not that how works, just fyi. While there was definitely some fun had and feeling wanted and desired was amazing, it didn’t internalize my own belief in my level of sexiness.
I’m growing up a *little more* and realizing that if I want to truly feel sexy, I need to believe I’m sexy, just for me. So I decided I wanted to do a boudoir photoshoot.
The thought of wearing skimpy lingerie in front of someone I didn’t know was horrifying. What if I came out of the dressing room and she laughed at me? What if she can’t get a single sexy picture and I just look like some sort of Chris Farley fat-guy-in-a-little-coat comedy bit? WHAT IF PEOPLE SEE THEM AND SEE HOW UNSEXY AND HIDEOUS I REALLY AM AND NOBODY EVER WANTS TO DATE ME AND I’LL DIE ALONE AND NOBODY WILL NOTICE UNTIL MY DOG HAS EATEN MY FACE OFF?
But. I’m working on being brave, and this was a perfect chance to exercise that. Part of my being brave has been just committing to things I’m afraid of and doing them before I can back out.
So. I did it.
I was HORRIFIED. I went out and bought new lingerie, freaked out and packed like a million outfits, then nearly drove away when I pulled up to her studio. But she had already seen me pull up, so that would’ve been hella awkward.
Immediately after walking in, I felt comfortable. Mary Kate, my amazing photographer, talked me through her ideas, went through my lingerie with me and we picked our favorites, and she even brought me brownies, which is basically the way to my heart.
Her AMAZING makeup artist Adele (@adele.belle) listened to my makeup requests, including a red lip and eyelashes that hit my eyebrows. If I were rich, I would hire her to do my makeup every day. For reals. Not only did I look and feel like a sexy goddess, but she was so much fun to talk to and made me feel safe in her hands.
Then it was time to shoot.
But immediately, Mary Kate gave me specific poses and ideas, encouraging me the entire way. Her running commentary of encouragement, smiles, and playful banter made me feel safe, and I felt incredibly relaxed.
I felt good. I felt beautiful. I felt comfortable. And I felt sexy. But this wasn’t the sexy I was used to feeling. It wasn’t tied to a boy wanting to see me naked. It wasn’t compared to a magazine shoot. I felt sexy because I knew I was sexy. I loved how I looked and felt, and I knew it was radiating out of me.
When I got the pictures, everything I felt was visible in every shot. Of course there were some pictures I like better than others, but overall I was in love with me. I truly felt sexy because I knew I was.
For anyone who has ever considered doing a boudoir shoot, I say GO DO IT NOW ASAP IMMEDIATELY. But do it for you! Obviously gifting said photos is amazing. And if I wasn’t single AF and knew somebody who deserved them, I would’ve Kim Kardashianed that shit and made a calendar for a boyfriend.
Sexy is not determined by someone else. Sexy is a state of mind. Did I feel sexy in my fancy ass lingerie while seductively hugging a wall? Absolutely. But I’ve also felt just as sexy in my sweatpants and tank top with no makeup on. But sometimes that state of mind needs a little wake up call, and this photoshoot was exactly what I needed.