h2>Dating : Why is sexiness a threat to women’s worth?
She’s so hot right? If you’re reading this your current thoughts on this picture probably range from ‘what a slut, who posts pictures like that? I could never, ugh’ to ‘damn I wish I could fuck her’, to ‘I want to be like her so bad’.
As a young girl in my 20s I’m bombarded with beauty standards signalling to me the kind of woman I should look like every day, at any given time. I just opened Instagram to see a happy girl in a short video advertising a new bra saying, ‘my boobs have never been so happy’. What the actual fuck does that even mean? I swear, Instagram will be the death of us.
Anyways, that’s not the point. What I’m trying to grapple on is the intricate, mysterious and taboo conversation on sexiness. We all want to look sexy, sexiness makes us feel empowered because we feel desired, it makes us feel like we are owning our body no matter how it looks, we are leaving our insecurities behind and presenting our naked body for its pure and simple beauty. There is something fascinating and powerful about that, when women feel sexy they feel strong and fearless, they feel like they are owning their body and whatever room they’re in. They literally become fuelled with confidence and they radiate beauty.
But I feel like there’s a dark side to sexiness. Growing up, it was obvious I should dress a certain way, why? Well, you know, you don’t want to attract undesired attention, you want to attract a ‘gentleman’, i.e. someone who will respect you, i.e. you cannot have respect by men if you’re going around dresses like a hoe, plus, girls will not want to be your friend because they will feel threatened by you expressing your sexuality too much. It seemed very clear and simple, dress ‘cute and elegant’ don’t dress ‘sexy’ and people will respect you for who you are.
I never questioned this much at all growing up. I saw girls experimenting with sexy clothes, but every time I tried them on I’d get creepy stares, loud comments and subtle negative judgment simply by walking down the street. It was scary, the thought that any one of those men could just grab me, follow me, talk to me aggressively just because I was being ‘sexy’, was not okay with me. No thanks, I’d rather live a happy life giving off a cute innocent girl vibe rather than feeling in danger all the time or having to deal with gross people.
All of this made sense to me, until Instagram came along. All these fucking sexy naked girls that everyone wants to fuck are all over my fucking screen. Excuse the swearing, but there’s a part of me that’s pissed off about it. This little voice inside of me saying ‘hang on, I thought that girls that behave like this are not welcomed, why is everyone adoring and idolising them, both men and women?’ Something clicked, I felt a bit disoriented about my beliefs on women. It reminded me of the times that I wanted to be considered sexy, but then I’d go for the ‘safe’ outfit option because I wouldn’t want to risk it…Risk what?
I have been so scared to embrace my sexiness because of how I was taught about relationships between men and women. I was taught that good men go after the cute innocent girl, and the bad creepy men go after the ‘hoes’. But I cannot stress how untrue that is. From my boyfriend to my best guy friends, who I deeply respect and admire as people, not a single ‘good men’ would not want to have sex with those sexy girls, I mean, to an extent, neither would I, they are so hot I don’t even know if I’d say no. But the point is, they wouldn’t date them.
“Yea, you see, you’re an intelligent, pretty and elegant girl, you are dating material, you’re not just a random hoe”, I have been told that in the past, and took it as a compliment. I took it as something to be proud of, it made me feel special. I have always been the girl in a relationship. Since the age of 15 I’ve had long lasting happy relationships all characterised by a similar starting point, where the guy says something like ‘you are so special, you’re not like all these other girls, I can trust you’.
And dan, dan, dan, the bomb drops in my head: Have I always attracted respectful kind men that wanted to have serious relationships with me for the single fact that I was consciously choosing not to express my sexiness? (Wow, do I feel like Carrie Bradshaw right now writing this little essay, side-note).
This gets me thinking of all the times I felt jealous of sexy women because I felt like I was denied to be like them if I wanted to be respected. It got me frustrated, why can’t I be sexy AND relationship material? And most importantly, why do men fall in love and want to have long lasting relationship with the innocent girl but also want to have crazy sex with the ‘hoe’ (i.e. the girl who is not afraid of being sexy)? Why don’t men want both in one girl? I’m just baffled at the response I got from my boyfriend “because you can eat junk food every once in a while, but in general, you want to keep a healthy diet”. Oh, my god, isn’t this the most sexist thing I’ve ever heard? Yet it crudely displays the mentality that men have grown up with so clearly.
It’s as if men want to be associated with a girl who’s healthy, innocent, genuine, kind, basically a fucking bowl of salad with a little avo to make it exciting. But when it comes to sex, men want the burger, that big ‘ol greasy cheesy burger, with bacon, if possible. And so, they go about life, also as influenced by society as women, with these very contradictory attractions to both extreme types of girls, as if one girl by herself can never be both. The relationship salad and the fucking-on-the-side burger: two different worlds. And the crazy part is that if the salad tries to become a little bit more like a burger, they lose their value, but when the burger tries to become a salad they gain value. Meaning, embracing sexiness makes you lose value as a woman…How fucked up.
I don’t know if you’re completely lost like me at this point. I am just a salad girl who would like to express my sexiness occasionally without being considered a hoe, without being considered burger to eat when you feel like having a guilty pleasure, without having to worry about being harassed.
So, here are my final questions: burger girls, how do you deal with unrequited attention? How do you feel when you post a picture in a bikini showing off your hard work at the gym and all you get is tons of likes, dick pics, and hungry creepy salivating guys commenting all types of shit? And salad girls, how do you feel about sexiness? Why are you scared or threatened by it within yourself and when it’s displayed by other girls?
As a girl, I know that there is no such thing as this silly distinction, let’s be honest here, we have all done ‘hoey’ things AND serious relationship things. We are all capable of being sexy and intelligent and pretty and elegant and hoey. I know we all are, but we chose to display one image or the other of ourselves in our life and on social media. Why is that? Why is it that Alexis Ren is sexy AF and we want to be like her but if we posted the same pictures we’d feel like we are losing our value? Why is that if we posted a picture like hers, we’d be categorised as a hot one night stand material and no longer relationship material? Why is being sexy considered a loss of worth as a woman?