The other day, I had the following text exchange with my sister, Brownie (her name’s not Brownie, it’s Devon. Longtime SYB Babes will remember this). We were talking about going to our friend’s house party.
Brownie: No idea what to wear. You know this crowd, some of these girls’ll show up to brunch in a bodycon cocktail dress. I can’t do it.
Me: Whatever, I’ll be just as sexy. In jeans.
I said this without thinking…but then it hit me, twenty minutes later. And I was so desperately embarrassed. I immediately texted her back.
Me: Umm, did I just say I was sexy? I am not sexy. I just meant “less is more.”
Brownie: There’s nothing wrong with saying you’re sexy!
Me: Actually, there are few things worse.
I come from the school of thought that “sexy” — along with “hilarious” and “genius” — are things that you should allow another person to say about you. If you declare them yourself, then you probably aren’t. I never wanted to be the kind of girl who actually believed she was sexy. It’s supposed to be hotter to be a bit unsure about it. To not even be aware of the things that men find attractive about you. Diane Keaton la-di-da’d her way through Annie Hall her granddad’s clothes and was the most fuckable woman of 1977. The question is — did she know it was sexy, or was she just pretending to be oblivious?
Girls are taught that it’s not okay to have too much of a grasp on their sexual power. You should aspire to be hot, desired, gorgeous — but it’s not okay to be aware, or to have any real handle on it. If you’re too knowing, you’re vain (and possibly a slut). God, that “You Don’t Know Your Beautiful” song by One Direction (sorry, I’m such a child) is the perfect example. Harry Styles, that hot piece of barely-legal ass, whines through the song that this girl is beautiful because she doesn’t know she is. First of all, be clear — the chick who ends up in Harry Styles’ bed knows exactly where her powers lie. Secondly, why is it more attractive/desirable/awww-inspiring to pretend that she doesn’t?
I am not a bombshell. I have my moments though, like we all do. And I did believe that I’d be cute in those jeans — especially surrounded by heavily contoured lids and Jessica McClintock dresses at 4pm — and I shouldn’t have been embarrassed about thinking it. Girls, own your sexy!