I talk to women all day. That’s my job in every capacity. My job encompasses many different tasks depending on the day and for what I’ve been hired, but ultimately, my job is to talk to women.
A resonating issue I hear all the time is that we, as women, don’t feel sexy anymore. Some never did to begin with, some can’t embrace their post-baby bodies, some struggle with aging or weight gain, some have suffered abuse, some feel defeated from past relationships, and most have simply lost any kind of spark with their partners.
The sad statistics of today's world are deafening, and I am not at all surprised to hear the negative self-talk that I do from women every day. 1 in 4 women in North America have been sexually assaulted or have been victims of sexual abuse. That's a jaw-dropping, puke in my mouth number. Another percentage for you? 38-41%. That's the Stats Can projection for the amount of marriages since 2004 that will end in divorce before 2035. WTF?? Take those numbers and the hardships that come with them, then factor in the standards projected in the images we see on tv, movies, runways, magazines, and social media. Nevermind that as women, no matter how hard we hustle and how many shiny credentials we accumulate, we are still earning approximately 20% less than our male counterparts. Keep in mind too, that its become common practice for women to put each other down and be Judgy McJudgersons, rather than support one another, despite what all the cleverly timed #basic inspirational Instagram posts would lead you to believe.
And then we wonder why so many women feel tired, sad, defeated, and generally un-sexy?
Why does it seem that women pick up on the slightest slur of negativity, but never hear the good stuff? Criticisms are stored forever, but compliments evaporate instantly. Well, I've just given you the tip of the iceberg as to why.
I read somewhere that if you say out loud to someone else what you hate about your body, you can begin to let go of that negativity. Um, well, I can shout from the roof tops that I hate my boobs and ALMOST got a boob job until the consult with the male plastic surgeon was an unholy nightmare, complete with a creepy breast exam that resembled Stevie Wonder at the piano... #thanksbutnothanks. I can send out a mass email explaining the resent I have for the squishy vortex that resides where my once flat, defined abs used to be. I could tie two cans and a string together old school and tell someone in the next room that I don’t care that “everyone” has cellulite, I would like mine to hit the road. Really, god knows how many people I’m reaching with this post “saying it out loud”, but I still feel negative about my newfound jowls.
Like so many other women, I'm searching for my misplaced femininity and quality level of self esteem as of late. I'm in a rut. Where did my sexy go? Where’s my mojo, yo?
In a quest to try to embrace some of that inner fierceness that’s been lost along the way, I headed out to partake in some fun, sexy activities around our fair city in order to try to get my groove back.
First things first, let me remind you that October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and just because now we are into the pornstache laden travesty that is "Movember", doesn't mean that breast cancer awareness ends at midnight on Halloween. So if you haven't yet, go get your funbags checked. This disease doesn’t discriminate.
That said, Crystal and her glam squad at Joi Photography do a boudoir marathon every year called Boudoir For Boobies that raises money for the C95 Radio Marathon for Breast Cancer Research. Seeing as how this is a charity close to my heart, I signed up for a last minute spot that was available. Do I enjoy being in underwear with people around? No. Do I want to be photographed in underwear?? Uhhh, also no. Am I a girl that needs to try to embrace my inner Beyoncè again? Unfortunately, yes.
I thought about this. How do I feel right now? Would standard pretty lingerie represent me or translate well on camera in my current mindset? No. Would it ever? I'm not sure, but probably not. I would feel sexier in a tank top and ripped up jean shorts on any regular day. But that isn’t where I’m at either right now. I thought... what look would best represent me right now? The answer was abundantly clear. A hot f*cking mess. The goal of the emphasis being more hot than mess.
I grabbed my scissors and started hacking away at an old tank. I felt like I was totally on the right track with my trainwreck tee. Throw in some lace and an amazing luxury piece from local business, Strapped Lingerie, and I felt like I was a fair representation of what the sexiest version of myself could be at that moment. I didn't do this for anyone else. I was simply trying to get to a place where I could feel that I looked true to myself and my style, and could be secure enough letting someone else photograph that. During the shoot I felt empowered, awkward, vulnerable, and emotional all at once. Its amazing how letting another person take photos of you can be make you feel both super shy and super confident at the same time. Plus, at the end of the day, there are photos of who I am right now, and money was raised for an excellent cause.
As my fav babe Miranda Lambert says:
“It takes strength to show vulnerability.”
So I mustered up that strength during this hard time for me, went out of my comfort zone, and documented myself at my most vulnerable. Crystal is so amazing at her job and really knows how to the connect with the women she works with once she has you in that room. It's something I really feel like all women should experience at least once. I actually said when I saw the photos that "it was a total catfish, because I don't look like that in real life." Yet, everyone I talked to said that that is what I look like, I just don't see what others do when I look at myself. Its important to not only hear those things when people tell you, but to really learn to believe them . I ended up with 6 photos that captured all the different emotions that I rotate through daily right now. From fierce to sad and everything in between. And you know what? Even at my most vulnerable, I still look pretty hot. #sorrynotsorry
I remember being in high school and still living at home with my parents and my dad finding a black bra that I left in the bathroom. He asked me "What is this, are you some kind of dancing girl or something??" It was strapless to boot, which speaks even more to its sheer functionality for that matter, because who in their right mind wears a strapless bra unless they have to. I still think about that and laugh every time I wear a black bra, and much to his dismay, the next thing I did was head out to do was a pole dancing class at Club Mynx.
Ok... in shape, I am not. If I do 5k on the treadmill, I might as well have just run the Boston Marathon, cause that's how accomplished I feel. Burpees? Unless you mean what happens if I chug a beer too fast, then count me out. Also, as mentioned, sexy is also not at the top of the list of adjectives I would use for myself. However, hey, if there’s an activity that combines getting some exercise while getting your groove back... cool, sign me up.
My sister and fellow Modern Woman blogger, Julie, along with our friends Darcie and Lauren, took a semi-private class with instructor, Samantha, and learned the basics of embracing our inner stripper. Ok not really, your clothes stay put, but your focus is the serious coordination and freedom to let yourself find that sexy side of you that allows you to move that like. This truly is a skill, because allowing yourself to get to a confident enough place mentally to embrace the sexuality of those moves is a feat in and of itself. Plus, it takes serious strength to maneuver around that pole. Hats off to all those girls working their way through college, cause that pole is no joke.
It was was a good time and Samantha made us all feel super comfortable. We had a lot of laughs and didn’t take ourselves too seriously. I’m considering signing up for a session of classes because this was really challenging for me to step out of my comfort zone and try to be a little less square. Sigh. #spongebob
To end the night off, we patted ourselves on the back for being so super sexy and rewarded ourselves with wine in my hot tub. Wine makes everything extra good.
Until next time, find strength in vulnerability and keep trying to find your inner vixen whether it be in front of a camera, dancing on a pole, or simply looking in the mirror.
Do it for you, and nobody else.
You are beautiful, worthy, and powerful. When you believe that, you will find your sexy.