, , , , , , , , , , ,

Has anybody seen this picture?

If you have, you’ve probably already been privy to all the *bacchanal surrounding it on HNS’s (Healthy is the New Skinny) Facebook page. To see the actual photo and read all the 17’600 and more comments go here.

Today however, I’m not going to analyse the photo, say who was wrong or right, which comments were stupid or not, I think we’ve all been down that road. There are some people whose minds you just can’t change with reason. What I will say is this.

People need to look at history and realise that our perceptions were not always the way it is. Just because we were fed a certain image in today’s world and made to believe that something is healthy or not, does not mean that in reality it is so.

You CANNOT use media standards to determine health. Media cares about what sells to make money. If 800lb, orange whip cream covered bisons were the next sensation and they could make it seem appealing so you would spend your money on it, they would market it and use whatever means to get you to believe anything in order to buy it.

At the end of the day only a trained medical professional can determine an individual’s health and until you KNOW for sure, you CANNOT make assumptions based on your own perceptions and by simply looking at someone. Well, you can, you would just be wrong, and insensitive and frankly, a bit rude but I understand that closed minds don’t always come with closed mouths, so I’ll leave it at that.

What I do want to talk about concerns this photo.

HNS’s Love Campaign – their take on the VS model ad had it been used with a variety of models

There’s something I noticed after considering responses to this picture which you can view with the comments here. I noticed the same thing with the previous picture as well but with this one it was evidently clear. You see, these women were accused of being ‘too sexy.’ O_O! Oh my!

I don’t hate a lot of things. I’m pretty happy, in a ‘whatever will be, will be’ kind of way. However, I do get annoyed when people, especially women, pretend that there is something wrong with being sexy and that they honestly don’t want to feel like that too. Even in the smallest way.

I mean, come on, really? All the feminist movements and we still have a problem with sexiness? The main ideas that I see towards this in society are either, an avoidance because they think it is inappropriate or an avoidance because they think it’s stupid and unnecessary. You know, the down with the pantyhose attitude. Either way it still boils down to avoidance and fear.

Now I do agree that the media has over sexualised EVERYTHING! There was a time when washing your car was just simple, monotonous weekend afternoon labour, until Jessica Simpson. So much so that at times the media’s obsession with sexuality leaves you going, ‘not again!’ It has made us lose sight of what sexiness is and how simple it was meant to be. It’s something that can be full on or very unassuming that really just directly reflects happiness towards your body.

Unfortunately, we’ve been so stifled with sexiness and made to think that it is the only thing that matters to self that in an attempt to preserve the rest of us, the other qualities that make us a whole woman (or man), it is understandable that people have chosen to cast off the label of ‘sexy’ altogether. Sexiness by itself could never fully describe the entities that make a person, a person. However, I still think it should not be overlooked just because the media has distorted it.

I’m trying to be careful with this not because I don’t want to offend anyone but because I really want people to understand how important feeling sexy is to someone’s psychological health, because at the end of the day it boils down to being proud and appreciative of your body.

These women may have gone the ultimate route a la sexy lingerie photo shoot but if you’ve ever walked with an extra swing in your step after a compliment or batted your eyes at your guy or felt the swig of confidence you get from a well fitting (not necessarily fitted) suite, you can be accused of feeling sexy too. It is a liberating and wonderful feeling sexiness and embracing it whether in big ways like this or smaller ways is NOT a bad thing.

Oh, I can hear the liberals now! Why do women always have to be objectified and sexualized? And men aren’t?? Please! How many naked statutes of men have been sculpted since the beginning of time?! It is a rare young girl AND grown woman who didn’t have some boy band, bare chested man, or slide show of same on their walls or computers.

Fully clothed or not, women have always been treated as objects by the media. Clothes are not the problem. Picking on one gender is not the problem. It is peoples perception and feelings towards their bodies that will always be the problem. Yes, it is named after the act of sex but sexiness does not solely exist in taking off your clothes, neither should it be scoffed at if it is.

So you won’t strip down and pose for a camera, fine. Nothing is wrong with that. That doesn’t make you any less sexy and it doesn’t make someone who will any less intellectual if they do either. It’s all a matter of what you’re comfortable with. Sexiness is a dynamic thing that can be achieved in many ways. It involves doing something for your body, that makes you feel good about it and proud about it, and once you are doing that, you ARE being or feeling sexy.

These women are sexy. Absolutely!

But so are these women. Ba-dong-ga!

Sexy! Hands down sex appeal!

Just as sexy! Va-va-voom!

I knew a lady once who was very demure, long sleeves, closed toe-shoes, nothing going higher than her calves, never saw her wear trousers. She had her views but was a very lovely, kind woman. Also did not believe that ‘sexy’ was necessary in today’s world, women are liberated and intellects now and all that. Intelligence is also very sexy by the way so if you’re sporting that, GUILTY!

Anyway, this lady had a thing about pearls, and brooches. Never saw her without one. I actually started to like pearls because of her and one day I asked her, “you always wear pearls, why is that?” Because she literally didn’t wear any other jewellery just all kinds and variations of pearls! And you know what she said? It wasn’t an immediate answer but after talking more and telling me more about her life she said,

“The first pearls I received was from my mother-in-law. I was a young girl didn’t know how to dress and she invited me over before my anniversary one day and gave me some of her jewellery. I had just gotten a new dress and my husband was taking us out and I decided to wear the pearls. I still remember how his face lit up when he saw me in them,” and she grabbed my hand like she was 20-something again. “pearls are very attractive and they look so exquisite.”

Even Josephine Baker notorious for her topless performances understood the subtle sexiness in pearls, even when wearing the most covered ensemble

I’m sorry but I believe sexy and attractive fall in the same boat, yes? This lovely, wonderful woman loved pearls because of the way they made her husband look at her and the subsequent way that it made her feel about herself, attractive and sexy. And that DOES qualify as sexiness, no lingerie, no glossy bedroom light, nothing, just pearls.

So some women decide to show off their booty and a little more skin than you would allow out on yourself out of doors. They sex it up and have all the men’s eyes bulging out of their sockets and because you won’t do the same you criticise? Fine, no problem but if you’re gonna slam sexy, you have to slam ALL sexiness, in all its myriad forms. So those pearls need to go back to your mother-in-law, you’re looking too ravishing for your own good, and your mother-in-law is probably just trying to get some grand children out of you anyway.

I guess ’embracing’ your sexiness, for want of another non-cliché word, and not being mad at someone else for embracing theirs in their own way is something that people just need to work out on their own. All I ask is this, just don’t beat it till you’ve tried it. And by ‘it’ I mean the ultimate sexy route, a full on embracing your sexiness test!

Get some cute underwear, it doesn’t even have to be negligee, just get something that you like that you would only wear underneath a lot of clothes. Put on some music you like, Beethoven is allowed, lock your door and close your windows if you must and dance around your room in them. I know it sounds very Charlie’s Angels Cameron Diaz and there’s no need to do the ‘forbidden dance’! O_O ! God forbid! The dancing is just to loosen you up as believe it or not this can be very daunting to do for some even behind closed doors, and when you’re done tell me, in fact tell yourself that you really don’t love your body more after ward or at least see yourself in a whole different way. I already know what a lot will say, ‘I don’t need that, I’m liberated!’

Honey, sexiness is a part of liberation! But don’t just listen to me. Decide for yourself, remember, critics may lie.


“There is more to sex appeal than just measurements. I don’t need a bedroom to prove my womanliness. I can convey just as much sex appeal, picking apples off a tree or standing in the rain.” – Audrey Hepburn

“Do I consider myself sexy? It all depends on the way I’m feeling. When I’m happy inside, that’s when I feel most sexy” – Anna Kournikova

“I’m not trying to be sexy. It’s just my way of expressing myself when I move around” – Elvis Presley  (It is, I swear! 🙂 )

*bacchanal – big argument or scandal

– Written by Travesaou

Copyright © 2010 Critics May Lie All Rights Reserved