Saturday, January 14, 2012

Choosing Safe Over Sexy

My whole life I was a ‘jeans and t-shirt’ kind of girl, and nothing could ever change that. When I was in high school, during my over weight years, I would go shopping with my mom and buy the exact same things in different colors; I remember we used to have the same argument every time. My mother, who was extremely attractive and naturally slender, could not understand why I chose to dress like a boy and frankly I didn’t understand why either. All I knew at the time was that I would not be caught dead in a dress or skirt. At the time, my excuse was that I was overweight and I wanted to dress in what I considered to be “fat-flattering” clothes. Over the years however, as I lost all my extra weight and as my body changed from a little girls’ body to a grown woman’s I realized that I still dressed the same way I did in high school. I still blamed my few extra pounds for not “dressing sexy”.
                Then one day, as I got dressed to go out with one of my long-time friend (let’s call her Mary), I realized that nothing in my closet was good enough. Before I go on, let me tell you a little about Mary. Mary and I look almost identical, we are the same height; have the same hair color and length and body type. We were often mistaken for sisters. The only difference between Mary and I was the way we dressed. Mary would never leave the house without her heels and makeup. Her hair was always done and perfect and she always smelled good. Mary put extra attention in her outfits and would often wear different styles depending on what was in. Wherever we went, Mary got all the attention, I’ll tell you that but as I walked next to her in my flat shoes, my beyond basic outfit and makeup-less face I would secretly tell myself that I was a “woman of substance” and didn’t need to get attention by wearing heels or makeup. And as for my outfits, well I wasn’t a fan of fashion like she was, so that was my excuse. But secretly, I envied Mary, not for the attention she was getting, but for taking advantage of her femininity, her youth, and her beauty. Even her voice was low and husky which I know for a fact she trained herself to perfect.
                It was during that time that I realized something very crucial about myself; the reason I didn’t dress the way she did, the way I secretly wanted to, was because I never had the confidence to see myself as a sexy woman. Instead, I’d rather play it safe by wearing really simple and unflattering clothes so that if nobody gave me attention or a second look, I would comfort myself by saying “I could get their attention if I wanted to, however I like to dress simple and so that’s why they obviously didn’t notice”.  Even today, when I do force myself to get dressed up and put on a sexy pair of heels, all I can feel is people’s eyes on me, glaring at me as if they could see right through the clothes, and at the insecure person inside. As if they could see that I was trying to be something I could never be. And since confidence is widely agreed upon to be the sexiest quality in a person, I have to fix a few things inside before I can feel comfortable in heels and makeup on the outside.


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