By Luminessa Enjara
How do women define what makes them look and feel sexy?
This is a question I have asked myself for quite some time. I even offer a workshop for women exploring this very issue. Women have been told for hundreds, if not thousands of years, what they have to look like in order to be a “sexy” woman. Today we have Madison Ave. ads, fashion magazines, movies and music lyrics that tell us how you can be a “sexier” you. We are constantly bombarded with messages that tell us how we should look, act, think, feel and what we should wear in order to be a sex goddess, have a fulfilling sex life, have the man of our dreams, and so on.
With all of our advancement in the workplace, in some political arenas and with some of our male/female relationships, women are still living within the framework of the old paradigm that was created some 10,000 years ago. Although the standards of what men define as “sexy” may have changed, the attitudes have not. You may find that you are still defining yourself according to these standards that most of us had no part in creating.
Have you ever taken a moment to just reflect on what makes you feel and look sexy? What types of clothing make you feel that you have a sexy body, or that you are a sexually powerful woman? If you were to take a look at your wardrobe, what would you find that truly reflects how you define what being and looking like a sexy woman is? You may think that the choices you have made are your own, but are they really? Where do we get these ideas of what sexy looks like, or what a sexy body is supposed to be?
Not too difficult a question really, for as I already mentioned, these ideas that we often think are our own are only a reflection of what our society and culture dictate to us; in this case, what our male-dominated culture has told us. For thousands of years since the inception of patriarchy, men have set down the standards of beauty and sexuality for women and women have essentially been trying to live out those ideals. In a recent book I read by Naomi Wolfe, The Beauty Myth, I learned quite a bit about how Madison Ave. works to train the minds of women to buy whatever they wish to sell. Now, women work in this industry too, so it is not just men who tell us what to buy. What disturbed me the most was reading that women actually believe in what they are being told to buy without much question and this is primarily due to the fact that a great many women have very low self-esteem and do not trust their own judgment. So what does this all mean and how can we be the change that we desire to have?
Redefining Your Erotic Sense of Self
Begin by taking the time to ask yourself a few questions: