Literacy-chic of the great blog Words, Words recently had yet another post that really got me thinking. In reference to a commentor who claimed that some breastfeeding mothers don’t value their bodies, she writes:
We feel the need to operate within this “sexy-not-mommy, ” “mommy-not-sexy” dichotomy that exists in society…To put it bluntly: breastfeeding breasts can still be sexy, and breastfeeding moms can still have sexy thoughts about their breasts.
I actually started leaving a comment to jump into the debate about whether or not breastfeeding moms can also be sexy, but as I typed a thought struck me: do I even think that being sexy is a worthy goal? I’d never really thought about it before. I’ve groused around on this blog about how our society over-values sexiness, but I’d never stopped to ask if there’s anything valuable about being sexy.
I mulled it over as I went through my afternoon, asking myself if I think that we women should ever want to be sexy. And I surprised myself when I came up with the answer: no, I don’t think we should. I think it’s beneath us.
The way I’ve come to see it, if someone finds you sexy it’s a euphemistic way of saying they see you as an object of lust. I think we’ve been misled to desire to be sexy by our contraceptive culture, which believes that sex is mainly about surface-level pleasure and only very rarely about creating new souls (but you already know that, since I’m always boring on about it, as I did here and here). 🙂 I offer the video below as an example of what I think we women should strive for in terms of physical attractiveness. Of course we want to be visually appealing in one way or another — it’s hardwired into our natures. But there are plenty of ways to do that, as women almost always have up until the present era, that preserve our great dignity as women, humans, and children of God. The women in this video are beautiful. They’re lovely, feminine, graceful and elegant — but they are not sexy. Such an adjective seems far too base, and borders on insulting.
Anyway, this is actually a new thought for me and I was kind of surprised to find myself coming to this conclusion, so I thought I’d throw it out there for comments: is being sexy a worthy goal, or does it devalue us as women? Should we ever want to be sexy?
(Thanks again to Literacy-chic for the great post that got me thinking about this in the first place!)
UPDATE: I just realized that I have been misspelling Literacy-chic’s name for months. The first time I saw it I misread it as Literary-chic and that just stuck. SO sorry!
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