Recently a picture of a woman runner with her belly sagging from having been stretched out from pregnancy hit the internet. She was applauded for "flaunting" her body (Lifestyle Magazine, 2016). Why make such a big deal out of it? Female runners wear sports bras and shorts like that, so I can understand why she didn't want a shirt sticking to her while she ran. How about the Walmart pics circulating through Facebook of people "flaunting" their bodies, those who were labelled as disgusting. The question people posed said, "Did these people look in the mirror before leaving home?" Why the difference in attitude about flaunting one's body that isn't perfect according to society's standards? Why does anyone need to flaunt one's body anyway? Personally, I think our society is overly focused on sex. Sexy sets a person up to be on one's personal throne, "Pay attention to ME."; whereas, attractive allows one's inner beauty and God's presence shine through. Let me give you a contrast so you can see what I mean.
Who is considered sexy today?
Several faces from Hollywood come to mind when people are asked what famous people do you think are sexy? Beyonce' strutted a see through dress with sequins adorning certain areas of her body at the Met Gala in 2015 (Pop Sugar, 2015). Jennifer Aniston wore sheer mesh skin-tone dress to the Ocars (Huffington Post, 2015). The Games of Thrones star Emilia Clark is sported in the buff in Equire magazine (No, I did not go to their website. Found on a Google Search.) Even if you go back to the 50's, you can see pictures of Elizabeth Taylor in steamy pictures of her day. Marilyn Monroe is still seen as a sex icon from the 50's and 60's. What is sadder still are a number of young women who plaster themselves across social media as if they are posing for a trash magazine. Why? For what purpose? These only serve to be negative role models to young women.
Who is considered attractive or beautiful?
A number of truly beautiful people have drawn our attention simply because of their personal qualities rather than flaunting their bodies to be sexy. Kate Middleton, the wife of Prince William, is a beautiful woman who exudes grace. Nowhere, except tabloids who have no respect for personal privacy, do you see her "flaunting" herself to the world. In the past, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Kathryn Hepburn, and Annette Funicello are considered classic beautiful women. None of them needed to flaunt themselves in skimpy, sexy clothing for attention. Who would you name as a beautiful woman today who is not either baring her body or posed in a seductive, sexual manner? Scanning through Google search, there are not a lot of women today who aren't falling for the seductive trap. Most of them are 50+ such as Jaclyn Smith, Helen Hunt, and Katie Kouric. Natalie Grant appeared in a one piece swimsuit on the cover of First for Women last year. She wanted to show her daughter and others that modesty is beautiful. She also insisted on "no crazy Photoshop". (CT, 2015) Truly beautiful people exude confidence, happiness, openness, and grace. They take care of their bodies with a healthy diet and exercise. They dress in clothing that enhances their beauty. They don't need to flaunt themselves to get attention.
Healthy Bodies are Attractive Bodies
When I taught self-defense to a group young women from a half-way house, who were aging out of the foster care system, most tried to be "sexy" according to their friends. Many of the others seemed to go the opposite direction, more childish for their ages. They didn't understand what it meant to be attractive.
My first husband and I always taught prevention as well as dealing with confrontation. One of the counselors-in-training gasped when I said we should consider how we dress. "What kind of attention are you really looking for? If you dress seductive, you will get sexual attention. That doesn't mean women who dress provocatively asked to be raped. Not at all. But you are looking for a type of attention. Unfortunately, not everyone who looks at them will have internal buffers that prevent inappropriate behavior." I stated. Attackers and rapists who go for a woman dressed like a hooker will expect a sexual encounter, especially a forced one. The counselor thought I was saying they are asking to be raped. I said, "No. They are asking for sexual attention, though, when they dress seductively." The head of the ministry told her to wait and watch because she knew where I was going with this lesson. I went on to explain, "The difference between sexy and attractive. Attractively dressed people are confident in who they are. They draw attention through their positive personality and caring demeanor. It radiates from them drawing people to them. People want to be around them, not necessarily have sex with them. They are not the victim profile. People who dress sexy appear desperate for attention, having a lack confidence in who they are. The victim personality lacks confidence. He or she looks vulnerable." The counselor-in-training understood what I meant. These young women so desperately wanted love and attention. They needed to learn how to get healthy attention.
So, where am I going with this?
Consider the base concept of lack of confidence with a heaping does of desire for attention. Weight loss gimmicks and other weight loss fads rake in $$$ from desperate people. They are also the people running in to a gym to get flat abs, boosted butts, and sexy, toned arms. They are also the ones who have to wear "sexy" workout clothing or slinky bathing suits at the gym to get attention from the men there. Some of these ladies are married! There are so many people who are afraid of not being accepted. Sexy smacks of desperation.
Now consider self-confidence with a heaping helping of grace and positive qualities. People who truly have these qualities are as comfortable in a one piece as a two piece suit, but you probably won't see them in a skimpy thong suit on the beach. They workout at the gym to stay healthy and fit. Yes, they want to look good, but never have I heard any of them say they wanted to look sexy. They aren't desperate for attention because people are attracted by their smile, their openness to people, and their willingness to give attention to other people. True beauty comes from within.
I Peter 3:3-4 says, "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight." People desiring to be sexy live in fear of being rejected. They are enslaved to our culture. Truly beautiful people are attractive because of who they are. It begins with the One to whom we belong. When we become confident in who God created us to be, we are free to be ourselves.
May God bless you!
Similar blog posts:
Lifestyle Magazine March 22, 2016 http://www.lifeandstylemag.com/posts/olympic-runner-mom-abdominal-split-post-baby-belly-94726
Christianity Today August 1, 2015 http://www.christiantoday.com/article/natalie.grant.agrees.to.pose.for.mag.cover.wearing.completely.modest.swimsuit/60710.htm
Pop Sugar May 5, 2015 http://www.popsugar.com/fashion/Sexiest-Dresses-Met-Gala-2015-37413738#photo-37413738
Huffington Post February 22, 2015 http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/02/22/jennifer-aniston-oscars-2015_n_6723236.html