11/08/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Power of Skin: Shake Your Booty?

I was at an event recently when I was dissed. It wasn't a mean diss, or even a conscious one for that matter. And that kind of made it worse.

I was talking to a colleague who I respect. We were chatting away and suddenly his head turned and locked. Silence. He became mesmerized. No, his brain froze or fried on the spot when a tall woman wearing a tight bright top revealing the exact shape of her breasts began to dance. Her pants hung so low you could almost glimpse her betty.

I thought about snapping my fingers, waving my hand in front of his face, or just walking away. I doubt he would have noticed. Then I realized I was mad. And jealous.

I was mad because I wasn't commanding his attention with my presence. Sure, I could have yanked down my top so the effectiveness of my push-up bra could be revealed. I could have danced seductively too. But that's not me. I want to be taken seriously -- as a woman, I want to be listened to, cherished, not gawked at.

It's not that I don't recognize the power of skin. I just choose not to use it. Years ago, a friend told me that while she was talking to a man she liked she hiked her shorts up a bit so he could get a better look at her legs. This idea was so foreign to me at the time I couldn't even imagine doing such a thing.

All my life my mother insisted I buy loose clothes to hide my ample ass. It didn't work. The entire African American male population frequently commented on my "booty." Some said that I must have Hottentot in my Caucasian ancestry.

Since then I've experimented a bit more showing a hint of cleavage, some thigh, clingy pants, but I wouldn't want the general public to know if I had a Brazilian. Perhaps I'm alone on this. I always thought that a good present gave the most pleasure when it was beautifully wrapped.

Susan Harrow is the author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul. She runs a Media Consultancy where she helps everyone from Fortune 500 CEOs to celebrity chefs, entrepreneurs to authors grow their business through media coaching and the power of PR. For more information please contact Susan.