Why Being Sexy Has Nothing To Do With Appearance

Sexy is messy, caring, and sudden. It’s not planned or contrived.
04/27/2017 04:00 pm ET Updated Apr 28, 2017
Michelle Zunter

For decades I thought I knew what sexy was. It started when I was a young girl. The concept of sexy would stare back at me from the grocery store fashion magazines and glamorous prime time soap operas.

The official definition of sexy is “sexually attractive or exciting.” Words like seductive, desirable, alluring, toothsome, sensual, sultry, slinky, provocative, tempting, and tantalizing are also offered up as alternative descriptions of sexy. (If anyone out there knows exactly what “toothsome” is supposed to entail I’d love to know...)

Sexy has become a word we use on a daily basis. We use it to describe the human body, human hair, skin, clothes — even accessories like bags or belts. It’s supposed to allude to something we want as badly as sex.

I spent my first 16 years or so on this earth thinking that glossy perfection in a magazine or villainously high black heels with stockings were the holy grails of womanhood.

In reality, those magazine pictures were just airbrushed creations of someone else’s fantasy. The black high heels mercilessly ripped the skin off your feet. The stockings were always too tight in the waist and cut off your circulation.

None of those things are what sexy truly is. Those are just superficial playthings we’ve come to accept as the status quo of sex appeal. Our stale concept of what’s sexy needs to take a backseat to a new definition.

Sexy is taking responsibility for your life. It’s waking up everyday knowing that you might fail at something but continuing on regardless. Sexy is muddling through life absolutely terrified, but still knowing you’ve got the guts to do it.

Sexy is muddling through life absolutely terrified, but still knowing you've got the guts to do it.

Sexy is comforting someone even after you’ve had a bad day. Sexy is putting your children first. Sexy is making love without shaving your legs because you and your partner have to take what time you get. Sexy is messy, caring, and sudden. It’s not planned or contrived.

There’s definitely something to be said for looking neat, attractive, or stylish, but that’s not what I would consider sexy.

Wearing bare feet in the grass or laughing until you hurt is sexier than a filtered selfie or an overpriced push-up bra. 

Sexy is frown lines from thinking, crows feet from smiling, and an aging body because you’ve lived.

Sexy is frown lines from thinking, crows feet from smiling, and an aging body because you’ve lived. Sexy is wrinkles on hands that have labored, typed, caressed, healed, and felt. Sexy is freckles on your nose and shoulders from staying too long at the beach.

A sexy woman is inspired, dedicated, and excited about life. She takes on challenges like educating herself, communicating her needs, teaching others, traveling the world, or braving motherhood.

A sexy woman isn’t made by wearing shiny jewelry or a pair of $100 jeans she can’t breathe in. She’s made by the real trials of life with blood, sweat, and tears.

Sexy doesn’t cost money. Sexy is crashing through this life as a genuine, flawed, magnificent person.

Visit Michelle’s blogs on life, love, marriage, divorce, parenting, step-parenting & much more at The Pondering Nook. Also catch her co-hosting The Broad’s Way Podcast on similar topics!

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