You Don't Have to Be Naked to Be Sexy

If you’ve got it, flaunt it. Every girl has heard those words at least once before, encouraging her to reveal just a little more cleavage, to hike her dress just a little further up her thigh. Stereotypical ideas of sexiness are shoved down our throats—from Kim Kardashian’s throngs of selfies with nothing but a blurred square covering an otherwise exposed nipple to the band of “models” dancing half-naked for a 10-second Instagram story. You’re sexy. We get it.

We’re socially conditioned from a young age to believe that nudity = sexy. From itty bitty yellow polka dot bikinis that can’t possibly be worn on family vacations to bodycon dresses that leave little to the imagination, the more skin bared the better. We think that in order to be sexy, we have to scream sex. So, we spend hours quaffing our hair and applying layers of makeup before going out to the bar only to throw on our skimpiest outfits. We wear bras as shirts and shirts without bras and shorts that might as well be panties.

And I’m just as guilty as the next girl—naked me is a completely different person from clothed me. Something changes as I strip each layer: my inhibitions lower, my shyness slips away. I come out of my shell as I come out of my clothes. But exposing your body doesn’t necessarily mean you’re “confident.” Wearing a push-up bra is easy. Flashing your boobs is easy. There’s no real vulnerability there.

So maybe the one thing Kim Kardashian, itty bitty bikinis, and I all have in common isn’t nakedness, but rather something else, something deeper. Maybe it’s the confidence to be naked and not really give a shit what anyone thinks about it. See, there’s a difference between nudity for the sake of display and nudity for the sake of being nude. I think the key to this whole “sexy” thing lies in that difference.

It’s not really about actually being naked. It’s not bodycon dresses or nude selfies or side boob. It’s about doing your own thing and rocking it—naked or not.

It’s easier to reveal your body than your feelings, but there’s more to being sexy than just physical appearances and nudity. Confidence is sexy. Ambition is sexy. Humour is sexy. Intelligence. Independence. “Sexy” isn’t a look—it’s a style, an attitude, a character.

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