When my friends tell me that a man has called them “cute” on a date, they cringe as they tell the story, wondering why they share the same adjective as a golden retriever puppy. If a man calls her “hot”, she will wonder why he didn’t call her beautiful, and might even be offended at his sexual forwardness. My research for this topic consisted mainly of scouring message boards about relationships, love, and everything in between (aka my favorite things to talk about). I have chosen to omit the links to these blogs because I believe that reading them will only perpetuate the idea that the following dilemma is valid. The question at hand: Would you rather be sexy or beautiful?
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What people said…
Several women described “sexy” as “trashy”, some described it as something that is either purely or mostly physical. The general consensus on this end of the spectrum seemed to be that sexiness correlates with trashiness, yet equally, desirability. Often, this desirability was perceived as a result of conjectured provocativeness. However, regardless of the connotations of slut shaming that the word presented, many women chose “sexy” over “beautiful.”
?! What woman wouldn’t want to be called beautiful?
Unfortunately, it seems a woman that believes she must choose whether or not to be attractive to the opposite sex. The women on the forums seemed to believe that to choose “beautiful” over “sexy” is eliminating an appealing part of yourself. And who can blame them for feeling that way? If someone told you that a sultry, red-lipstick pout made you more attractive to a potential mate than a pretty face, wouldn’t you buy that lipstick in a heartbeat? Who's to say, however, that you can't wear that lipstick when you want, and still have a pretty face at the same time?
But why is it a choice?
Trick question: it isn’t. It seems that the word “sexy” has become synonymous with sex itself while the adjective really refers to a set of qualities that make a person attractive. Beauty encompasses all kinds of attractiveness, strictly on definition alone, and so, sexiness is something beautiful, just as beauty is sexy. Intelligence and humor can be both sexy and beautiful. The two, in actuality, are intertwined.
Making the case for sexy
Why shouldn’t you be able to feel sexy? No, feeling sexually attractive does not make you trashy, nor does it make you less beautiful. We need to put an end to equating sexy to trashy and begin merging sexiness and self-love. You can love yourself and your own unique sex appeal without being forced to choose whether or not you are “classy”. You can be both classy and sultry, beautiful and sexy, and anything in between, not that you need my permission to do so.
Words used on message boards to describe sexily:
- less refined
Words used to describe beautifully:
By whose standards?
Judging by the words used up there, we are only judging ourselves. The boards/chat rooms I looked at were written by women, for women. The words used above were used by women, shaming sexy and empowering beauty, and still, choosing sexy in the end out of fear of not being attractive. Participants were arguing their stances on the matter, telling other women why they “chose” to be sexy over beautiful, and justifying for what reasons it was the right choice. Ladies, don’t make a case against yourself, and certainly, don’t compromise. Several factors go into attractiveness, and beauty is a combination of all of those qualities, including sexiness.
- Being “sexy” does not make you “slutty”, or a woman of lower class. The ability to exemplify sensuality can indeed be attractive and is only one of the many qualities that contribute to your beauty.
- Choosing one adjective over another in order to describe yourself is just unnecessary.
- Beauty is not a negative thing just because it does not necessarily mean you are a walking sex goddess. Being beautiful has been a positive trait since the beginning of time, and we all have qualities that make us gorgeous.
Hate to break it to you, but you are beautiful. And that is not a choice.
For a hilarious take on the pressure to choose an adjective, check out this article by Christopher Hudspeth: http://ow.ly/z5rIj