The Shaming of Sexy On The Sunday Self Style Series

I have shamed sexy.

I’ve realized lately that I’ve given aging permission to lord it’s intelligence and awareness over sexy. The sometimes high-falutin’, judgmental ethos from others about aging naturally–giving into it–gave me an easy out to ignore sexy. Also, I haven’t known where to put that part of myself, in the context of a body with fewer good parts to highlight.

On my journey of self-discovery for the past decade, my self-confidence grew more out of being validated when I showed smart and cultured. After being a stay-at-home mom for 18 years, that was the part of myself that I most needed to use, bring out and explore. As I gained more certainty in my inner capacities, I think being sexy was too close of an association to my former, unconscious self. Sexy used to be the part of me that I emphasized–what I thought I could most work with. I was less sure of my ability to standout in the areas of intelligence, accomplishments, culture, or beauty.

Sexy used to be the part of me that I emphasized–

Coincidentally, as I’m writing this, I’m watching one of my favorite shows, CBS News Sunday Morning. I just watched a profile on Sharon Stone, and then Oprah interviewing the Hollywood influencers, and activists in the Time’s Up movement. This combination is so illustrative of the two opposing forces that I separated for so much of my life. Although I always knew I had both in me, I rarely felt seen for both.

Part of what I’ve learned in the process of change is that while a new part of my identity comes up for review, I go to the outer edges of living in that new place. It becomes amplified and over-emphasized. As we work through things, feel, understand and accept our place in them, we come back a little more to the middle. The style I have wanted to attach to my midlife-self has been chic, smart, and cool, not sexy. That sensibility fell nicely into my neatly boxed-up comfort zone where for the most part I could write off sexy as being unfashionable, cheap, sometimes even desperate.

I’m feeling ready now to bring sexy back—in the right balance. I’ve never been the bold, cleavage-baring sort of sexy. Although when done with self-assurance and ease, it’s a great look. #Goals. The human body is beautiful. I have always been more comfortable with using fit in clothing to exhibit the good parts.

Today for me, sexy is about sensuality that comes from confidence and a lightness of being. And it’s also about integrating some of my beloved old self in there too–being strategic about highlighting the parts I like. I find sexy in a subtle nod to it, a texture, a mood. Things like:

A mid-heel with a pencil skirt

Photo:  Tyler Joe

Jeans that show off a good ass

Photo:  Tyler Joe

A great blouse

Photo:  ImaxTree

Matching lace bra and panty—just for ourselves

Photo:  ImaxTree

Combat boots with a slouchy, angora sweater

Photo:  ImaxTree

An exposed back

Sexy Hair

The assurance in ourselves, that we’ve earned through courage to look, makes us sexy. It means putting our femininity in its honored place, together with the yang of strength to keep growing and expanding. Sexy in a plum age woman is, well, sexy!

Cover Photo:  StarTraks

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