You couldn’t be further from a supermodel but you walk into a room and eyes are on you. Over the years, despite the fluctuations in your weight, your hair and your style – you could effortlessly shift the attention to yourself in any given situation. You walk in the street, into your favorite coffee shop or into a party – wearing jeans and a simple top, your hair is down and your makeup is minimal. Still, you manage to charm everyone you come across- from your neighbor that you randomly bump into in the elevator when you’re in sweat pants and doing your Sunday milk run; the furniture delivery guy that slips his number together with the order invoice; that guy at the other end of the bar at the networking event; a random stranger when waiting in line to get your photo ID issued.
Naturally, a part of you enjoys the attention, but you don’t quite understand why it comes your way. You go on dates dressed conservatively and sometimes with greasy hair, trying to shift the attention away from your appearance but all you end up with are descriptive labels of exactly that.
As you’re coming back from date number 237 in your dating history, you can’t help but wonder how is it that yet again – you were just called “dangerous” because you are “too sexy”.
Because when you look at yourself in the mirror you see a girl that sleeps with her favorite teddy bear and gets joy from teaching her kindergarten class. There is a girl that takes pride in her intellect and not her pouty lips or mysterious eyes. You’re the girl that loves to wear high heels and bold color lipstick and for no other reason but her own pleasure. You love romantic movies, need help opening the jar of pasta sauce and dream of a big family and cliché red roses on Valentine’s Day. You enjoy meaningful conversations and can hold a debate on any given topic; have been all over the world and would love to share adventure stories as opposed to answer questions such as, “Will you cheat on me because you are so good-looking?”
My interactions with men have been at times entertaining, but mostly frustrating. But the only hard and fast rule of life is – if you want to see change, start with changing yourself. Here are 4 things you can do to make the best out of this situation.
1. Accept and know you – as a whole.
If you fully know who you are, you leave no room for others’ labels to affect you. Whenever we try to forcefully push something aside, it wants to resurface. We all come with certain gifts, attributes, and characteristics. Negating their existence and categorizing them as “good” or “bad” won’t make them go away. If you can get someone’s attention as effortlessly as by flicking your hair – then that is a gift and you should see it as such. It is a part of you and instead of placing judgement on it – simply see it for what it is. Don’t look at it through labels other put on you, simply know that this gift is yours and find a way to live it the best you can.
2. Don’t lessen what you enjoy.
Having always been labelled as sexual, I wanted to escape it by not doing things I enjoy. I love bold red lipstick and I stopped wearing it on dates in order to not grab attention. I enjoy fashion and experimenting with colors and have been known for eccentric outfits but I stopped wearing them because I thought – “here is one less thing to draw attention to my appearance”. But the truth is – not doing what brings you joy will shut down the best parts of you. It will numb you only to lead to a version of you that you do not like. Because ultimately – your lip color and being called sexual aren’t correlated. Ultimately, it’s about something else.
3. Love the gem that is your energy.
Sophia Lauren said that sex appeal is “50% of what you have and 50% of what others think you have.” It took me a long time to understand this and to realize that it’s not my hair, the size of my jeans, or my curves that captivates people. It’s all those things one carries within– how you move, laugh at a joke uninhibitedly and animate when you tell a story. Discovering this meant discovering my hidden potential and embracing the power it had in other areas of my life.
4. Trust yourself and your choices.
Sexuality and how we express ourselves sexually is an important and a magical aspect of life. How we chose to wear it and show it to the world – is entirely on us. I have been known for dulling my sexuality and not being intimate with men I really liked because they were already seeing me as “too sexual.” But, just as I tried to suffocate that red lipstick, suffocating my sexuality proved even worse. I came off as fake, and people saw right through it. So if we just let ourselves do whatever we want to do, and know that we are doing it from a place of personal will and preference and not because we want to manipulate others’ opinion of us- we will live our own truth. And when we do that, even dark purple lipstick can never be “too much,” it will be just right.