I saw a really cute thumbtack once. It was a fat little baby blue thumbtack with yellow polka dots on it. It was so fucking cute.
Pretty much anything and anyone can be cute. That’s why I use the word to describe almost everything. And that’s why I have no trouble telling you that I’m super cute and I know it. But not sexy. Sexy is harder to own.
Everyone knows about the duck face: that thing girls do with their face to make their lips seem bigger. It’s usually used as a tool to appear sexier. And we give them so much shit for it.
In our society, there’s an impossible paradox where we want girls to be sexy but we don’t want to see them try to be sexy. We don’t want to see the behind-the-scenes. We don’t want to see their duck faces, and false eyelashes, and fake hair extensions. We just want to see the sexy and nothing else. And when girls are “caught” trying to be sexy, we are relentless. The way we mock girls with any body fat who try to wear crop tops, or the way we carefully investigate pictures for evidence of Photoshop, or the way we tear down girls who do a duck face even if they look good doing it. We want sexy, but we want it to be flawless and effortless.
The definition of sexy is simply “sexually attractive or exciting”. Yet our society has made the definition impossibly narrower and if you don’t fit into it, you’re ugly and if you try too hard to fit into it, you’re ratchet. It’s no wonder then why owning up to sexy is so fucking hard. If a thumbtack can be cute, I can definitely be cute. But if sexy has to be flawless and effortless, how can I, with my imperfections, own up to that?
It becomes an issue of damned if I do and damned if I don’t. Why is our generation so talented at employing the live-and-let-live mentality to sexuality and fashion and body art, while still implementing cruelty and spite in our judgment of girls? To all the girls out there who feel like they can’t own up to their sexy, know from one girl to the next that sexiness is a quantifiable metric that we all can achieve. Let’s stop living Mean Girls and listen to the wise of words of the queen. Who runs the world? But we already know.