When I started writing this post I thought it was going to be simple: sexy is what YOU say it is. In a way it is that simple. And yet it isn’t. What is sexy? No doubt, if you ask 100 people you could get 100 different answers. It’s one of those things that is easy to define but harder to describe.
Most dictionaries define it in the following terms: sexually exciting, enticing, appealing. But what might fit that definition for one person may be completely off the mark for the next.
A while ago Victoria’s Secret sparked a controversy by using a model with *gasp* short hair. And we aren’t talking about a mannish buzz cut or even a Twiggy style pixie cut. Karlie Kloss was ranked second on the “Top 50 Models, Women” list on models.com and Vogue Paris declared her one of the top 30 models of the 2000’s. She has appeared in ads and on runways for Zac Posen, Lagerfeld, Gucci, Hermes, Dior, D&G and many others. She has been a Victoria’s Secret Angel since 2011. She is the ultimate fantasy women to men and women around the world. But when she walked the runway at the VS fashion show, her signature chin length bob was fitted with long flowing extensions. The decision to feature her in an ad without the extensions was considered a bold move, and one that brought lots of attention both negative and positive.
That there could even be a controversy regarding whether a woman with short hair can be sexy means that, as a society, we have come to define sexy in ridiculously narrow terms. And that narrowness is what makes most women hesitant to see themselves as sexy and to do something as presumptuous as portray themselves as sexy through boudoir-style photography.
In the time we have been doing this type of photography we have worked with women of all shapes, sizes, colors, hair lengths, ages and confidence levels. When our clients first come in for a session they are almost always nervous. Several minutes in to a session we show the client an image of themselves on the camera’s view screen. When they see how amazing they look it allows them to relax and let go a little. The most important thing is that, once they relax and find their confidence, they are able to just be themselves in front of the camera. That confidence to be yourself is the foundation of sexy. You don’t have to live up to a collective societal fantasy of what’s sexy.
Just be yourself. That is sexy.