IT’S NOT A SIN TO BE SEXY – HOW I RECLAIMED MY SEXUALITY AND EMBRACED MY BODY
I’M BRINGING SEXY BACK – FEELING SEXY IN YOUR 30S
Once you reach a certain age, you begin to feel like it’s crass to show cleavage. You hide your mammaries away for the distinct (or maybe distant) possibility of feeding an infant, should the occasion arise and you sort of forget that they exist. You scoff and chortle at old Facebook photos of yourself wearing a revealing spaghetti string top – remember the time at that screening of The Room when Greg Sestero’s
eyes (ass) met yours across a crowded (rowdy) room and you felt like a Victoria’s Secret model? You make jokes about how ridiculous you used to look teetering around on high heels, lagging behind the boyfriend like it was a requisite of your religious beliefs. You don’t feel sexy. You feel good, nice, grand, cute. But sexy? Forget it. It’s just not on your radar anymore. You don’t even consider a glittery body con number and Manolos (like this one from Pretty Little Thing) as a real outfit. Do you?
I SAID A WHO-OOH-OOH DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
‘Sexy’ kind of became a dirty word for me. I found myself thinking; ‘you’re too old for that,’ ‘where do you think you’re going in that get-up?’ or ‘who do you think you are?’ Instead of channelling my inner Baddie Winkle, I piled on the jewellery, opted instead for quirky and hoped to emulate my idol, the nonagenarian starlet, Iris Apfel. Here are some of the negative affirmations I made about myself.
- If you go for the Laura Whitmore-esque blonde that you’ve always wanted, you will be a total stun hun. You might as well get a tramp stamp with a mis-spelled Chinese symbol and tattoo your lipliner because that shade of blonde will turn you into total trash.
- Midi skirts will make your legs look like a sneaky little troll’s stumps – stick to the mini skirts or risk looking like Merry, or worse still, Smigel. RAGE.
- Headbands are childish and make you look like a) a kid’s TV presenter, b) mutton dressed as lamb or c) an 80s throwback.
- Cleavage is not high fashion and breasts should be kept in the bedroom or under a high neck top where they belong. You might as well be Frank Reynolds’ bang maid.
- Your arms look too muscular – better stop working out on them so they look more ‘feminine.’ You’re basically a poor man’s Jean Claude van Damme.
SINGLE AND SEXLESS
Just last year, I broke up with the love of my life. It came as a bit of a shock and it took quite a while to even want to go out again. I just wanted to lounge about in tracksuits and not draw attention to myself. But after the initial shock and acute sense of loss, I began to put into place a rigorous self-care regime. I started to enjoy dressing up again. I joined a local gym, started working out a lot more and began to thank my legs for supporting me instead of looking at them in disgust every time they mottled that distinct shade of pink I associated with Billy Roll. I tried to remember what it felt like to feel sexy. Instead of trying to impress a potential partner, I wore what impressed myself. I made new friends with a similar love for fashion and enjoyed sharing style tips with Trish of The Savvy Sartorialist, Terri of The Style Coop and Lisa of A Nervy Girl’s Guide.
LOVING THE SKIN YOU’RE IN
It took me a long time to love my body and feel sexy in my own skin. I’d say I’m still not fully there but I’ve learned that feeling good comes from within. Having always felt like I stood out at school, being a late developer, I kind of ‘came into my own’ in my early 20s. I felt really sexy – I had a boyfriend that loved me and there was no such thing as internet dating. If a man liked you, he told you. To your face! There was a lot less pressure on women to be flawless, no such thing as selfies and most of my peers were lax on shaving and hair care. Fast forward to my 30s and the whole landscape of being a woman has changed. Cue Botox, lip fillers, teeth whitening – you have a perceived ‘flaw’, why not change it? I constantly scrutinize myself and compare myself to others; how could I not? But I try to focus on positive self affirmations and through meditation, exercise and cultivating calm, I am learning to be happier in my own skin. It’s not easy but you’re worth it.
When I saw these photos, I actually whooped for joy! I didn’t feel bad about looking sexy like I might have done a few months ago and I thought ‘maybe I’ll dress up more often.’ What more could you ask for?
Photos: Neal Byrne
Playsuit: Pretty Little Thing
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Shoes: Original Manolos; dead ringers here at River Island; cheap as chips version at Quiz clothing.
Playsuit: Splurge on this Needle & Thread playsuit here or this Matthew Williamson.
Mid range playsuits: Topshop sexy lace playsuit; more demure Topshop long sleeve ditsty floral playsuit, here.