August 21, 2013

Bringing Sexy Back. ~ Rhonda Travis

In today’s commercialized, over-exposed, sensationalized, media frenzied society; “sexy” elicits certain provocative connotations.

The imagery consists of scantily clad, airbrushed and/or surgically proportioned physiques, demonstrating a kind of utopic idealism (think Stepford Wives).

We use implants, nips, tucks, and Botox in order to boost ourselves into our most self-improved version that approximates this notion. Six packs and tattooed biceps help lend an aura of allure to what may otherwise seem unremarkably average.

Sorry if that sounds cynical. I’m personally not ‘anti self-improvement’ when it comes to personal enhancement. I do feel however, we are experiencing an existentialist crisis today with our unknowing compulsion for endless negative self-judgment.  

The media concept of ‘sexy’ as defined by purely external measures is problematic for many reasons.

Perhaps the most obvious danger is the indelible imprint on the soul that is left by today’s relentless bombardment of the idealized self-image. The standards of outer beauty exemplified by the fashion/celebrity world tend to promote dysmorphic body image, and are evidenced by the rise in emotional disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.

Attempting to restore inner peace, many then try to heal feelings of inadequacy through therapy. We seek help from others to assuage our personal failure to meet unrealistic standards in order to relieve the anxiety that is stoked by our fragile ego mind. Despite awareness that this ‘perfection’ is merely a marketing tool (i.e. illusion), many of us remain gripped by the feeling that something about us is just not quite good enough (i.e. delusion).

We hear endless narratives of addiction/rehab. experiences of celebrities and other  “beautiful people”; and still our esteem remains bruised. These stories should remind us that fame and beauty do not create happiness. However, these stories of misery are juxtaposed against a more compelling campaign of seductive and alluring imagery that our ever-grasping egos gravitate toward magnetically.

These campaigns are expertly crafted with intent to brainwash the masses with an externally imposed (i.e. marketer’s) concept of ‘sexy’ that will then promote an insatiable need for what ever the marketed product.

If we were able to act with courage, truth and integrity, we could together expose this false imagery and re-define ‘sexy’ as that state that we truly wish to embody and embrace.

It behooves us to see our sexiest selves as strong and independent. A ‘sexy’ individual should be self-evolved and comfortable in her/his own skin. Sexy should imply having poise and grace and dignity. Those attributes are inherently ‘attention-getting’.

Maybe it’s not about ‘getting sexy back’ after all. Maybe it’s about bringing sexy forward. Dictionaries update their lexicon every few years. Let’s put Webster on notice now for the next addition.

Let’s bring sexy forward into a new and evolved definition. Today’s vocabulary should designate ‘sexy’ as a state of confidence, integration, and perfection; flaws included.

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Assistant Ed: Dana Gornall/Ed: Bryonie Wise

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Rhonda Travis