Sexy back

The title is a wee bit misleading because it’s still a reflective post. So no pictures of my, if I do say so myself, rather sexy back.. I tried but the pictures were non-publishable. I make little comments and quips about sexiness but not today. Today I simply state I am sexy! That took me 31 years to not only say but more importantly feel. Feeling is what this post is about. But let me first clarify what the heck that word means… My four year old came home with 'sexy lady' recently and said it meant being naked. Nope, that is not what it means to me. Trust me, I grew up in the tropics and all the layering of winter makes me sad. I’m a free spirit in my skin at home because I’m at home in the skin I’m in. That is the difference, not how much or how little skin I show or how high my heels and I do love a high heel on my stellar stems. If I had a penny for every aren’t you cold with bare legs?
The first time a parent intervened about teasing was kindergarten. Yep I was that kid and I remained that kid all the way to adulthood. The teasing was not only on my looks and personal style but a heck of a lot of it was. Growing up and puberty is hard enough without incessant ridicule. And then there are the more recent comments that I can remember word for word because they came from those who matter. Often deposited as constructive criticism, helpful hints or jokes. The more the word sexy became mine, the more crushing the comments. Two steps forward, one step back and sometimes two or three. If you proudly and happily mention other that you were told your look is confident and strong and that you feel that way more and more and the comment back is ‘yep, a big b***h’ and ‘you know no one can see you in black’ then you either crumple or learn to stand tall. In the end I got up, dusted myself off, shook that shit off and stand tall. And that ladies and gentlemen makes me sexy.
What the word means to me is confidence. It’s what it has always meant to me because besides all the teasing and criticism, confidence was never my personal strength and therefore my wish. Self-criticism and perfectionism makes you tough on yourself, tougher sometimes than others. I always spent time on my appearance often in the ‘fake it till you make it’ stream but this was maybe a bit too contrasting to the inside as too much envisioned confidence seems to invite attacks. There is a good Dutch saying about raising your head above the cornfields. It takes courage.
That new found sexy does not mean negativity doesn’t impact me. Nor does it mean that I never have a bad day. Heck I’m a chick, we have PMS days and granny pants. It just simply means it doesn’t goes further than the surface. I still take pride in my appearance because it will always be one of the ways I express my personality and mood. What changed is that I wear the clothes and not the other way around. If I’m completely honest my body is nothing like it was say six months ago, or even two month ago and that gave me a good push, despite creating new challenges. I started wearing longer, looser sleeves since my chest and arms are now muscular where once there were mountains and I slather oil in the bucket loads in the hopes my skin's elasticity catches back up. It took a good long look to see the beauty as well as the strength. Longer to own than the time needed for the change.The fact that a large part of that physical change comes from sport, which in itself gives me such fulfilment, multiplies the effect, above and beyond any (invented) dressing challenge. 
Then there is so much positive feedback instead of the negative I’m used to, just in the way people respond to me. No one ever says anymore ’I don’t remember you’, it is more the ‘verschijning’. Last week I breezed and skipped through the supermarket after a run, still in work-out clothes, drooping bun but feeling work-out wonderful and several people looked at me like I was secreting love potion no. 9 instead of frozen sweat (seriously it was below zero degrees and I have no winter gear). I wore a dress from the back of the closet that I bought years ago and never wore; fitted on the hips, deep V to the front and backless. No hiding. I rocked that mother including my muscular arms and molehills. I realise how comfortable I am with me, just as I am. With how I look, how I dress, how I act, who I am. There is no sexy without confidence and no confidence without inner comfort and courage and I have them all, whether it’s Hello Kitty Vans, cut-offs, arm baring, work-out gear, crop tops, minis or skyscrapers. Sexy is not flesh, it's what shines from below the skin outwards and upwards. Sexy is so much more than the standard meaning given that word. I feel like the most smoking version of me. That is my sexy, what’s yours?

P.S. the postcards are from Therese Sennerholt.

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