I admit it. I was a late bloomer. In high school, I was the weird girl with glasses, braces and an odd personality. I didn’t eat play dough or anything, but I was into platform shoes, disco and all things New York City – which is hard when you live in a small town in the Colorado mountains. Once I left the hills and small-town life behind (in Denver, mind you… baby steps), I grew into my face, found my sense of style and started hanging out with people who liked me regardless of my odd hobbies. I even had someone with me when we went to a retro club for my 21st birthday and did the hustle with old people. It was a blast.
Once I got into college, I started routinely getting attention from guys, and found it to be quite awkward. After all, I was used to being passed over for my friends and ignored. That was the status quo, and it was my comfort zone. Though I’m not quite as weird around men these days, I have never been a “sexy” person. When I try to do things that are stereotypically sexy, I feel like a moron. I’m the, “cute girl.” I’m not the kind of girl who’d feel comfortable in a pole dancing class, or a burlesque class or doing a boudoir photo shoot.
In college, I met my friend Kristina, who is one of the most confident people I have ever met. She is an eternal optimist who is always comfortable in her own skin, and she turns heads everywhere. When we were 22, she convinced me to be a promo model with her. The gig entailed barhopping in barely there attire and selling shots to patrons in each bar/club. On my first night, the owner of the agency told me that I needed a push up bra and showed me how to make my then B cups look way more boobalicious. It involved two bras, including one with a lot of padding, and lots of safety pins, but my cleavage ended up looking amazing. I still use that trick from time to time, though it’s not as necessary now that I’m not taking dance classes four nights a week.
Kristina is one of those people who is inherently sexy without trying too hard. She likes herself and believes that she can do anything – and she has accomplished a lot. When I took dance classes in college, I became friends with a lot of people like her. I took theater classes with two girls who were already Broncos cheerleaders and a couple of other girls who would become NFL cheerleaders later. To me, these girls were the definition of sexy, and they were always nice and fun people to hang out with. I wanted what they had, but always found reasons why I couldn’t be them and reasons that they were better than me.
We as a society are constantly being bombarded with images of what sexy is supposed to be, and I’m fine with that. I am not going to bash the fashion industry or the entertainment industry for “exploiting” women. I don’t see NFL Cheerleaders or Victoria’s Secret models as sexist or exploitative. I think that it’s empowering, and I know that a lot of girls dream of having those jobs. It takes discipline to stay on the path needed to get those jobs. You have to deal with a ton of scrutiny and failure before you make it. And those girls believe in themselves to get back up and do it. To me, that determination is way sexier than wearing a tight dress and shaking your boobs in someone’s face.
So, each day, I strive to gain and maintain the inner confidence and belief in myself that it takes to be a sexy person. But I may just continue being the cute girl, because it’s who I am, and that is good enough.