It was the first week of summer 2016. Expectations were high and bank balances were low from impromptu shopping sprees. It started innocently enough, a coworker suggested we go to an 18+ night at a club called Aqua. Despite my initial hesitation, her little guilt trip and puppy dog eyes made my gooey heart sway to her whims. During the summer I rarely know what day it is, so when she told me the date for our clubbing excursion was two months away, I pushed it to the far away unused corner of my mind. Normally I reserve said corner for healthy eating tips, email passwords, and any story involving the six-month period in which I wore a do-rag to school.
As a chronic over thinker, it is out of character that I made absolutely no preparations for this experience. It was not until August 13th, the day before our plans, that I had the realization every girl on planet earth dreads – I HAD NOTHING TO WEAR! My typical jeans and t-shirt would clearly not cut it in the club environment. So I did what any panicked girl in a time crunch does, I called my best friend.
As we approached the mall, my curiosity for what a clubbing outfit would even consist of had peaked. I combed through every tweet, snap, and article related to Aqua. Every single girl was a size two bombshell sex kitten. I am pretty sure they put that exact phrase on their business cards. Not intimidating at all for a girl who exclusively shops at Target because they have stretchy and affordable jeans. Walking into one of the stores I felt clueless. Thank God for besties.
As she threw outfit after outfit into my arms I could not help but feel awestruck. I barely show my ankles on a regular basis, so when 90% of her choices were crop tops, my knees started to wobble. How could a person like me, dress like that? I am out of shape, unless you count an ambiguous blob with good intentions as a shape. I am about as tan as pre-psychotic break Amanda Bynes, and my makeup skills are comparable to post-psychotic break Amanda Bynes. In short – I am not sexy. If there was club called “Sexy” I would be on the janitorial team that cleans up silly string and glitter left from their monthly meetings.
It was somewhere between ensemble five and six that I realized something – I was letting other people define what could and could not make me sexy. I had limited myself to the definition society had given me. But society does not know me. Society does not know my confidence, humor, and bad ass booty. Once I reminded myself that my womanhood hinged on more than my physical appearance,
I realized sexy is a state of mind.
Instead of the outfit my friend liked best, I wore the one that made me feel drop dead gorgeous. Confidence radiates from within, and that is sexy. It’s not about your clothes, or how dope your eyeliner is (of course those things help) – it’s how you feel about yourself that makes the outfit, because even when the bass drops and the lights are low, people notice your vibe. It took stepping out of my comfort zone to realize that I could be sexy, shy, and intelligent all at once. It is not about fitting into a box, rather it’s about changing the game and playing by your own rules.
Choose clothes that add to your confidence, don’t dress for the haters or for the people with loud opinions. Wear what works for your body and your mind. Don’t limit yourself, society does enough of that already. Be your sexy self in whatever package shows what a gift to the world you are. You might just surprise yourself.
Featured image via Michelle Finney.