I recently read an article “I Want You to Want Me”. After finishing it, I had incredibly mixed feelings towards it. The article is about a woman who wants to experience what it would be like to be sexy. After countless hours spent wondering why certain women exude a sexuality that is completely foreign to her, she tries to emulate those women who are able to capture men and women’s attention through just being themselves. However, in this article, she cannot just be herself to be sexy; her image of sexiness is only complete through butt-hugging pencil skirts and false eye lash extensions. Although the message of the article was not incredibly well founded, it left me with mixed emotions towards this women’s dilemma with her image.
I think the part that really got to me was that she was basing her “sexiness” on what men would want from her, and what women would get jealous of. It was never so much for her. She wanted to evoke jealousy, the kind that she felt that every woman should feel when she looks at other women who she finds beautiful. Of course it’s true that other women stare at other women, sometimes in admiration and sometimes in jealousy and contempt. I see these stares all the time (not towards me, mine you, I’m not that narcissistic), but just observing other people within the confines of the university common area, you can see girls check out other girls like they’re either comparing themselves to them or they are pieces of meat that are in need of grading. What bugged me about this article was that she could not stop sizing herself up to other women. To become “sexy” she even dressed in the clichéd notion of what is sexy, tight skirt, high heels, push-up bra, and then struts her stuff only to find that a majority of people aren’t turning heads with their jaws dropping to the floor. ...Perhaps it is because she didn’t look confident and comfortable, feeling like a caricature of something she longed to be. Not feeling like herself and trying to emulate an image of what she thought others found sexy was probably downright exhausting. On a side note, the notion of women on women jealousy wasn’t particularly inspiring. I felt that instead of appreciating herself, she could only appreciate the beauty in others. The only time it felt that she felt good about herself in the article was in the end when she got the stares of waiters when her “sexy” friends did not. Validating your own looks through ogling waiters is not my idea of sexy.
At the same time, the article evoked some sympathy from me as well. I can understand her frustration. Sometimes you just want to be noticed and feel that tiny bit of admiration from others. I can agree with that, whether it’s through your looks, your work, or something else, everyone feels the need for that little bit of acknowledgement. I just think she goes to the extreme and says that it’s just the physical that matters. There are lots of reasons why guys and girls are attracted to someone, and it’s not always their physical appearance that comes first. Plus, if someone finds someone attractive, there are many people who do not share the same sense of aesthetic and beauty ideal. What is sexy comes in many shapes and forms and is definitely in the eye of the beholder.
Ps, the picture is of the women I find that exude sexiness without trying too hard: Marion Cotillard, Leighton Meester, and Eva Mendes.