May 16, 2014

Victoria’s Secret, Thank You for Your Pink Bags. ~ Kelli Fischer

Lingerie model smoking in an office, Chicago, 1949

To all my soul sisters who like lacy thongs, bralettes, heels and clothes that show off your ass-ets, and to everyone who thinks that makes us slutty…

…this one’s for you.

As a growing woman, I’ve come to appreciate these garments, because they enhance my strong beautiful body; the capsule that gets to carry my soul through this life. No, I’m not consumerism crazy, but let’s be honest, we all like to pamper ourselves sometimes, and it’s OK.

Last week, I walked out of Victoria’s Secret with a pretty pink bag full of new things and the familiar tingly feeling of sexual confidence and excitement curling up my spine. As we all know, their “pretty pink bags” may also be described as look-at-me-I-like-sex bags.

They’re bold and obvious. Just like the obvious fact that I am a woman. So why couldn’t I be bold about that?

As I started walking across the (very busy, outdoor mall) parking lot, I began to second guess myself. A dad walking with his young daughters saw the bag, gave me a disapproving look and physically turned his daughters’ heads away from me.

Then, I saw a young woman and man walking holding hands and smiled at them. The girl glared at me and pulled her guy across the street. I felt shy, embarrassed and ashamed. I blushed, tucked the bag under my arm and avoided further eye contact until I got to my car.

Tonight I was reflecting on how angry these interactions made me feel. Not just at the circumstances, but at my own reaction to them.

Why, as a 20-something woman, was I feeling shy about being sexy?

I do it for me.

I’m proud of my body, of my sex drive and of being womanly. I’m not out to get attention and buying new underwear isn’t inappropriate. Here’s a wake-up call; being sexy doesn’t have to be for the satisfaction of men. In fact, being sexy, to me, is embracing my natural, powerful and free self for my own satisfaction with or without another partner.

This is something to be bold about.

As women we often get stuck walking the fine line in societal judgment between being viewed as a promiscuous threat and being confident in our bodies. We have been working hard to preach this confidence and bodily acceptance to women. Yet we still feed a sense of guilt when women find a way to embrace their curves.

Let’s start here:

Instead of viewing fellow women as threats, can we appreciate their unique and flawless bodies as fellow sisters?

Let’s build a community of women where we can fully embrace our physical forms. Where being business appropriate doesn’t mean looking like a man. Where it is understood that showing your womanly form isn’t wrong, it’s beautiful. That embracing our sexuality isn’t a sign of insecurity or an avenue for attention to lure men. In fact, it’s the opposite; so let’s break down those stereotypes.

Less “oh my god Becky, look at her butt” and more “*snap* work it”.

Do ya’ feel me? Cool. On to the next.

Ladies, having a sex drive is not only health, it is natural. Sexual drive is a human thing, not a male thing, and it is not embarrassing. We are taught that men should buy women lingerie but for their sake. Why would we buy it for ourselves??  Even further, the idea of a woman wanting pleasure often seems shameful.

These are things we have to work through together.

Step one: buy something sexy, for ourselves.

Step two: seek our own pleasure.

We are worthy.

I’m not telling you how to dress or how to define sexuality. Just follow your heart and what makes you feel good. Recognize that negative attention doesn’t have space to grow in a loving body. So please, don’t take that shit and don’t let your sisters swallow it either.

We send the message to young girls that they should be happy in their own skin. Great! But then we portray that the only way to show that we are happy and confident is to cover up ourselves, to hide our natural state.

Why don’t we teach girls more about self-awareness and less about self-image?

Awareness that it is OK to express ourselves in any way that makes us feel beautiful. But to do it in a way that makes us feel good inside and out. Love our body. Respect ourselves. Present ourselves for ourselves not for others.

Teach our future generation values, but please don’t teach them to hide their skin, because we all wake up flawless.


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Apprentice Editor: Alicia Wozniak/Editor: Rachel Nussbaum

Photo: flickr/trialsanderrors

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