I can’t speak for all curvy women, but I find myself constantly referred to as “sexy.” Put on a t-shirt, it’s sexy. Wear a poncho, it’s sexy. Dare to put on a bikini, too sexy. But it seems more and more evident to me that there are two kinds of sexy that are acceptable and or marketable in fashion and entertainment.
Sexy #1: Victoria’s Secret Sexy
– ‘Model’-like, statuesque women, with smaller curves or no curves at all.
Sexy #2: ‘Kardashian’ Sexy
– Very curvy or voluptuous women.
Then there are the people like me, who are a mix of #1 and #2. Tall like a model, curvier than a model, but still not exactly voluptuous… more ‘normal.’ And apparently no one knows what to do with that.
I recently posted photo on Instagram that was deemed too sexy and it shook me… let me take you back.
I was working with a stylist for an event and their job is to pull clothing from designers or show rooms so the the client, in this case me, can wear the clothing to an event. This is great for the brand, because they get free exposure and great for the client because who wants to buy a new look every single time, total a waste of money.
( I thought about posting the exact email I got, but to protect brands and people, I’ll paraphrase. )
“We will not be dressing Sophie Simmons. See attached photo.”
Let me just line the allegedly too sexy photo up, with a popular social media image which is apparently acceptable.
I don’t see that big of a difference… Maybe the only one I see is that I’m wearing a necklace, I’m not airbrushed ( not saying Kendall is, but who knows) and I’m more curvy.
I was so mortified getting that email that I immediately went into my Instagram and deleted anything that could possibly be “Too Sexy” or not marketable. At the end of it, I only had about 80 photos left on my profile, from the whole 4 years I’ve had Instagram.
Then I started to dress more conservatively, wear less makeup and post pictures of me and my dog as opposed to my usual “love myself” posts. Nothing against my dog, I freaking adore her, but I completely changed who I was because the fashion industry didn’t like it.
I look at people like Ashley Graham, EmRata, Kate Hudson and Adriana Lima, and their bikini clad profiles, and even sometimes naked snaps and see that they are still being dressed by designers and are not “too sexy” but instead, empowering and beautiful.
It’s because they fit into the two categories.
Well, I’m done. Even if that means stylists don’t want to work with me, and I’m too sexy for brands. I can’t continue to compromise being proud of the skin I’m in to appease an industry that I don’t fit into anyway. Some women celebrate their bodies by being conservative and some celebrate by letting it all hang out. I’m somewhere in between those as well. I spent my childhood not knowing what to do with this body and now that I finally accept it, I’m not shoving it back into a moo moo.
I was/am being judged on a scale of commercial marketability instead of accomplishment, intelligence, personality or message. I’m fine with being labeled sexy, I agree that women are perceived as sexy at times. But why does that have to be such a negative for those of us with a little more body?
Conclusion, apparently it is a positive to be sexy if a brand or fashion publication will get behind you. For me it has created a whole new paranoia I didn’t want or need. Thanks again fashion industry, hopefully you’ll change soon. And I promise I won’t stop trying to change and inform you.
In the mean time I’ll try to manage the insecurities and build myself back up.
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