Redefining Attractive: How Awkward Just Became The New Sexy

by Mel W.

First and foremost, let it be known that I am an advocate for women, positive body image and self-confidence. I believe the term “sexy” is completely arbitrary. What’s sexy for some is not for others and that is totally fine.

There is no reason to make another woman feel badly about herself based on your opinion of her. Our society supports stereotypes about the definition of “sexy,” and for a long time, I tried to conform to that ideal.

There was a time when I hated my body because I was always trying to be skinnier, tanner and more toned, rather than be comfortable with who I was.

My first attempt at being “sexy” started during the days of Myspace. Despite my best efforts, I just never saw myself as the “sexy” girl. I remember being 14 years old and attempting that perfect mirror selfie with my friend.

We would have photo shoots for our profile pictures (you did it at some point, too) and my friend would effortlessly paint on a smoky eye, push her hair over to the side of her face, bite her lip and snap a photo of herself pretending to look at something in the corner.

All I can remember thinking is, “There is no way you will look as hot as that; you have braces and acne.” However, in spite of the negative thoughts swirling around my head, I attempted it and promptly thought, “What the f*ck are you doing? This is not you.”

I was the self-deprecating, pessimistic, yet smart girl. Okay, I couldn’t take hot selfies, but at least I had a good sense of humor!

Throughout the rest of my adolescence, I was the girl who would stutter and forget my name if a cute guy spoke to me. I’d trip over my own feet (for some reason, I could never walk in a straight line amongst a group of people), and the day I would decide to wear a white shirt would always be the day I would spill something all over myself.

I was never smooth, never cute and never sexy. Unfortunately, if you keep telling yourself that you aren’t something, over time, you will begin to believe it and it will become your identity.

I am not here to shame anyone about their personal views about him or herself, but simply to offer a definition of what “sexy” could mean. Now that I’m an adult, I have outgrown my insecure teenage complexes and am truly happy in my own skin; although, I am still awkward as f*ck.

Why does this have to be a bad thing? Why can’t being awkward be sexy? I find confidence, a sense of humor and authenticity to be the sexiest qualities a person can offer. Being awkward is real. It’s genuine and it doesn’t try to impress anyone.

As I grew older and started dating, I would get so nervous on first dates. In an effort to be conventionally sexy, I prayed that my awkwardness would not expose itself.

Inevitably, I’d end up sneezing -- sometimes six times in a row -- or realize I had dipped my sleeve into my food. I wasn’t blessed with great coordination or finesse, and I accept that.

The unusual thing that started happening, though, is that while I thought these were weird deal breakers, they actually started attracting the opposite sex. I’d think, “Ummm no, you can’t be attracted to this disaster; I’m a monster.” But the reaction was that my behavior was “endearing,” “funny” or “down to earth.”

How odd. The paradigm of what I thought was attractive was starting to shift.

The point is, there is no sole definition of what attractive is. Don’t depress yourself by constantly trying to fit into some other person’s mold of beautiful.

If you don’t like something about yourself, go ahead and change it, but don’t do it for anyone except yourself. Embrace your flaws and what makes you unique. There is beauty in imperfection. Awkward can be the new sexy.

Photo via We Heart It