SHOT BY: @kalindymillions
Sexy to me is stepping into your power. Being unapologetically yourself and leaning into and owning every aspect of it.
Society, capitalism and the patriarchy have been so deliberate in its attempts to take our power and I’ve definitely been influenced by it. I have felt the affects of advertising with damaging messages like my hair is too afro/ curly, my skin has too much cellulite, stretch marks, hair etc.. In the past few years I’ve been consciously trying to undo all of these effects by being kinder and softer with the way I look at myself. I have a mantra I say – Speak with a softer tongue, see with softer eyes, feel with a softer heart.
I see sexy in others when they confidently own and flaunt their sexuality. Which hello, is worth celebrating.
I feel sexy when I’m in tune with my own gender and sexuality and express myself authentically. I feel sexy is my masculinity and in my femininity.
What I loved about shooting with you actually, is that I was really pulling back from expressing myself femininely. My style became baggy, my attitude became rougher. So when you asked me to shoot with you I was like YESSSS I get to remember this whole other side to myself, and be in a space where I can feel sexy in my femininity! I don’t wanna use the word performance because it implies a facade. But it was like exaggerating my gender and celebrating it in a real loud and proud way.
Honestly presenting as feminine has been really difficult for me of recent. I realised, yes I’m trans I’m a woman, I feel sexy and powerful dressing feminine, but I quickly realised how vulnerable that made me to the male gaze, and i started questioning myself like.. why am I really doing this?? Am I showing myself like this because I can and because it’s validating, or am I doing because it’s who I want to be ??
So I started wearing baggy clothes and embracing the boy in me and I realised hey, I’m non binary. I still use she her pronouns, but I’m not any kind of woman that can be understood by anyone but me. My gender really became my own and still, as I continue to refine myself, I’m learning to listen to what masculine and feminine forces in me are wanting to show themselves.
And I love the art of fashion, as discovering HOW to craft those forces and wear them. There’s power in adorning the body. Fashion/style lets me be seen via my body / frees me from being subject to it.
I’ve always felt a little excluded from conventional sexiness, but my thoughts on it have definitely changed as I’ve gotten older. I’m still not sure what it really means for me, but I feel it most strongly when I’m around people I have a good rapport with. Confidence has always been more achievable for me than “sexiness”, and that’s what I respond to in others as well. Intelligence, wit and self deprecating humour are all drawcards but so too is a passion for conversation and ideas. I don’t know that I’ll ever have that raw sexual fire some people seem to harness so effortlessly, but I’m becoming more and more okay with that.
My biggest obstacles have been those common to most of us: social condition that prioritises very specific kinds of beauty and ways of expressing femininity, plus the inherited insecurities of my parents and their generation. Most people who know me probably associate me with receiving a sustained level of abuse and personal attacks from online trolls, but I’m surprisingly indifferent to their opinions. My biggest challenge really has been breaking out of my own head that tell me my right to take up space is contingent on decorating it at the same time. It still feels vaguely embarrassing to me to present myself as a woman whom others might find attractive and even desirable, but I’m trying to unpack what all that means. It’s a lifelong process I guess. Hopefully, one day I’ll stop unpacking it and just throw out the baggage altogether.
Sexy to me means that I’m feeling open and accepting of my body, with the comfort to express myself in an empowering way!
I’ve always been challenged for the way I look and the weight I am, which has caused me to doubt myself and my worth often. I always looked to others for validation and love! However, it’s through that criticism, I’ve been pushed to find confidence and love within me and start the journey of true self acceptance for both myself and those around me. I’ve learned that it’s a daily, even momentary, battle to remind myself that my body is just as valid and sexy as other bodies and no one can take the confidence I have for myself away from me!