I received a request a few days ago, from Nickelodeon’s Parents Connect. They wanted me to write a piece revealing my ultra-secret, uber-sought-after and highly-protected tips for feeling sexy. After laughing ha ha ha with my computer (we share the same sense of humor), I tried to deflect by sort of shining a light on who I am, really. My response was this:
Nothing is sexier than a mom of twins in cargo pants and her 8-year-old son’s t-shirt, right? Because hand to God, that’s what I’m wearing right now. Yeh, I think you’ve found your girl….
Well apparently my friends over at Parents Connect are into that sort of thing (weirdos) because they green lighted me and here we are. I suppose it had to come to this eventually, what with all the velvety innuendo and entendre, what with the way I look at all of you, what with my smoky voice and simmering scintillating wordsmithing. Oooops. I did it again.
Just collect yourselves while I continue to simmer over here, with my new title of Sexy Mommy Blogger.
As a mother of three boys, including 1 1/2 year-old twins, my primary role is ultra-defined as mother. Mother precedes and supersedes everything. I want to keep my children alive, teach them a good manner or two, and provide a favor to the world by sending them into her as part of the solution not the problem. It’s a no-brainer that my identity of wife and woman fall to their knees, begging to be picked up and dusted off every once in a while.
So out of the 10,080 minutes that are in a week, how many of mine are spent trying to be sexy?
That’d be roughly: zero.
But to me, that’s totally sexy.
I’ve found myself in awe of people who try to put it on, the obvious “sexy”. I’m awed by their motivation and drive ending in a result so opposite from what they were going for. Sexy is not the same as looking good. For instance, when I take the time to do the best with what I have, getting dressed up in my most flattering ensemble: heels, lipstick, jewelry and tamed hair, I may look my best, but I feel less sexy than when I return home from a run: flushed, endorphin-heavy, wild-haired and sweaty. Sexy isn’t something I can put on. Sexy is something I run into when I’m taking care of myself.
So my tips on feeling sexy are pretty simple. Essentially, a person has to be willing to be kind to themselves. Fair? Let’s do this:
- If you have a limited budget, spend money on your hair. Not clothes. I heard Isaac Mizrahi say something to this effect and it made good sense to me. A good cut and color make pretty much everything else fall into place. Doesn’t matter if you have it in a ponytail, braid or tied up in a knot. Good work translates into all of these styles. I have started buying cheaper diapers for the lads in exchange for me spending more money on my hair. Hot, right?
- Take care of your body, in whatever way this makes sense to you. It does not have to be obsessive, but it should be deliberate. My approach is this: during the week, I don’t have the resources to get any childcare help. So regimented exercising is pretty much out. That’s ok though, because I make sure that Monday through Friday, I eat super healthy food. Portion control, veggies, fruits etc. Then on the weekend, my husband takes over on childcare duties, and I get to go running. Also on the weekends I eat like a frat-boy, trading my good exercise behavior for questionable nutrition. Pizza, desserts, pancakes, chocolate, whatever. This works for me because it feels balanced. I will probably never be the skinniest lady in the room, but as luck would have it skinny is not the holy grail for me. I feel sexy when I am fair to my body. I do not deprive it. It feels less like a temple and more like a playground. That’s right for me.
- Wear clothes that you don’t need to tug, pull, adjust, or always be flexing in. Wearing an awesome piece of clothing looks awful if it just does not fit correctly. The cool thing is that the opposite is also true: very mediocre clothing can look awesome if it does fit well. Jeans and T-shirt that fit like a dream? Can’t beat that. Put something on that you can move in and not worry about. P.S. PLEASE do not let me see your thong when you sit down. Not sexy. Annoying.
- Find something you’re good at, and do it. Obvious, right? Yet so many people go days on end doing nothing that makes them feel successful. Regardless if it’s raising children, or working in a huge office, spending days just to get to the nights is soul-crushing. It’s a crucial piece in basic self-care that many people ignore because it takes a little introspection. What makes you feel successful? Cooking? Writing? Photography? Sanitation Work? Whatever it is, make some time for it and show it off. Being funny is not sexy. Being smart is not sexy. It’s the confidence from doing something well that is sexy.
- Find a way to treat yourself every day. I love it when I find a new perfume to love. A one-time splurge lasts for months, and I can indulge every day. Perfume does that for me. Find something that does it for you.
- Don’t concern yourself with articles on how to stay sexy. Everyone’s buttons are different, we’re all hard-wired in unique and wonderful and awful ways. As far as I can tell, as of today, there are no magic formulas other than dumb luck and genetic lotteries that make a person universally appealing. So. Collect ideas from people you trust but in the end just make peace with your flaws. They’re there. Mine are too. When all else fails, step away from the mirror and go check out how a person you love looks at you. Love is sexy.
The point is, being sexy has very little to do with my husband, our pool boy, the hot crossing guard, or the local barista’s reaction to me. It feels good of course to get a positive reaction from people around us – a compliment, a double-take, an envious sneer (ok, that’s not all that positive but I can pretty much spin anything in my favor – heh – now that’s sexy). But those things are just peripheral. Everyone I know, the mama’s who are rocking it the hardest, their swagger comes from within. It’s the principle behind the phenomenon of the newly single lady who looks hotter than ever. When a person gets out of a relationship, part of the healing includes a metamorphosis. They dive into themselves and begin exercising, eating right, listening to new music, taking new classes. They get sexy. They start taking care of themselves as an individual. If we can remember to do that within our relationships – as a mother, a wife, a friend – that is sexy. What are your tips? What if you were asked to share them – what would you say?? I’ve shown you mine. Now show me yours.