Modelling sex in the fashion industry to being truly sexy

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Modelling sex in the fashion industry to being truly sexy

As a young model in the fashion industry I remember being at one of my first photo modelling shoots at the age of 14 and the photographer asking me to give him the 'F... me look'.

At 14 I already knew what that ‘look’ was. As that photographer knew, it’s a look that generates billions. But is it truly sexy?

Let’s cut to the chase here: women today are sexualised from such a young age by so many different areas in the media – from magazines, billboards, music videos, music lyrics, movies, television, books, fashion designers and basically any form of advertising.

In fact:

  • 69% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape.
  • A 2011 study concluded that popular media outlets are not depicting women as sexy musicians or actors; they are narrowly and increasingly depicting women musicians and actors as ready and available for sex … and not much else.
  • This increase is true for younger women too as an analysis of advertisements and articles in Seventeen magazine shows: the average number of sexualizing characteristics nearly tripled in just three decades.

We are so completely saturated by this ‘come and get me’, ‘wouldn’t you like to’ look that it's become totally familiar and consequently accepted by society at large … and the fashion industry has played its own part in this. The pressure of living up to this ideal ‘aloof and sexy image' portrayed by the media is huge, and at the root of it was my part as the fashion model. I was portraying ‘sexy’ and the ideal body image from a place of emptiness, presenting something for others to desire and aspire to – an outer image from which they compare and judge themselves. And the fashion industry paid me well for doing so.

At such a young age, that fashion photographer’s request shocked me and I felt incredibly uncomfortable. However, I soon figured out and discovered that …

Success was all about how sexy you could come across in the photographs.

That's what they wanted – that and a sort of false confidence that felt cold and arrogant. The pressures to be sexy and have the perfect physical measurements were massive for each and every modelling job – and became all-consuming. Yet at the same time, despite all my success, I knew that it wasn't something that felt authentically 'me', nor what truly mattered to me. On some level I knew that I was 'selling out' but I wanted to be in the fashion magazines and be 'seen' as ‘pretty enough', and so to get this I showed them what they wanted.

I would put out what I thought they wanted in order to be noticed and accepted.
But in doing so, I left myself.

This 'selling out' on myself was of course reflected in my world, in my relationships and how I was with other women and men. I disconnected from what I had truly felt and known; that I didn't need to try and be anything more, that I only had to allow the beauty that was already within me to just be. I disconnected so that I didn't have to feel the pain and harm I was doing to my body in not trusting, honouring or accepting its inner beauty and by pretending to be something I knew deep down wasn't me.

"We achieve ideals at the expense of our bodies."

Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, p 517

We already know at a deeper level what feels truly sexy and what doesn't: we already can feel what's right and what's not for ourselves and all that's required is to listen to that ‘knowing’ and feeling in our body that is communicating with us all the time.

We can often try to be someone else or appear a certain way in order to feel 'good enough', but who is telling us what 'good enough' should look like? And why do we listen? The constant feed from the outside, which we seem to accept and take on board without deeply questioning, is consistently telling us that we need to be this ideal of ‘sexy’ and ‘available’ in order to be noticed or seen – to attract the attention we crave. Yet how could anything be more sexy and attractive than giving attention to ourselves and seeing, appreciating, expressing and celebrating the true beauty that comes from within us?

When the unshakeable knowing that we are sacred and divinely precious is held in the body of a woman and she celebrates this ‘claiming’ of herself by expressing this beauty and sexiness through the way she dresses and carries herself, it throws a whole new spin on sexy. When she's doing this – not for attention, but to simply celebrate herself – it looks and feels very different. This sexy doesn’t crush or dominate, it is warm, not cold or competitive, and it invites other women to recognise themselves equally so and men to feel what a true woman in all her glory feels like.

This is what we should be modelling – our inner beauty!

Isn't this what is most attractive? It offers a new way, and how could you not turn heads regardless of the size of your hips and waist.

For me, I realised that the only person who's qualified to be me is ME, and if I don't allow myself to be me and let that be expressed in full, the world misses out. We are all in fact each fully qualified to be the amazing, truly sexy women that we already equally are.

60% Complete
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Women – rekindling our natural rhythms

As women underneath it all we are exactly the same, deal with the same issues and agree there needs to be a different way. That change starts with each one of us.

So today I have a whole new perspective on what 'sexy’ is that is nothing like what the fashion industry thinks sexy is! When I connect with these inner qualities that all women hold within and express myself from that place, I feel amazing, I feel lovely, joyful, playful … and I feel sexy. Today I know beauty and being sexy comes from the deep connection with myself, fully knowing and claiming how precious, lovely and amazing I am AND being open in expressing all of me without holding back.

The power in this feels incredible because it's not only about me being the Love that I am, but also about seeing every single other woman as equally amazing, holding these same divine qualities in the essence of their being. Now THAT’S not modelling sex, THAT'S TRULY SEXY!

Further listening:

What is Truly Sexy? Natalie Benhayon talks about True Sexy

Truly Sexy is something worth singing about and this track does just that: True Livingness Woman

Filed under

SexinessBeauty mythsBody imageSex appealBody positiveFashionConnection

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    By Caroline Giles

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    Photography: Clayton Lloyd