It is easy to look at the world and those who are in it with a critical and condescending eye. It is easy to point out where people are missing it, messing up and dropping the ball. What’s harder to do is to take that same critical eye and look at yourself.
I’m no superhero, social activist or even famous. However, I realize that even if I’m standing on a soapbox, it’s my platform. Oftentimes, we deny the power of influence that we have because of its size rather than acknowledging its effectiveness.
The truth of the matter is that the world in which we live is made up of nearly 7 billion individuals. So how can we speak of the whole without acknowledging its individual parts? You are a part of the whole world.
There are a few things in my life that I am passionate about. Besides writing, I have a passion for families and women. Women carry tremendous responsibilities all over the world. There is a need for more voices to speak to women and provide hope, mentorship and direction.
We walk into shopping malls or any public place and we can hardly believe our eyes. We often see women who are scantily clad or who come outside wearing pajamas and hair bonnets. We shake our heads and think to ourselves, “What in the world are they thinking?!”
How about we be honest for a change.
It wasn’t that long ago that I was moved by a strong desire to present myself to the world as “sexy”. I wanted men to want me. I wanted them to desire me. Being called pretty wasn’t enough. Being considered beautiful wasn’t cutting it. I wanted “sexy”. I wanted to know I had the power to turn a man on and have him desire me.
That meant my cleavage was showing, my hemline was too short and everything that should have been covered was exposed.
Sexiness used to be so important to me. I wanted to be considered sexy more than I wanted to be respected. You see, many women (not all) do not place the appropriate value on respect. The society in which we live encourages us to expose ourselves and promises to reward this exposure with popularity and acceptance. But what usually happens? The same people who bare it all are rewarded with labels like “tramp”, “slut”, and “hoe”. Talk about being double crossed!
So what do I say to the young woman, 10 to 15 years my junior who has bought into the lie that she’s not pretty if she isn’t sexy. Or better yet, that no man will desire her if he can’t immediately have a sexual attraction to her?
What can I say on my platform, a blog, my little “soap box”?
I will tell her that her self respect is hardly a fair trade for being viewed as sexy by someone. Sure, it may gratify you for a moment, but soon, you will see just how unfair a trade it is. You will see when people whisper behind your back, discounting your intelligence and assuming you are promiscuous. You will see when people assume you are uneducated and unqualified simply because of how you’re dressed and not because they’ve heard your thoughts, opinions and ideas. You will see when a gentleman that you are truly interested in leaves you alone because he assumes you’re a girl that can’t be trusted and who keeps a lot of men in your life. You will see when you learn that those girls that you hang around and who often encourage you to bare more and more of your skin are calling you names and making fun of you.
It’s not a fair trade.
It is wisdom to dress for where you’re going, not for where you are. For example, if you were taking  trip to the North Pole, it wouldn’t make sense to dress in shorts and a tee shirt. Sure, it’s 90 degrees where you are now, but where you’re going has below zero temperatures.
Likewise, if you want the best out of life, it’s important to dress for the place you’re going. So many women want to be in loving, committed relationships and marriages. Many women want to succeed in their careers. Others want to one day help in their communities. The question to ask would be, “Am I dressed for where I want to go or for where I am now?”
If your answer is the latter, you may be a little chilly.
It’s time to change clothes.
I’m no fashionista. My purses don’t coordinate with my shoes all the time. I don’t rock the latest trends or even the most eye catching accessories. But with what I have, I am now focused on presenting myself in a way that speaks to where I desire to be, not to where I am. “Sexy” doesn’t fit where I’m trying to go anymore.
Every woman, young or old, should have at least one outfit for at least three main scenarios:
1. A job interview
2. Church/Court
3. A black tie affair
 So if you’ve spent all of your money on club clothes, you are subconsciously and soon to be literally barring yourself from gaining access to these three places.
When it’s time to go on a job interview, you don’t want to look like you have no concept of business attire.
When it’s time to go to church or to court, you don’t want to appear as if you have no respect for God’s house or the Judge’s courtroom.
When you are invited to a black tie affair, you don’t want to look as if you cannot distinguish between classy and sexy.
You may be reading this and saying to yourself, “Well, I simply don’t know how to dress for such occasions. I thought I looked appropriate but often when I’m in these environments, I don’t feel like I’m dressed right. What should I do?”
This is where mentorship is important. There are many images online and in real life that women young and old can look to for help. Women who are successful in the business sector dress a certain way. If you can take a famous celebrity who is always on the club scene and imitate her attire, the same effort can be made to imitate the wardrobe of women who are in positions of power.
Again, it’s not about being a “prude” or trying to take away one’s ability to express themselves. However, when you go into a McDonalds, is the cashier standing in front of you wearing a Burger King uniform?
Your appearance qualifies or disqualifies you from entering the environment you wish to be a part of. Sexy has its place in the bedroom and if that’s where you’re trying to go, by all means, dress that way. However, when you desire for your life to flow in a different direction, you must be willing to ask yourself :
Am I barring my own entrance into the place where I’m trying to be because I  refuse to wear its uniform?