Earlier this month, my friend Victoria and I shared with you our thoughts about confidence being the ultimate form of sex appeal. Over the past few weeks, I've had second thoughts. I mean, what if the only reason we believed this was because we're women and simply wanted to believe this was the case? I mean, let's face it: As women -- to some extent -- we sort of have a conflict of interest when it comes to what makes a woman sexy.
And so, I turned to Twitter. While sitting having dinner at a bar in a restaurant while on a business trip recently, I picked up my phone, and asked the Internet: "Question for men: What makes a woman sexy?"
Here are some of their answers:
Are you noticing a trend?
In fact, 83% of the men who responded said, in some form or fashion, that confidence was the key to a woman's sexiness (the others, incidentally, said, "intelligence," "depth," "authenticity," and similar adjectives). Moreover, after reading all of these tweets that night in the restaurant, I screwed up the courage to ask the same question of my bartender, who immediately said:
"Confidence, no doubt. Confidence is huge. Confidence can help transform an average woman into a completely sexy woman."
So there you have it: Victoria and I have been vindicated; confidence is key. And for those who feel like they could always improve in their own self-assurance (and really, who couldn't?), here are my top four ways to build confidence:
1. Accept a compliment the right way. At some point in your life, you're going to receive a compliment, and there's nothing like knowing how to accept a compliment to give you a boost. Here's a hint: The eyes have it.
I've written before about the power of looking someone in the eyes, and accepting a compliment is the perfect time to practice. The next time someone tells you something kind about yourself, instead of brushing it off, look them dead in their eyes, and say as sincerely as you can possibly muster: Thank you. Say it without irony. Notice how the person who paid you a compliment reacts -- chances are they'll receive your appreciation with gratitude of their own. But more importantly, notice how you feel. Make a habit of owning the kind words. Compliments are gifts -- own them.
2. Find what you love, and do it often. I'm of the opinion that nothing boosts your confidence like knowing how to do something really, really well. And if practice makes perfect, why not learn to do something really, really well that you actually love doing?
Oprah Winfrey once said: "You've got to follow your passion. You've got to figure out what you love -- who you really are. And have the courage to do that. I believe the only courage anybody ever needs is the courage to follow your own dreams." I completely agree; moreover, I think discovering your passion requires some serious introspection.
Take the time -- journal, meditate, whatever -- to delve into what it is that really lights you up. (For the record, here's how I figured out my passion.) And then, once you've figured it out, do it as often as you can. If you can make it your life's work, great; however, at the very least, try to do it every spare moment you have. Get great at it. Because once you become really good at something to love? Your confidence in yourself will become very difficult to shake.
3. Dress how you want. Earlier this year, Erin Loechner and I talked about self-expression and style. I challenge you to take a risk and wear what makes you feel amazing, regardless of what you think others will say.
4. Pay it forward. And finally, once you've done all of the above, pay it forward: Help someone else feel fabulous and confident. Pay someone a sincere, heartfelt compliment, and watch them light up. Because nothing begets confidence like confidence.
Do those four things liberally and with great abandon, and I guarantee confidence and self-assurance is sure to follow.Go on, do it.
You sexy thing, you.
More Own Your Beauty on BlogHer
- Missed a homework assignment? See the list of all Karen Walrond's Own Your Beauty homework.
- Victoria Gardner: You Can Determine If You're Sexy
- Your Specific Brand of Sexy
Own Your Beauty is a groundbreaking, year-long movement bringing women together to change the conversation about what beauty means. Our mission: to encourage and remind grown women that it is never too late to learn to love one's self and influence the lives of those around us - our mothers, friends, children, neighbors. We can shift our minds and hearts and change the path we follow in the pursuit of authentic beauty.
Karen Walrond is a writer and photographer in Houston, Texas, and the author of the book, The Beauty of Different, available at Bright Sky Press, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can read/see more of her life at Chookooloonks.