Thursday, April 3, 2014

Be Sexy. Be Clothed.

So I was walking around the house in my underwear the other day and I passed by a mirror and thought, “Dang, I look hot. The world needs to see some of this.” So I grabbed my phone and snapped a few pictures of myself to post online. Here I am standing half naked in the kitchen! Now I’m eating an apple in my undies! And now I’m just laying on my bed in my bra! Wait, let me lift my shirt all the way up to my chin to show off my abs. Maybe I’ll get in the tub later and take a few pictures of me with the bubbles.

Ridiculous, right? And yet these types of pictures pop up on Instagram every day.

People who follow me on IG:  my husband, my cousins, new and old friends, my pastor and other pastor friends (male and female), professional colleagues, younger friends from church, mommy friends, and friends from high school and college. I have 170 followers (a low number compared to many). Only one – ONE – out of that 170 has seen my in my skivvies – my husband.

I can’t imagine my male cousins, friends, or my – gag – pastor seeing me in my bra and underwear. It makes me uncomfortable just typing that sentence. So I don’t understand how so many young women are okay posting these types of pictures of themselves for their IG world to see.

Am I an uptight prude? Maybe, and I’m okay with that. Consider the alternative.

My heart breaks over it.

I’m ashamed that one of my first thoughts when I see such pictures is, “What a slut.” That is simply awful and judgmental and I have no excuse for it. Perhaps that young lady is intelligent, hardworking, kind, loves pets, volunteers at a hospital, or has overcome some difficult circumstances. But what is she choosing to promote about herself? A half-naked picture does not reflect her personality, her wonderful traits, or her character. It just reflects her body – one tiny aspect of who she is.

I’ve heard girls say that they’re proud of their bodies and that posting pictures like these is a reflection of their confidence. I call BS on that, and I’ll tell you why.

A woman with true confidence and a healthy self esteem does not need to post revealing pictures of herself to show off her confidence and self esteem. She does not need accolades or “likes” to feel better about herself. Popularity may be a numbers game, but numbers don’t always equate to true and lasting friendships and, especially, to healthy relationships.

Don’t be foolish and don’t be fooled. Cyber-ogling and lascivious comments are not flattering; they are offensive.

You know what’s NOT sexy? Having all of your assets on display. You know what’s NOT special? Sharing what’s meant for your future husband (or wife, because this applies to guys, too), with every person of the opposite sex that you know – some of whom you see on a regular (if not daily) basis. When your spouse finally sees you naked (which is only one awesome aspect of marriage, by the way), do you think they will be psyched that everyone else you know has also seen you that way?

Something else to consider – what might make you feel special is actually not special at all. There are thousands of women on Instagram posting naked pictures of themselves every day. Some are actually professional models paid to sell a product. I hate to be the one to say this, but you’re not a model. You’re just like every other girl out there, cheapening yourself to give cheap thrills to everyone scrolling through.

And here’s what kills me. Here’s what breaks my heart the most. You ARE special. So, so valuable and precious. You don’t have to undress to show your worth. Worth comes in so many ways – achievements, character traits, goals, service – none of which involve disrobing.

We all desire to be desired. We all want to look sexy and attractive. So let me let you in on a little secret: A sexy woman is sexy regardless of clothing. A sexy woman is sexy wearing jeans and a turtleneck. A sexy woman is sexy because she’s confident, because she walks with her head held high, because she can be selfless, because she looks you in the eyes when talking with you, because she respects herself and doesn’t accept sass or crass from anyone.

Be sexy. Be attractive. Be confident. Be creative. Be accomplished. Be intelligent. Be useful. Be clothed. Be-lieve in yourself enough to value your body and nurture your worth.

That is something worth following.

OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.

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