I hope I'm not the only person who has ever done something foolish with their looks - played with them for power or attention - and doesn't, now, quite know what to do about inhabiting their own bodies.
When I was a teen, I explored the sudden change from ugly duckling to swan - the power of inciting lust in the young gentlemen in my peer group. I explored that, I exploited that. It was much like the friend of mine who sprouted nearly a foot the summer before and was suddenly picking up multiple people at once. One day you feel like nothing, and the next day the rules have all changed.
Was it a good thing or a right thing? No.
And now that I'm an adult, a conservative Christian woman, committed to not causing my brothers to lust, committed to loveliness, not seduction... now what?
I know there is a difference between being lovely and being sexy. But when I put on the pretty clothes, tighten up the belt, sparkle up the ears - my frame of reference is trying to get attention for my sexuality. I don't want attention for my sexuality - I want to be a flower of femininity. I know that when I hit it right - people enjoy looking at me. That's a nice thing to do in this world, be something pure and lovely, right?
The block is in my head. The discomfort is in my head. It extends from using proper body posture to even being slightly uncomfortable walking on busy streets (which I have to do every day to pick my kids up from school). It makes me feel like I'm being "too pretty". You know that wrap dress that I put a picture up of last week? I read on the pattern reviews that people wear those to weddings and get rave reviews. Do you know what it was meant for? A housedress. Something casual, to pick the kids up, mop the floors, chill out. Times have changed.
What would it be like, to not merely dress femininely - skirts or dresses - every day, but to dress beautifully every day? To put on the lipstick, the perfume, the earrings... even just to clean the toilets or wash the dog.
How would that change things? Would it break down the barriers inside? Would it change things up?
I don't know. I know that I crave beauty, I love to look at beauty. I love to look at beautiful people, I love to look at beautiful flowers and buildings and trees - and I want to be part of that.
This matters. Perhaps it only matters to me, but this matters.