3 Ways to Challenge the Narrative of What is Sexy


sexy narrative of blonde posing in boudoir photoshoot.

I want to put you into the hypothetical drivers seat today by challenging the narrative of what is sexy to you. Let’s say today is the day you get to meet your favorite actor. Maybe you have harbored a secret crush on him for years, have every picture of him tucked away under your pillow, and you believe he is the pin-ultimate winner of the Sexiest Man Alive.

You are the first in his line, and when they call your name, you bounce up to say hello. Only, instead of being personable, your favorite actor is a giant jerk, even so much as insulting the outfit you meticulously chose to wear to meet him. 

Does he still sit at the top of your Sexiest Man Alive list after that experience? 

Chances are, there are more things about a person than their attractiveness that plays a role in what you believe is sexy. The dictionary definition of what is sexy doesn’t meet everything that plays into human feelings about sexiness. Even knowing that attractiveness is not the only thing about a person that makes them sexy, I have learned people are harder on themselves than on others. 

In my decade plus experience within boudoir photography, I have had the opportunity to photograph people from all walks of life. Thin, curvy, couples, singles, moms, dads, grandparents, LGBTQ+, models, and every day people. I have made it my job to challenge the narrative of what is sexy. 

So, how can you challenge the narrative definition of what is sexy?

Let’s Redefine What is Sexy

Narratives are designed through storytelling. They start as someone trying to bring attention to something they believe is important, and then they shift as the story moves from person to person. Companies have found ways to exploit this version of storytelling. Because they have the ultimate authority based on their popularity, more people get the story they are selling at the same time. 

When everyone begins to see luxury wrapped around a certain body type, at some point they will start associating sexy with the image that has been crafted for it. Challenging narratives is giving yourself permission to define things yourself. Sexy, according to the media, is about perfect teeth, perfect bodies, expensive clothing, and a personality that was polished by PR people. Most of us don’t have endless resources to meet these strange requirements. Even without all that, you have likely met or have partners that you are attracted to but some people ask you how you see it. 

We live in a strange society where everyone has an opinion, and many times that opinion is different than the ones you hold. So why do we allow others’ opinions to sway what we believe? If we are starting with redefining sexy–challenging the narrative–then let’s think about some things that people believe are sexy.

Characteristics of Sexy

Characteristics of sexiness will be different for everyone. Someone may think solely that body structure is what defines sexy for them. Others may find personalities or spontaneity sexy. There are subtleties that define attraction for each person, something that makes you feel pulled towards another person. 

In the years that I have photographed all different body types, one of the biggest narratives I would love to challenge is how we view our own size in comparison to others. So many women talk themselves out of wearing certain clothing or buying the lingerie they want, because instead of seeing themselves as powerful in it, they see their insecurities. 
According to Psychology Today, there are ten underrated qualities that make a person sexy. When challenging the narrative around sexiness, we recommend checking out this list while you deconstruct the one in your head.

Building a New Narrative of Sexy

Full disclosure, we want you to live a fulfilling and confident life. As a boudoir studio, of course we want to help in your process by showing you what we see, building your confidence, and teaching you techniques that you can take home with you after your session with us. Building a new narrative means stepping outside your comfort zone. When you choose to get a photoshoot with The Girlfriend Experience, you are taking a step to rebuilding the narrative you are used to. 

Building a new narrative is about challenging stereotypes that are oppressive and keep you in a place (either physically or mentally) of discomfort. You can rewrite the narrative by making a list of what is sexy to you. When you can find exceptions to the general rule, you give yourself evidence that you have qualities that are sexy too. It’s ok to embrace them. 

Narrative is not only built, though. In order for a new way of thinking to stick, we have to repeat it. Like mantras or like learning a new sport. Change is hard, of course, but if we stick to it, we can learn how to embrace our own version of sexy. It was hard fought and hard won.

Maybe you are feeling insecure about your body and need a reminder that you have what it takes to be sexy. Pull out those boudoir photos, babe. See for yourself how sexy you are, and remember that challenging the narrative also challenges yourself to remember you are amazing. 

We are here to support both inside and outside of the boudoir studio. And when you are ready to embark on defining your own brand of sexy, we are here to help you cultivate and capture it fully. Explore the investment of a timeless boudoir or erotica photoshoot with the Girlfriend Experience today and show the world your own narrative of sexy!