I guess the thing to do is define “Sexy” of which Merriam Webster declares the word as an “adjective”
- Sexually suggestive or stimulating: erotic
- Generally attractive or interesting: appealing
Erotic: 1. Of, devoted to, or tending to arouse sexual love or desire <erotic art>
It is suggested that the word “erotic” was first used in 1651, but the word “sexy” was first used in 1925 of which I find it hard to believe. But since I was born in 1960 it is okay with me because I have known of many things and events in my life time of which I can call “Sexy”.
Yet I am asking the question “Who is allowed to be sexy”, it may seem elementary on my part yet it is necessary to make clear the need to provide protection for those who are not legally of age to be exposed or displayed in a way that is clearly “Sexy, sexual, or erotic”. So my question excludes those who are underage.
“Who is allowed to be sexy”… it may surprise some of you and maybe even infuriate most of you, but to me Marilyn Monroe was not that beautiful of a woman, oh yes there were some shots of her that were very sexy and yes appealing to the eye. But given the right preparation many women can be seen the same way. But what she did so well for the time she was on the world stage was to push the envelope and walk on the edge in front of a society that was not so comfortable with a woman being and living publicly “Sexy”. She on purpose wanted men to see her in a very “sexy” way, and she wanted women to embrace their “sexiness”.
If you were to look at some of her photographs she would at times be considered fat and out of shape by many of us today. But wrap her in sheer fabric and a few jewels (which was her last photoshoot), put her in Diamonds (they are said to be a girl’s best friend) or allow her to stand over a metal object with wind that blows her dress up and expose a pair of granny panties (by our standards today) and be the first to do so and she is declared “SEXY”, an “ICON” or even a “SEX SYMBOL”
“As a photographer I can tell you I am a fan somewhat of Norma Jeane Mortensen (aka Marilyn Monroe) not because I consider her a sexy woman, but because she was bold enough to express how she felt about being sexy.”
Sexy is not a figure it is a feeling, an expression and sometimes it is something a woman or a man may want to express in a photographic way, read it carefully “Photographic”. The problem is that there are times when the motive and intent of those who view your photographs or attempts at displaying your sexiness can come under their judgments.
Some 22 years ago I visited Europe for the first time and was amazed at how they viewed nudity and sexuality as a culture. French television would display images that we had not gotten the clearance from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to display here in the United States. The beaches where covered with women who were at a minimum topless as if it was the norm, and it was. Even Spain which had recently come from under the rule of a Dictator was expressing there “Sexiness”. I saw it for myself.
But still today in our nation we have a problem as a whole with a woman or a man expressing what they view as “Sexy”.
So my question is “WHO IS ALLOWED TO BE SEXY?” If the person fits the role model of what society says is “Sexy” with the “Perfect Body”, appealing images, etc… are they allowed to display “Sexy”. If they are paid thousands of dollars or if they pay a professional, Hobbyist or nonprofessional are they allowed to express photographically what they feel is “Sexy”?
My view is clear if of age and legally about to abide by the laws of the land anyone who wants to express that part of their personality identified as “Sexy” should be allowed to do so, and do so without the judgments of those not comfortable enough with their own body images, or psychologically bond to a different way of thinking about the subject.
It is hard for me to expressed to you the many woman I have photographed that have said how beautiful they felt after expressing themselves in front of the camera and having completed the photosession to see the images produced them having expressed what they were feeling internally.