Sexy Women

We live in a world of tags and categories. In order to make sense of the vast amount of data around us, we need some way of classifying, organising, sorting and then labelling. I completely understand the motivation. What I don’t understand are the results.

Type the search term “sexy women” into google images and you will get pages upon pages of pictures of young women, slim and toned, in skimpy underwear. Their breasts will be thrust forward, backs arched, lips pouting. These women have made the grade to be allocated the title “sexy”.

I’m not arguing with their title. And nor am I suggesting that google has the final authority on what constitutes “sexy”. What I am upset with is the fact that we are presented with a homogenous group, with little or no respect or appreciation for the huge diversity of women and their sexuality.

Thankfully I’m old enough and wise enough to understand that a term typed into a search engine does not give me a definitive answer.  I understand about selection of models for photo shoots and about airbrushing. I’m aware that we live in a society that perpetuates stereotypes, rather than celebrating diversity. And I’m confident enough in my own sexual self to know I do not (in any way, shape or form) need to look like one of the “sexy women” in order to be one.

I bet I’m not the only one to type “sexy women” into a search engine though. I bet teenage boys and girls have done it, adult women and men have done it, and each will have taken away a similar message: sexy = young, slim, nearly naked.

You know what I’d love to see? I’d love to see pages and pages of images of women who had tagged themselves as “sexy”. Women from all walks of life, of all ages, body types and colours. Women dressed or undressed in whatever they feel good in. Women smiling and laughing, looking coy and courageous, and – if they like – pouting.

Am I dreamer? Yes. But then, as the great Eleanor Roosevelt said:

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

I really do hope the future is not too far away.

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