susan headshot3Advice to Sexy Sally  

Dear Aunt Bossy,

           My mother is so out of it I could scream.  She has no idea of what it is like to be my age and refuses to learn.

          I work out, play sports, and am careful to remain in shape.  I have a great body, and like to show it.  My mother constantly tries to get me to change clothes and makes it so difficult that I am forced to get dressed and get out of the house before she sees me.  

            It’s MY body, and no one should be able to dictate what I do with it.  

            My dad won’t get involved, so I am fighting this battle by myself.  What do you suggest I do to get my mother to enter this century?

          Sexy Sally

Dear SS,

           I know a lot about this. I also know times have changed.  

            When I was a teen, I was leaving the house one day wearing very short shorts and a very tight tee. My mother took one look at me and said, “Dear Lord, if you are going to go out of the house looking like a hooker, you have to be really careful not to get in trouble.”  That was all she said.  She was VERY smart.

            I slinked out of the house, spent the day in extreme self-consciousness, and didn’t go out like that again. 

            My mother was very tasteful and elegant, and I didn’t hate her for other reasons, so I may have been more open to her comment because I had such a high opinion of her taste. That really doesn’t matter, although it made the situation easier than yours.

            The fact is that your mother knows what she is talking about. People respond to us based on the signals we give them about who we are. That is common sense and human nature.

            If we see a fellow on the street wearing leathers, with a shaved head and Harley Tattoos, we can pretty much determine that he likes motorcycles and is probably not an investment banker.  He could be, but that isn’t the message he is sending at the moment.  (By the way, when I attended Bike Week In Daytona,  the Wall Street guys showed up with good haircuts, Italian handmade boots, and leather jackets as soft as a baby’s ear. We all giggled.)

            Same with a gal in shorts, a crop top, platform heels, and lots of makeup standing on a street corner.  She would appear to be advertising a service, or at least inviting attention to her body. I doubt she would attract someone who wanted to discuss Medieval History. (She might, but she is not making it obvious that she is looking for that discussion)

            Young men are programed by nature to be brimming with testosterone, and are on the lookout for someone who would seem to encourage their acting on it.  That doesn’t mean they should, or that it is all right for them to impose themselves on a gal just because she is signaling that she is sexy.  However, it is downright foolish to draw them in without being aware of the potential consequences. 

            Saying this is blaming the victim is the same as saying someone who jaywalks at night while inebriated and gets hit by a car is responsible for what the driver did.  The driver is ultimately responsible, just as an inappropriate young man is responsible for his actions. On the other hand, the victims put themselves in a situation where they were much more likely to get in trouble.  

            No, this isn’t fair, but it is – once again – common sense and human nature. If you don’t want to attract Neanderthals, don’t give them reason to be attracted. Don’t enter the jungle smelling like a bunch of bananas if you don’t want to meet gorillas.

            The good news is that you can be sexy and highlight your physical assets in much more subtle ways. High heels, a well-cut knee length pencil skirt with a nicely fitting blouse will do the trick. If you really want to get attention, throw on some pearls, and the next thing you know you will be talking to a fellow who appreciates your classy sex appeal.

            You might “own” your body, but you have much more to offer. Don’t cheat yourself by emphasizing just one part of your value as a human being and a woman.  If you distract a potential suitor with your physicality, your intelligence and character may never be discovered.

            And, PS, your mother wouldn’t be objecting if she didn’t know what’s what.

            Shape up, beyond physically.


           Aunt Bossy