I Want To Look Sexy

My daughter has hit an age where she does and says things without FULLY understanding what they mean, but has an idea they means SOMETHING.

This weekend she told me “I want to look sexy.”

Gasp. Choke.


“Umm.. excuse me?”

My reaction to this was to tell her no she didn’t and we don’t use that word. I mean, really. Who wants their almost 5-year old going around telling people she’s sexy?

But then I thought about it. What does sexy REALLY mean?

Is it Victoria Secret models prancing around in their underwear?

Is it Miley Cyrus swinging naked from a wrecking ball? (still can’t get that imagine out of my head)

Is it shaky your booty for the world to see?

Is it posting pictures of yourself on Instagram wearing revealing clothes?

OR… none of the above?? (ding, ding, ding, ding ding)

I don’t know about you, but when I think of sexy, I think of someone who has confidence in themselves. It sounds so generic, but it’s not just ONE thing. They like how they look and feel. They are comfortable in their skin.It’s not about being naked. It’s not about showing off their “stuff.” It’s not about being a certain height or weight. It’s not about being beautiful.

The Merriam-Webster definition of sexy is “sexually attractive or exciting.” Now, I’m obviously not going to have a conversation about my daughter being sexually attractive when she is 5, but in the back of my mind I have noted that it’s obviously something I need to talk to her about. Do I WANT my daughter to feel sexy? At some point, when she is an adult, yes. Wouldn’t YOU want that for anyone?

Do I want her to feel sexy now? No. Duh. There are a lot of adjectives that I would prefer for her to use to describe herself. Strong. Confident. Loving. Healthy. Beautiful. Smart. Helpful. Empathetic. Caring. Friendly. Trustworthy. I could go on.

At the same time, I think we need to take the stigma away from “sexy.” Yes, it has the word sex in it – but it doesn’t necessarily have to describe how you feel  in the bedroom, right?

Sexy can be how you feel after a good workout.

Sexy can be how you feel in a new outfit.

Sexy can be how you feel on a date.

Sexy can be how you feel at the beach, pool, or on vacation.

Sexy can be how you look after getting 8 hours of interrupted sleep (remind me how that feels again?).

Sexy can be sitting in your PJs all day doing nothing but relaxing, watching tv/reading a good book.

Sexy can be spending time with your family.

Sexy is how YOU define it. And you don’t need to show your boobs, your hoo-ha, or  throw away to your integrity to get it.

I don’t think sexy is a word that children and teenagers should ever be using to describe themselves. It is an ADULT word, but we shouldn’t be shy about WHY it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Sexy is NOT bad. Sexy IS natural. Using the word sexy when you’re 10, however, is not.

So, the next time my daughter says she wants to feel sexy — instead of hushing her up and making it seem taboo, I’m going to let her know that some day, she will be. Let’s just not rush it…


Do you hate the word sexy? Do you think it’s overused? How do you define it?

PS – Parenting is hard.


  1. says

    Love this, Michelle! Sexy is definitely stigmatized — there is absolutely nothing shameful about the word. And this is one of the many reasons I’m petrified to have a girl haha. But I absolutely love your answer at the end — and I shall use it!

  2. says

    OMG!!! I would have died if my kid said that to me! I agree with you, I think sexy has been given the wrong definition in the public eye. I think we need to reassess the definition. Like you, I think confidence is more sexy than anything!
    Ara recently posted..Would You Rather…Part II

    • says

      She IS a cracker jack. I love her spirit, her warmth, her competitive nature, and her ability to stand strong in what she thinks is right. However, I fear for my future :)

  3. Cindy says

    I remember when the preschool played “I’m too sexy for my shirt” before B’s graduation and all the kids were singing and dancing to it. So, there’s another source. You have an excellent answer, “Some day she will be. Don’t rush it.” Feeling pretty doesn’t quite describe just feeling good about your physical self. Sexy just might be better.

    • says

      The source is definitely that “I’m Sexy and I Know It” song — among MANY others. You don’t realize how many times that word is used in songs until your kids aren’t supposed to say it!

      That said – I don’t think it’s a BAD word. It’s just not an appropriate word. Hee.

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