Today’s mainstream obsession with female sexuality has always struck me as quite contradictory and pathologically illogical—oh, and can we add ridiculous to the list?  I could go on, but I’ll get to the point:

Why on earth, I always wondered, would any woman want to sexually attract a man that she does not intend to actually have sex with?

Have you ever stopped to think about that?  I’ll repeat it in case you didn’t catch the enormity of it the first time around:

Why on earth would any woman want to sexually attract a man that she does not intend to actually have sex with?

Do you want to sexually attract someone that you do not want to actually engage in sexual intercourse?  Do you think it’s healthy—for society as a whole as well as your self-esteem on an individual basis—to want to appear “sexy” to those you have no desire to have sex with?

I don’t; and I’ll tell you why:

It really wasn’t until after I began to wear the headscarf that I realized that global pop culture today confuses a woman’s sexuality with her overall attractiveness, and I think this can have a very detrimental effect on our self-esteem. 

While numerous studies have linked “likeable” physical characteristics to better success socially and financially, it seems that the actual criteria for what constitutes “likeable” physical appearances are starkly different for men as opposed to women.  Men are allowed to simply have a good sense of hygiene, professional dress code, and relatively healthy weight in order to fit into this category.  Women, on the other hand, are put through the flippin’ grinder.  We have to not only be healthy and hygienic from head to toe just like our male counterparts, but we also have to be sexy.  As in, sexually attractive.  As in, female genetalia and private body parts are up for public display and criticism, and only when a woman’s comprehensive overall sexual attractivity (if you will) outweighs any physical deficiencies that she may have, well, only then does she get to be included in this “likeable” and “success-worthy” statistic.  

Vulgar?  Truth don't care who tells it, eh? 

But wait--am I the only one who sees a problem with this?  If a woman’s likeability and attractiveness is solely based on her ability to attract as many men as possible, then we might as well admit that women today are treated as whores and sex-slaves for men.  Yes, I wrote exactly what you read. 

To reduce the value of a woman’s attractiveness only to her ability to sexually attract as many men as possible is to paint her into a corner where she is no better than a servant of the sexual whims of men.  And since we all know that different men like different things, it becomes quite a dizzying contest for women to simultaneously attract men with varying tastes.  The way most sexual icons of today have succeeded in attracting the maximum number of men is by simply “putting out” more—i.e. by exhibiting hyper-sexualized behavior.

So, now not only do we have women who are judged by society based on their ability to look sexually attractive, but what is worse is that we are throwing in for good measure the requirement that women actually publicly share their own sexual behavior by acting sexy as well.

And when developing young girls find that they can’t compete with the ever cut-throat standards of "sexy" today, their self-esteem as a whole plummets.  Fun fact: my Syrian aunt used to always tell my female cousins that they shouldn’t care how many men are interested in them because in the end, they will only marry one.  These are girls who grew up and are now happily married--totally unaware of terms like "fad dieting" and "cellulite."  But for girls today?  It does matter how many men are interested in them.  Their level of likeability and attractiveness is directly related to how many men are sexually interested in them—even those that they don’t ever intend on being intimate with! 

How do you think this affects the self-worth of young girls who would like to be more than just a hyper-sexualized body? 

Calling all outcasts—your psychotherapist charges by the hour.

Time for some cultural Overhaul:

I believe that a woman should only care about how to sexually attract her own chosen partner, just like men are only pressured by society to be there in that capacity for their significant others.  It’s criminal, in my eyes, to teach young girls that their self-worth should lie in exposing what is their right to maintain in privacy.

I think it’s time we redefine what makes a woman truly attractive.  If you haven’t guessed yet, I have my own list. 

Here are my top-five secrets to define an attractive woman:

  1. She Gives Positive Vibes: There is nothing more magnetic than the empathetic smile of a human with a big heart.  No woman can be as beautifully attractive as the woman who only sees the good in others, who speaks what benefits those around her and who is always a source of positive energy for those in need of it.  Not a sexy enough description for you?  Deal with it.  I said I was going to write about how you can be attractive, and I didn’t mean sexually attractive.
  2.  She Loves Herself: That. Girl.  The one who doesn’t give a flying flup what you think about her because she is living the life she believes and is doing what she finds valuable.  The one who can smile at her haters and doesn’t wish ill on anyone because she is too busy in her spiritual high and too full of love.  That’s hella attractive right there.
  3.  She is Healthy: Yes, I think health plays a big role and it is tied to #2 above.  She only puts into her body what is good for her; she only eats when she is hungry, and she doesn’t over-fill.  It’s attractive to be good to yourself.  She uses her body to its maximum potential—expending energy on projects that not only help her cardiovascular health but also her community.  Maybe you’ll find her mowing the lawn, or building a house for a community service project.  You’ll always find her in tip-top shape with water at her fingertips.  That’s attractive.
  4. She Uses Her Mind: Whether she loves poetry or has memorized every receptor on the zona pellucida known to humankind, she uses her mind.  Whether she memorizes Scripture, analyzes paintings of waterfalls—or both, she is always sharpening and honing her mental skill.
  5.  She Looks Nice: Yes, I said it.  A beautiful woman showers, takes care of her skin, does her hair nicely, and maintains a clean, classy, and functional wardrobe.  It doesn’t matter if she likes hippie jewelry or a tasteful (not blood) diamond; she is attractive because she does care for her appearance in her desire to always be clean and nice-looking.  Sexy isn’t a target of hers, but being attractive is something she nails naturally without consciously trying.

So, Dear Reader, now it’s your turn!  What are your secrets for being attractive?  Share them in the comments below!