It’s that time of year again.
Ladies be lining up like:
Sexy Wonder Woman, Sexy Santa, even Sexy Taco Sauce packets — the options are endless.
Unless of course, you’re too hipster for that.
But even if you generally dress pretty modestly, you can’t deny, there’s something really… powerful about getting dolled up so… sexy.
It’s a kind of twisted Cinderella story — living a dream for one night – that with the right outfit that guy will finally see you in a new light, or that you’ll stand out and be captivating.
It’s a kind of power — harnessing the power of your body to influence.
When you hear about power being “seductive,” it’s usually something in the context of money-hungry businessmen (or women 😉 ), but this kind of power is seductive, too.
The ability to influence, to induce a reaction from someone — that ability to be noticed.
It feels good to be noticed, to be desired, to be recognized as beautiful.
As Catholics, this shouldn’t surprise us. Because ladies, the first thing that happened to Eve after she was created, was she was noticed. And told that she was exactly what Adam was looking for.
(…God’s like, I know right?)
I’m not saying women were created to please men.
I’m saying that from the beginning, women were created in a kind of complementary relationship where they are affirmed, noticed, and loved.
We all want to be loved. And the first step towards being loved, is being noticed. You love someone by first noticing them – seeing them – and then responding to them with love.
Women seem to know that their bodies are a powerful tool for being noticed. I mean, how many “Sexy Taco Sauce” costumes have you seen for men? None. This Sexy Halloween costume phenomenon is one largely, if not entirely, female dominated.
(Interestingly, men often use their bodies to be “noticed,” too – through demonstration of their physical prowess, or ability, in sports and everyday life. But that’s for someone else to write about.)
Modern feminism has one of two reactions to Sexy Halloween costumes: either basking in and promoting the feminine power of sexuality, or shunning the underlying desire to be noticed and asserting women as too independent to need affirmation at all.
I’d like to offer a third option: a Catholic feminist reaction.
Catholics have a knack for finding truth in the middle of two extremes – think mercy and justice, or faith and reason.
I think Catholic feminists would see the truth in the middle of those modern feminist extremes. First, that the female body is powerful, but like all power, should be used for good. Second, that as humans, and I think particularly as women, we have a deep desire to be noticed, affirmed, and loved.
So what’s the real power in a sexy Halloween costume?
I think it’s to re-awaken us to these truths – these eternal realities that we all too often forget, or never realize in the first place.
The desire to be noticed, affirmed, and loved.
These desires were created to be filled. But it takes vulnerability to admit, and it takes courage to confront.
Just know: you were created by a God who notices you.
No life-size taco sauce required.
P.S. All easier said, than done, I know. So from personal experience, this book really helped me. ♥
Samantha Povlock is the Founder + Creative Director of FemCatholic. You can learn more about her here.
All gifs via giphy.com.