Experience,  My EJC Responses,  Opinion

Sexiness is a State of Mind

It’s easy to explain away (in superficial terms) what does or does not make me feel physically sexy: when I look and feel good in what I’m wearing; when my hair does the right thing; when my make-up just works.

But, since sexiness is really a state of mind, a way of thinking, it has less to do with those actual physical things than the way I feel about myself at any given time. And my self-image is usually indicative of my current state of mental health.

For example, I could wear the same dress on two different days. One of those days, I might see myself as sexy in that dress…powerful and ready to take on the world. On a different day, I might see that dress as “making me look fat” or “accentuating all the wrong parts of me.” My physical body is not different on those two days in that same dress. But my mental state is.

I do believe that clothes and hair style and make up can improve the way we see ourselves, and dressing well can positively influence our self-concept, as well as the way others view us. But true sexiness radiates from the inside out. 

It’s really about confidence. And true confidence comes from self-acceptance. 

The more we love ourselves, the better we will feel about everything. On the days when I’m feeling good about myself, everything looks brighter and more manageable. I have more energy, I’m more willing to try new things and take positive risks.

On the days where I’m feeling flat or depressed, my self-image also takes a big dip.

Since depression is caused by chemicals in the brain, I don’t really blame my own occasional poor self-concept on anything I’m doing wrong in my life. I mean, I can always work to improve how I feel about myself, and I do. But, when shit gets ugly as a result of my mental health, I try to just be gentle with myself. I’ve become a lot more self-aware over the years, so when depression comes to call, I just accept that my brain is telling me lies about my appearance. I may not feel sexy, but I know that my eyes are seeing something that others are not.

When I look at others, what makes them truly appear “sexy” to me is how they carry themselves. Cleanliness, signs of intelligence, wit and smiling and laughter, pheromones, a confident air…these things aid in creating a sexy image for my brain to take in. And what my brain finds sexy…another person’s might not. I find these characteristics sexy because they are the things that I find sexy in myself.

So, when I’m on the outs with myself, taking a shower using nice-smelling shower gels and shampoos can lift my mood and improve how I feel about myself. Putting on a comfortable pair of jeans or leggings and a favorite t-shirt can go a long way to bringing me back to life, as well. Curling my hair, putting on a little make-up, getting some fresh air, and spending some time outside of my own head talking to someone else can also help.

It’s a fake-it-till-you-make-it set of strategies, but it works.

We can be our own worst enemies when it comes to self-image. So, it’s good to remind ourselves that we all can be sexy. Being sexy comes from feeling sexy. And feeling sexy is all in our minds.


  • Jo Henny Wolf

    “Sexy” as a concept was so hard for me to grasp that I ultimately skipped this prompt. Fake-it-till-you-make-it is my approach to a lot of things, but it keeps failing me when I attempt to feel sexy. So this is so true: “We can be our own worst enemies when it comes to self-image. So, it’s good to remind ourselves that we all can be sexy.” There’s a lot of food for thought in your post — Thank you for that!

  • May More

    You are so right – accepting your self gives you the right to feel sexy – and feeling sexy in turn makes you more confident, which is darn sexy!

  • SassyCat

    I agree 100%.
    I was told the same once upon a time. Being and feeling sexy is all about self-confidence.
    Please consider linking up to #sb4mh this week 😉

    • Brigit Delaney

      I had always planned to link up…hence the badge. I just forgot, but I took care of that! Thanks for the reminder!

  • Marie Rebelle

    Oh I so recognize this… feeling good in a dress the one day, but not the next. Yes, our brains lie to us, and I think you have found a good way to not believe those lies. And, now that I have met you for realz, I just want to say that you ARE sexy 😉

    Rebel xox

    • Brigit Delaney

      Awww…thank you, Marie! Right back at you! After reading your words for so long, and seeing all of your beautiful photos, it was nice to see you and talk to you and give you a big hug!!! It won’t be the last, I am sure!

  • Cara Thereon

    Fake it til you make it. That works for so many things in life.

    I’m so bad at being positive (in general), but more so when I’m down. It hard to get out of that head space. You’ve got some good approaches to it. Being more self-award would be a good start in those moments for me
    Cara Thereon recently posted…Invisible, no moreMy Profile

  • Lexy

    Really thoughtful post (as usual) with some great concrete coping skills … I love the clear-eyed way you consider your own self concept and find tangible things you can do when you are low. I just stepped outside for some fresh air so I know what you mean!

  • Molly Moore

    It is an interesting subject and one I have been pondering since I saw this prompt. I think the answer for me is many things but having someone desire me is one that is super powerful


  • Isabelle Lauren

    Oh, I can so relate to this. Just the other day I had a really great mental health day and strutted around like I owned the place, looking and feeling great. Then on other days, I slump around hoping no one will notice ugly old me.

  • julie

    I so identify with feeling good in an item of clothing one day and seeing myself a different way the next. It’s just so hard to see yourself as others do and also to believe them. Great post.

  • twistedbubbles

    There is so much truth to this, and lately I am not happy with my size so I feel far from sexy. I am working on it though and the weather is finally improving enough for me to get out and start walking.

  • Kayla Lords

    I used to be very discouraged by the way I saw myself differently from day to day — one day feeling amazing in what I wore and the next time hating every inch of myself (in the same outfit!). And I agree…it’s a self-confidence thing.

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