By Nina Ashe, SexyPlus Clothing Blogger What is Sexy? Oh boy.  Now that’s a touchy subject… for plus size women and petites… for anyone from 18 to 65 (I’d like to think that past that age, I just won’t care anymore!) There are so many kinds of naked too. From the strip-poker naked to the baring-your-soul naked… with buck, ifoc (in front of computer – y’all have been there!), and as-the-day-you-were-born kind of naked in between. Some of us are born as natural nudists or exhibitionists.  Most of us are not. Some of us are born with Sports Illustrated bodies.  Most of us are not. Why, even the airbrushed models are not! Some of us have accepted our body for the gift is it… to hell with what anyone else says. Some of us just zone out entirely when the pieces are peeled away.  Akin to Multiple Personality Disorder… another you just takes over. Some of us never allow for being naked… at least not entirely. We’ve all read about women’s workshops in the 70s where you were urged to shuck your girdle and get acquainted with your hand mirror.  Having a look at your own poumpoum was considered breakthrough and the last barrier to modern feminism. But what about the rest of us? Did feminism and accepting ourselves as the goddesses we are stop at our crotch? Perhaps being at peace with our naked self is truly the last frontier. (And to think I’d once considered finding a sexy plus size dress being said frontier!  Blessed be SexyPlus Clothing.  Yes, I’m shamelessly promoting them, but have you seen my wardrobe?) How often to we stand naked in front of the mirror with only our reflection staring us back in the face? We might spend countless hours obsessing over our pores in a magnified lit mirror… an inordinate amount of time in the morning getting our hair just right in the bathroom mirror… or a quick 5-minutes of lipstick-applying, skirt-smoothing, can-I-go-out-looking-like-this mirror time before dashing off to work… But when do we just stand there in our proverbial birthday suit… no clothes, no jewellery, no makeup, no artifice whatsoever… giving ourselves a good once-over and looking back up to smile peacefully at ourselves? Why not? Do our bodies not keep us warm and healthy?  Do they not walk us from point A to B? Do they not bring hugging comfort to our loved ones?  Do they not create life?  Do they not ignite passion? Do you not then deserve to love yourself… and love the body that makes you You? Well, I started off trying to… and I can honestly say I do. Don’t get me wrong Ladies… it’s awkward the first time around… you feel kinda ridiculous… and you develop supersonic hearing convincing you that every little noise is that of a camera-crew just waiting to catch you at this.  As if they weren’t busy enough chasing Angelina and her eclectic brood across the world.  (Nah… my naked ass is way more paparazzi-inspiring!) But it gets better.  There I stand.  I keep repeating how healthy I am… how lucky I am to have such strong sturdy legs... legs that walk for and with me… how lovely my breasts are or the swell of my ass… I’ve caught myself blushing thinking of a few choice comments from my lovers’ gallery… and still I’ll keep on looking. From the peeling varnish on my toes – oh my but I need another pedicure – to the top of my natural brown mousy hair – yes I know highlights would help, but I just can’t bother… or fork over the $100 every other month for the upkeep. I’ll take in my pudgy stomach and thank it for never letting me be chronically sick and accepting my love of Australian wines and dark chocolate… I’ll admire my hourglass waist and let my hips sway as they always have during those countless hours of dancing with friends and family… and with myself when no one’s looking … I’ll have a fleeting moment of thought for the double F’s my mom kept to herself and just appreciate the soft pale skin I inherited from her instead… scars, beauty marks and all... I’ll bless my dad for all the years he skimmed his finger down my nose “shaping it” so it wouldn’t look like the proud Arabic pyramid he bears… and wince briefly over that one pockmark I created on the side of it when I had chickenpox as a child.  I always end up looking up straight into my own eyes… hazel brown with a tinge of moss green… the ones that almost give away and uphold my mix heritage… the windows to my convoluted soul… I smile. I always smile now. Won’t you?

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