Monday, October 26, 2015

My Sexy Halloween Post

Halloween's coming up.  As a Christian, I'm not into the gory scary evil side of things, but as a Christian, I'm definitely into the neighbourly friendly candy side of things! It's the neighbourliest night of the year - a chance to open our door to the people we live with, chat with parents and kids, give generously, and get to know each other.

(I understand people who don't want to participate at all due to the way Halloween can be a celebration of evil, and I totally respect that for them.  I just choose to see it as one more way to love my neighbour.)

But I think Halloween is really interesting, culturally.  It uncovers the pretense, the facade, the stories our culture tells itself about what we value and who we want to be.  And nothing does this more obviously, in my opinion, than the Sexy Nurse (or Sexy Fireman, or Sexy Stewardess, or Sexy Anything etc.) costume.  

It isn't that society really believes a nurse should wear a miniskirt or modify her uniform to reveal a plunging neckline.  But in a deeper, constraining sense, we believe -

No matter what I do, I would be better if I were sexy.  

Halloween just puts it all out there - shows us that, as a culture, we believe in a religion of works, where sexiness is our god and goal.  We really think that the skinniest, perky-boobsiest, whitest-toothed people are the happiest and most likely to be in sexually fulfilling relationships.  

Be a nurse who saves lives, eases pain, delivers joy, softens loss, yes ... but make sure you lose weight, cover your grey hairs, hide your wrinkles, get breast implants, whiten your teeth, and eliminate your thigh gap.  

And it sounds, well, shallow, at best, when it's all written out like that. But still somehow I find myself feeling inadequate because I'm not a "sexy" mom, or a "sexy" blogger, or a "sexy" anything.

But when I sit alone with God and read the truth, I rest.

Isn't it enough, to do my job well, to serve others, to build a home with my husband and kids and joyously worship God with thanks? Isn't it enough for one life?

I know it, deep down in the quiet places of my heart.  It's enough.  I'm enough.  I don't need to strive for someone else's standard of sexiness to be happy, or to be appealing to my spouse.

You, me - we're already enough.

Because sexiness isn't actually shape of a body, and it doesn't come in one particular bra or bicep size.  It would be really hard to truly dress up as a sexy anything, because sexy looks different for everyone, and doesn't have a particular look at all.  Sexy (defined by as exciting, glamorous, arousing) is not elusive or expensive or tangible.  It's found deep in the heart of commitment, security, freedom, comfort, and kindness. 

It's the delicious tenderness of sacrificial love, the gluey sort of oneness in the silence after a rich laugh, the spark and flare of intense conversation that keeps you up at night.  

It's found in the ordinary run of an everyday life, and (thank you, Jesus!) is not reserved solely for those svelte few who manage to achieve a thigh gap.  

NB, I'm not at all saying that I think it's wrong to be fit, to strive for any particular shape or to love being beautiful. 

But I am saying that physical shape and size isn't the road to sexy ... because sexy is thankfully reserved for all of us.