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What’s sexy according to me?

(written for Grazia 6th anniversary issue)
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For years people, women mostly, have tried to pin down what sexy really means, to tailor themselves accordingly.
Sexy was also reserved for gyrating women on screen – and Beyoncé. She defined sexy for a long time, before we all collectively realised that there was only one of her kind, and Jay-Z had already laid claim. When faced with failure, fashion magazines and women together tried to make up definitions of sexy, selling it to men, young and old. I, for one, haven’t bought into any of those projections, though my definitions of sexy have changed, too, over the years. Through sixth to twelfth grade, English teachers were sexy to me – someone who could teach me the difference between subordinating and coordinating conjunctions. They were powerful, self-assured women who knew how to drape a sari. In particular, there was one English teacher I drooled over every time she passionately recited Keats. In college, we never looked at girls around us as sexy, they were always hot, but never ‘sexy’. Not long after that, I realised that a large part of being sexy comes from conversations, and quite often they were not discussions about conjunctions. And that was disappointing. A good conversation makes a woman sexy. Period. Sexy is someone who is exciting, knowledgeable, and can carry herself well, no matter what her size or shape. When I was in Pondicherry with a group of boys, I met a girl who was travelling alone. While everyone was unimpressed with the hotel we were staying at, she, an investment banker on a break, was travelling the coastal line on a shoestring budget with nothing but a backpack. Very sexy. A few weekends ago, I sat with a group of friends watching Nargis
Fakhri on a TV talk show. Here was a girl I had pegged only as an insanely pretty face. But, by the time the show ended, we were all thinking, “She’s sexy.” But not just because she wore a blue dress like a second skin. It was because she seemed fun and exciting, and could hold an interesting conversation. That was sexy.

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