By Berol Dewdney

Berol Dewdney grew up in Southern Vermont and is now a sophomore at Colby College, where she is a passionate Gender Studies major.  You can usually find her between the pages of a Feminist Theory book or logging miles on the bucolic trails that surround Colby’s campus, because she’s also a varsity three-season distance runner. Berol is  interested in how our media cultures affect body image and disordered eating, and hopes to make a positive change in that area in the future. She loves to laugh, adores the color blue, and could survive on blueberries and peanuts alone for the remainder of her life!

Sexy is whatever you want it to be – as long as YOU are the one deciding you want it. If we don’t take sexy back, they will just keep stealing it away from us. So we better get to work!

To me, taking sexy back, means taking ownership of my body back. As young women, we may have the right to vote, but what use is that if we cannot inhabit our very own flesh in the manner in which we desire?  Not much – or not as much as it should be.

Sexy means not feeling guilty about food, our fuel.  Sexy is about not conforming to the thin ideal the media is screaming at us to attain.  Sexy is eating a piece of cheesecake (and then another because you ARE hungry, and HECK it is delicious!) and not feeling bad about it.

So what does that mean to me? It means not looking in the mirror and telling myself that I’m fat. It means knowing that the answer to life is NOT thinness. Taking sexy back means never purging again. It means eating Pringles and chocolate when and in whatever amounts I choose. It means NOT dieting.

Taking sexy back is about being confident because we have every reason to be, and no reason not to be. Moreover it is about being true to yourself, and about not belittling your emotions. If there is injustice, speak up. If you need to scream to make that injustice heard, then do it – that is damn sexy. If that guy reaches up your skirt when you don’t want him to, do anything to make him realize that no means NO. When they look at you as you walk through the hallway and make sexist comments – look and talk back. Stand up for yourself–that is sexy.

Taking sexy back is loving yourself fully – inside and out.

Sexy is Feminism. Sexy is confidence. Sexy is ownership of our heads and hearts and bodies. Sexy is honesty.

Let’s start being honest with ourselves. I swear to own myself, will you?