By Jamie Kirk

Talk about a difficult task. Try being sexy with no haircut for months and not shaving for weeks upon weeks. No gym, then limited gym for months. Snacking all day, because well, we kinda are home all day.  Trying to be sexy during a pandemic is literally impossible. When people generally think of being sexy, it typically involves bathing suits, six-packs (abs and beer), a perfect tan, and a chiseled body. This winter, we did not envision this summer being stuck in the house for months, we didn’t imagine the summer vacation only being “shooting the hooch,” and we certainly didn’t think PRIDE activities would be virtual. But alas, here we are.

Being viewed as sexy this summer is actually a little selfish. It’s selfish to think of all that is going on in the world to give time, energy, and efforts towards looking a certain way that others would find appealing. In normal given circumstances, the gym memberships begin to get used the most in March and April with the hopes of having the perfect body by Memorial Day weekend. This year the only thing we were trying to perfect in March and April was keeping on our mask properly over our nose and mouth. Most folks that are keeping up their regular physical activities are doing so for the health benefit, not because others could potentially be drooling over their gym bod (or dad bod), depending on your appetite.

There are so many other important things going on this summer so that being sexy has had to take a back seat. On any given day, you can find something else to do to keep yourself sane. It could be a home project, reading a book, visiting family via ZOOM, working longer hours to ensure you remain considered “essential” to your company, or any number of things. And most, okay, all of these activities do not involve deadlifts, speedos, perfect hair, facials, waxing, or a mani/pedi. This summer’s activities are being replaced with things that matter, things that propel us to being better people, more productive citizens, and things that are actually admirable from the inside out, not the other way around.

Yes, it is extremely hard digesting that we have had to cancel our summer sexy. But this can be a good thing. Instead of focusing on the superficial antics that May to September brings typically, we can replace that energy with making a difference. Being sexy can be re-defined as someone that stands up for what they believe in. Or someone that is peacefully protesting. Or perhaps someone that is helping their neighbor by taking them to the grocery store every Wednesday. Sexy-inwardly, a new term I just made up, is when someone is appealing because of WHO they are, not what they look like. A person that is sexy-inwardly does not command attention when they walk into a pool party. However, they command attention when at the pool party, someone strikes up a conversation with them and asks, “So, what have you done to help support Black Lives Matter”? – and their answer, because of how productive they have been, blows everyone away. Now that’s SEXY.

During this challenging time, there are so many distractions to keep us from feeling un-sexy. When you think about the upcoming election, the unemployment rate, the unapproved-approved- then unapproved stimulus packages, the continued social injustices across the country, the pandemic numbers, and our children are being placed in harm’s way to learn; it’s simply overwhelming. Who has the time or thought power to give to picking out a swimsuit or what dish they can whip up at the community pool party this upcoming Saturday. Our country, our freedom, and our health are far more important. And yes, do I think it is possible to multi-task and be sexy and socially conscious? -Yep, I sure do. But given this day and time, I believe that scale should be properly imbalanced towards being a better person, not having a better body.

If we readjust our thinking and relax the criteria, being sexy can be seen as something that others do not see first, but second. If being sexy could be seen as characteristics, rather than how you look in a speedo or bikini. How nice would it be that sexy could be universally defined as someone humble, emotionally intelligent, ambitious, creative, respectful, and displays empathy towards others.

This is going to sound extremely harsh, but… ain’t nobody doing the “nasty” anyways! If you are partnered or in a committed relationship, you are home all day together and likely not getting along and smothering each other (sorry, projecting a little here), so there is likely not a lot of sex happening. And equally, if you are single and using the dating apps or perhaps going to the bars, you are not likely to take the chance of being exposed to someone who could carry the coronavirus. So don’t just concentrate on the physical crap. Yes, maintain. But don’t make being a sexy beast the priority. Save it for when folks will be ripping your clothes off and can’t wait to see what is underneath it all.

This is a long shot, but what if instead of a profile picture on the dating apps of a gym pic or a pic laying out on the beach in Pensacola, you had to answer a few standard questions like a) What was your immediate thought when you saw the George Floyd video or b) Do you believe that Trans people should be able to serve in the military? Or c) What do you think the delay is with arresting the cops for killing Brenna Taylor? How cool would it be to have an online profile that gives a more in-depth insight into the type of human being you are and what you stand for?

I know the data says that about 35% of people view physical appearance as sexy, while only 7% rank honesty as sexy. But hey, we can try to move the needle and not just have this summer as a temporary fix, but a longer-term initiative to get us to really appreciate folks for WHO they are. Heck, sex appeal can be included, but it should not be the main ingredient.

As the summer swings into high gear, and we slowly are getting a bit back to our “rhythm of life” (I avoid using the word normal, I’m not so sure normal was working), we should try and see how looking at sexiness through another lens could be a good thing. A different thing. The last thing any of us are likely feeling is sexy. It’s just plain ole hard to look good when you don’t feel good. And by not feeling good, I mean with all of the distractions we are dealing with as a city, a state, a country, and community. Nothing on the horizon feels good right now.

However, better days are ahead, summer 2021 better watch out. Bodies are gonna be banging. There will be pool parties every weekend. Florida will again be a destination spot that folks won’t avoid. Hiking trails will be full, concerts will be in full effect, Six Flags will have hour-long waits, yoga studios will be full again. But for now, step one – let’s work on getting our sexy-inward on point, and then we can work on the outside stuff. We gotta have both inward and outward sexiness in order to have our FULL SEXY BACK.