This article also picked up and run on the GOOD MEN PROJECT — (minus the HOFF)
I had one of the most awkward and hilarious conversations yesterday when my daughter called me “sexy”.
Thanks to Gangnam Style, and LMFAO’s 2012 anthem “Sexy, and I Know it”, I think every parent in the world has been forced to answer the question… what is “sexy”?
For me, the conversation occurred while I was driving, so thankfully, I could keep my eyes forward to hide my smiles.
LMFAO was pumping in the car and the chorus came to “I’m Sexy and I Know it…” (PS.. do NOT let your kids watch THAT video), and my daughter asked me, “Daddy, what does sexy mean?”
I tried to think quickly and talk slowly and speak in terms she could understand. This was not easy.
“First of all, a girl starts off cute like you honey. Then she becomes pretty like Chelsea, your babysitter. Then later, when she is older, she becomes beautiful like Taylor Swift. Then, she may become killer sexy like Beyonce. Don’t worry honey; you will probably be really sexy when you are older!” Agghh, I can’t say all that to my daughter?
“Can boys be sexy daddy?”
“Oh yes, sweetheart. For boys, they also start out cute like your brothers. Then become cuter like that “Home Alone” kid. Then they become handsome like the Twilight vampire werewolf dudes. Then those handsome boys take their shirts off, stop shaving, put on firefighter gear, suspenders, and a helmet (with no shirt which doesn’t seem very fire smart) to become sexy beasts.
I did NOT say those things – this was a tougher question than I first thought. How do you really describe “sexy” to children? What is sexy to one person may not be sexy to another (see David Hasselhoff). Besides, no one under 20 should ever use the word sexy anyway.
I don’t ever want my children to use the word sexy or EVER be called sexy. If my daughter’s prom date picks her up and mentions how sexy she looks, someone is gonna get hurt real bad.
So I took a deep breath and began…. “Sexy is a word that grown-ups use to describe someone that is friendly, kind, and people want to be around them…” That was my first attempt – more about character and personality than outward looks. Safe right? Then I added, “People that are sexy feel good about themselves and other people are attracted to them”
“Oh, Daddy, you are really sexy then!” — Um, well, no, I guess, maybe. Yikes.
Honesty from parents is always the best tactic when faced with tough questions. You are there to help them make sense of new ideas. Besides, you don’t want their knowledge base to be learned largely from the schoolyard. (as a young’un, I confused ‘erections’ with ‘elections’ and wondered why some men only had them every 4 years…)
As dads of daughters, ‘sexy’ is a touchy subject as we might be becoming increasingly uncomfortable with our maturing daughter and her emerging sexuality. Deal with it. It is what it is. One day, our beloved children will be sexy to someone.
One of our biggest jobs as parents is to help teach modesty and boost confidence. Your daughters (and sons) are always watching you, absorbing your character, morals, and values.
You are the translator for this confusing sexy world. So first off, you need to stop ogling that ponytailed jogger while you drive the kids to school. That ain’t helping your credibility.
We want our sons and daughters to know that they should proudly love their bodies and focus more on what their bodies can do – but they also should be valued for so much more. Our bodies are just the container that carries around our personality, values, and energy.
When the time comes for someone to find your daughter sexy, like say when she’s approaching her 50th birthday, you want the man she fancies to be the highly evolved kind; a man who finds intelligence, ambition, and self-esteem sexy.
Just a few thoughts on ‘Sexy People’… Do they have an easier life? Maybe, or are they constantly trying to prove themselves to be not just pretty faces?
There are promotional companies that exist solely to supply other companies with hired ‘guns’ – sexy people to hand out products and coupons. “How many beautiful babes do you need delivered to promote your new lawnmower repair business”? Oh, the poor sexy folk.
Many restaurants in this town have hiring practices, where they only hire the “sexiest 2%”. Whether they are friendly, interesting, honest, or competent may be further down the hiring criteria list. While this is a topic for another day, I choose not to eat in these establishments out of a silent protest against forced sexiness and the lowest common denominator.
So to bring sexy back, how you describe it and what you focus on is up to you. It really isn’t easy with all the follow up questions – but remember, you are the fountain of truth and knowledge, so be ready with good honest answers, appropriate for their developmental level.
Whether its Roy Orbison’s golden oldie “Pretty Woman” to the 80’s anthem “I’m too Sexy”, we have always had songs that focused on the sexy so don’t hate LMFAO, Korea, or Gangnam Style for thrusting sexy into your family’s spotlight.
Sexy doesn’t have to have a strong negative feeling. We need to teach our children to be strong and self confident – to rely on their charisma, social competence, and skills to get ahead in life. THAT is sexy!
How have or will you explain SEXY to your children??? Please help us all!
Until next time!
** Bonus clip — one of my favourite YouTube clips of all time is this one of golfers checking out the sexy beer cart girl…
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