Sex appeal has its downsides

By Annie Piekarczyk

Movies, games, the Internet and the media in general are becoming more sexually explicit as the years go on. And it’s not surprising that it’s becoming more sexually explicit in the favor of men.

There are countless magazines, calendars and billboards advertising some sort of product with a half-naked, seductive woman standing on the side. But rarely do I ever see a billboard with a half-naked man, unless it’s Calvin Klein and there also happens to be a half-naked woman hanging off the guy model. And when was the last time you saw a wholesome celebrity? Hilary Duff? Wait, no. Sorry, that was a few years back…

Not only are these billboards, magazines, movies and celebrities advertising a certain image of sexiness to sell a product, but they’re also sending a message to men and women on how we women should look and how we should act. The wrong message, if I do say so myself.

We’ve grown up in a society where we want to look like our celebrities because they encompass the beauty that everyone fawns over. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s taken a picture of someone famous to the hairstylist and said, “I want THAT!” I even remember buying a studded belt back in the day when Avril was my hero. And now, it’s no longer just a matter of wanting a celebrity hairstyle. But if you don’t look like that famous sexy someone, you’re a nobody!

WHAT?

Exactly. And today’s society is taking it to the extremes. You have to have the body, the look, and so much more. Plain and simple, you have to be sexy. It’s almost expected. And we all know looking sexy is not plain and simple.

I’m sorry, but I’m not about to go traipsing about outside half-clothed (because I saw it in that magazine!) to get a guy’s attention, but these billboards and ads in magazines make men actually expect women to do that, and some women do. Just go out to Green Street at night. Or to, let’s say, some frat party. The girls spend hours getting ready and looking cute, and the guys are nice enough to shower and put on a shirt! WOW, it’s almost impressing.

But I have to admit, we’re all adults here, and if you are influenced that easily by an ad, billboard or a magazine so much that you take your clothes off and dumb yourself down to get a date, well… that’s your problem. And if that’s your biggest problem, I suggest match.com. Or better yet, forget the payment subscriptions and hit the library! Or a bookstore! There are tons of guys there! (Trust me, I’ve looked- I even found one at Walgreens!)

But come on ladies, there are much better things to do with your time than to spend hours on end getting ready for a party where guys will just treat you like a piece of meat. Tell me, since when did intelligence become a hush-hush sort of thing? If you’ve got it, flaunt it. Right?

I’m not saying it’s incredibly attractive to whip out your dictionary at a party, but if I pass by another Lauren Conrad wanna-be, I just might die.

For goodness sakes, you don’t have to change yourself to get a guy’s attention. And if you think you do, then exactly what kind of guys are you interested in? You don’t have to lower your standards or your expectations.

It doesn’t matter who you’re looking to date, what you wear, or how late you stay out on a Saturday night; it only matters that you respect yourself. Now is the time when DVDs, games, movies, celebrities and the media are pressuring you to change. Now is the time to stand up for yourself.

Respect yourself. Surprise people: be who you are and love it. Don’t conform to society’s image of sexiness just to get a date. Prove that you’re more than just a piece of meat. Do it for yourself.