Recently Princess Pea picked up a horrible “word”. Every time she says it, it sets me on edge. I am swift to respond, though. Every time she says “shut-up” I jump in and tell her an alternative statement, like “zip it” or “please be quiet” or “shush”. But even with all these alternative words, she still pops it out. I’ve tried to explain to her that “shut up” is not OK for a two year old to say. I blame the K-Mart commercial where the lady repeatedly tells her friend to “shut-up!” I was hoping that it wouldn’t come into our house until elementary school at least. But it’s here and I have to fight it.
This made me think about how strange certain words are. Some people really struggle with certain words. I know people that can’t stand the word “moist”, other people can’t stand the word “smear”. When I was a young girl I hated the word “cherish” because I had a friend in elementary school that over used it. I’ve out grown my issues with “cherish”, but “cherish” wasn’t the only word I couldn’t stand. I cringed every time I heard the word “sexy”.
Maybe my issues with “sexy” come from growing up in a culture that values chastity, maybe it comes from my own personal issues. Whatever the reason is, as a child, teenager, even a young adult, the word “sexy” really bothered me. I hated it when people used to compliment someone else. By the time I was in my early twenties, I figured it was my issues and squeamishness.
A few weeks ago someone posted a memory from their college years on Facebook. The picture was from 8-10 years ago. It showed a group of freshmen girls crowded together in a hallway. The caption read “The Sexiest Girls in [a specific dorm hall in BYU]”. Here I was, a month shy of my 30th birthday and I still cringed at the use of “sexy” in this photo. It bothered me. I was a wife, a mother. I had no problem talking about poop, pee, bodily functions, correct terms for body parts, and was not at all squeamish about the idea that every married person that I know has sex. Why on earth did this bother me?
Well after a few episodes of Diagnosis Murder, followed by a few episodes of Last Man Standing, I figured it out. If you look up the definition of sexy you get: “sexually interesting or exciting; radiating sexuality” and “concerned predominantly or excessively with sex; risqué”.
I know what you’re thinking “Wow, you’re just a crazy old woman who throws squirrels at people when they come into your yard.” or something like that. But all crazy, old fashioned values aside, you should hate the over use of this word too. If you are a person that believes in the law of chastity than you should also believe that this word should be reserved for the use by your spouse. The word sexy means that that person sees you and thinks “oh, sex”. It may be because I’m a crazy old woman who throws squirrels at people, but I don’t want anyone but my husband thinking about me in those terms.
People now use this word instead of say, beautiful, pretty, aesthetically pleasing, gorgeous, appealing, elegant, attractive, dream boat…you get the idea. Anyway the point is we are using this word completely wrong. Those BYU girls were definitely using that word wrong.
I recognize that the excessive use of this word is generally caused by the use of it in the media, but here’s the kicker: Hollywood uses the word correctly. In that after school special where the girl asks her BFF how she looks before storming into the next scene to grab the attention of a certain fella, well her BFF eyes her approvingly and says “sexy” as in, “that fella and any other nimrod will take one look at you and think about sex.”
Some of you may roll your eyes and think “yes, crazy old lady, people have sex”, but look back at my modesty post, if you value yourself as a child of God, if you value your relationship with Heavenly Father and respect Him, than you wouldn’t want people thinking of you like that, you don’t want to be thinking of other people like that. You would be saving all that lustful thinking for your spouse. You would not appreciate someone devaluing your worth with simply how much you have to offer in the bed. You would hope that people would look at you and use adjectives like: pretty, tasteful, handsome, aesthetically pleasing, appealing, virtuous, pulchritudinous, and comely. If you wish people would use adjectives to describe more than just your outward appearance, check out thesaurus.com.
Anyway, before I collect my squirrels and go back inside, I think it’s important that we rise above this culture of sexuality. We are more than our sexuality, we are more than our bodies, and we are more then lustful thoughts. We are people; we are beautiful children of a loving Heavenly Father.
What words set you on edge?