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PQs Why Confidence is the New Sexy

photography Jason Little Photography

model Michelle Beach

words Rozwell

That tiny black dress, heels and make-up can make you feel a little sexier, but the sexiest thing about you doesn't have a color or a shape. You can't touch it, but you sure can feel it ... its self-confidence.

Being comfortable with who you are ultimately what's behind this new movement that redefines sexy from appearance to inner strength. It's no longer about what others think of you or trying to live up to a man's or media images of beauty, it's what you think of yourself that makes you sexy. Are you strong enough to be sexy?

The Strength to Be Confident

Beauty is far beyond skin deep. There are "beautiful" women who think negatively about their appearance, and women who some might say are not as "beautiful," yet they exude confidence and self-acceptance. That inner-strength to believe in who you are, own your body and keep in your mind a positive view of who you are is the strength you have to build to be sexy. That mental toughness is only built through believing your own hype. If you don't create hype for yourself, you have nothing to believe in but what others think of you.

Change that today by coming up with your own self-confident mantra.

Tyra Banks touts fierceness; Kimora Lee touts fabulosity; but what do you call that "it factor" that makes you feel confident? Find out, and chase after it, so that you become better at pumping your own self up.

The Strength to Define Your Beauty

Researchers know it. I'm a man and I know it. And you know it too. Women are hard on other women. And even when they're not, the other women may think they are. That all adds up to this self-consciousness about appearance that can take away from your sexy. That's why it's so important that a woman defines what she thinks is "beautiful." Trying to please others or live up to others' expectations is not sexy.

To build strength to define your own beauty, consider your body in your own definition of sexy. Try to forget what you mother, boyfriend, friends or siblings may have told you about what's good, bad or ugly about your body. If you love muscles, make like Michelle Obama and get the guns you want.

If you like J-Lo and Beyonce curves, then work out to stay healthy inside, and don't obsess about cutting inches here and there. Remember, if you're trying to be sexy for anyone other than yourself, you're only playing a role. To really be sexy, you have to genuinely feel it. Passion starts from the inside out, and passion is what makes sexy real.

The Strength to Accept Your Body

You deserve to feel sexy all the time. But so many women don't feel comfortable in their own skin. Whether it's because you don't see who you want to be in the mirror, or you're stuck wanting a younger version of you, it's time to accept your body.

I remember vividly the times I hated my body as an overweight teen. Not wanting to look in the mirror, never letting my photo be taken and never believing my Mom when she called me "handsome." But the body we own is the one that makes our lives possible. Hating it goes completely against treating it well enough to get positive results from it.

It wasn't until I accepted my body and changed my mindset that I could truly start healing, and positive change followed. The strength to accept your body comes from knowing your own importance. The body you want is only possible through the body you've got. Loving it, accepting it and treating your body better is essential to being sexy. So embrace the body you've got, in all its sexy glory, so you can move towards the body you want and deserve.

Use these action steps to pave the way for a stronger, sexier you.

• Building confidence Practice positive self-talk. List five positive things about who you are and what you do. Be as specific as possible. Post them around your house, and read them to yourself to boost your inner strength and remind yourself of whom you are.

• Defining beauty Accept compliments. When someone gives you a compliment, believe it. Because defining your own beauty is not just about defining what you have to offer to the world, it's also about appreciating the beauty others see in you. Embrace it.

• Accepting your body Kill the fat talk (and skinny talk, too). Too many times there's an "us against them" struggle between "overweight" and "skinny" people. This shouldn't be. Stop the put-downs, stares and judgments towards both of these types of people. Accepting an individual is the best way to accept your own body and is the first step to stop comparing yourself to others. -PQ

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