By Sally Mueller & Michelle Jacobs 2-Minute Read
Back in the day, when the mail arrived at your house, it was an event.
This was when your postman was the bearer of the good stuff. Birthday cards and magazines. Handwritten letters from a summer camp pen pal. Postcards from vacationing friends. College acceptance letters. Wedding invites. Holiday cards stuffed with family portraits or annual holiday letters.
Yet the one piece of mail we secretly looked forward to the most? Store catalogs, hands down.
If you’re anything like us, those thick, magazine-like tomes—which appeared by the dozens each week—influenced your wardrobe (J. Crew, Spiegel); your mom’s wardrobe (Talbots, Chadwicks of Boston); your dad’s (L.L. Bean, Land’s End); holiday wish lists (Sears, JCPenney); and even how your home was outfitted (Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma).
But there was one catalog that, um, everyone in the family flipped through...
(Yeah, you guessed it.)
Victoria's Secret (and perhaps her naughtier little sister, Frederick’s of Hollywood) delivered pages of push-up bras and satin panties straight to your mailbox. Inside, drop-dead gorgeous supermodels lead you through a master class in what it meant to be a beautiful, desirable woman.
And let’s be real: these types of images are the first we still conjure up when the 14th of February rolls back around. Catalogs like these gave our generation a sense of what an adult Valentine’s Day was supposed to look like: Lacy. Skinny and skimpy. Boob-y. A feast for the eyes. (Your lover’s eyes, that is…and that lover, of course, was assumed to be a man who bought you the lingerie in the first place.)
Women tend to put others first in lots of areas in life...even down to Valentine's Day. And while there’s nothing wrong with “skimpy” or dressing sexy for someone else, we hope you’re also doing it for yourself, partner or not.
And if not, let this be your permission to do so.
Let’s commit to reframing V-Day in a way that also incorporates loving yourself. Wear the lingerie because it turns you on. Indulge in a new vibrator because it feels good to you. Stock up on vaginal moisturizer for dryness down there, yes; but also as a lubricant for more stimulating sexual encounters. (“Studies show adding lubricant to any sexual situation means women are 80% more likely to orgasm,” Dr. Emily Morse tells us.) (Add in that new vibrator, and, ahem, your odds are even better.)
More than that, though, show yourself some love by rejecting the idea that your body should look exactly like the women who once arrived in your mailbox (in a free catalog, sometimes several times a week, both of which are problematic in themselves!). Those images made you feel unworthy then…and they’re making you worry about things like “menopause weight gain” now.
What a waste of your Valentine's Day.
Instead, we hope you fill February 14—and every day after that—with your own brand of sexiness, loads of self-love, and maybe a few spins around the house with songs like this playing on repeat.
You deserve it.
Sally & Michelle, Womaness Co-Founders
Want to show your gals some Valentine’s love, too? Throw them a Galentine's Day party! To make it easy, we’re gifting five winners with a FREE Galentine’s Day gift basket, which includes a bottle of wine and Womaness bestsellers as party favors. To enter the drawing, join the After Party, our private Facebook group, then send group moderator Ann Gobel a direct message via the After Party or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org by February 5. Best of luck! ❤
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