I’ve been getting some push-back on the name of my brand recently. With comments on my Facebook posts like, “Why sexy?” and “Your a fraud, just trying to use sex to make money!”
I’d like to take a moment to address this criticism…
Many of you already know that I knew from the age of 7 that my purpose in life is to save animals by helping people become aware of what goes on behind the closed doors of factory farm. As a child, I thought, “If only people knew, they would surely quit eating animals!” At some point I started realizing that it was, unfortunately, a bit more complicated than that.
I started to understand that people have been conditioned from birth to believe dogs are worthy of our love, and pigs are meant to torture, kill and consume. Cats are worthy of sleeping in our beds with us, but cows deserve to have their throats slit so we can eat their dead bodies. Dolphins are beautiful, to be ooh-ed and ah-ed at, while tuna are meant to be killed, canned, and consumed. Also, I started to realize that many people did not WANT to know. Once you know you can’t not know, and then you’re forced to take full responsibility for your choices. And this is no fun if you’re not proud of those choices.
I created my brand, Sexy Fit Vegan®, in 2013, just when the truth about animal agriculture (both the ethical and health aspects) started being covered in the mainstream media. When the information I had been sharing with people for years, was starting to become exposed in ways that could not be ignored.
The mission of my brand was clear… To bring veganism into the mainstream. So yes, my thought was, “What can I name my brand that will get people’s attention?” The word “sexy” catches people’s eye. It does draw people’s attention, probably more than any other word in the English language. And given that catching people’s attention was my goal… Sexy Fit Vegan it was! I was just so excited to start building my life and work around what I’m most passionate about… veganism.
I did think about what the word sexy meant to me when I was choosing it. I’ve always considered myself a feminist. I had a mom who taught me that, as a strong woman, I could do anything, giving me the space and support I needed to figure out what that was. So, when choosing my brand name, I thought, “What happens when I’m older? Will I no longer be a sexy fit vegan?” To which I answered myself, “Hell yeah I’ll be a sexy fit vegan!” And here’s why…
I realized that true sexiness is a matter of how you feel in your own skin. It has nothing to do with other people’s opinions about your looks. It’s a feeling you have that starts within. I thought about how amazing it feels to know that you’re living according to your values. How powerful it feels to move through the world doing your best to fight for what you believe in. For me that was a fight for the end of animal exploitation. Now THAT feels sexy to me!
Plus, we’re human beings and sex is a part of life. It’s part of our identity. It’s not something to feel shameful about. So why is the word sexy sexist? Why is it wrong to want to feel sexy?
I love what my friend and coach Stephanie said as we were discussing this. “I think until women really decide that their sexual energy is a part of their wholeness, there is no sense in crying out for equality. It’s time to embrace the fact that being an empowered female is inherently sexual.” Males are certainly proud of their sexual energy… Why should females not be proud of theirs?
Feeling sexy is not only okay, it’s liberating!
That being said, my immediate reaction to those who criticize me for using the word “sexy” in my brand, without bothering to get to know me and what I’m all about, is “F***k you! (I am human after-all.) I’ve been vegan for 23 years and working my whole life to make a positive impact in this world, and people want to pick me and my brand apart like that? It feels like a huge slap in the face.
Instead of leaking my immediate reaction though, I use my own advice on “The Power of the Pause” to take a step back, observe that F-You thought, and recognize that it will not contribute to my cause in any positive or productive way. Hence why I’m writing and sharing this instead!
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But before making quick judgments, take the time and energy to find out the whole story rather than making assumptions. Now, my entire life is focused on empowering women with the tools they need to love themselves, overcome shame, live according to their values, and build a meaningful life. A meaningful life involves using your strengths and skills to make a positive impact in this world, and there is nothing sexier than that.
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