Peta Todd on how the meaning of sexy changed when she became a mum


THIS week I had a head cold, a sick bug, children with a sick bug, four airport runs, school photos, work, a night out and general life.

I looked like I was half-baked all the time ­­– apart from for my night out, of course, for which I did a full plaster-and-paint job.

Peta Todd talks about what it means to be sexy and a mum
Stewart Williams – The Sun

I caught sight of myself in the mirror and decided enough was enough. I wanted to resemble the human version of me again so booked an emergency blow-dry.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram or have read this column before will know that a blow-dry is one of my most treasured examples of self-care – 45 minutes of me-time, with shiny locks to get me through the rest of the day.

As I was paying, I was speaking to the lady at reception and she asked if I was happy. I replied that I was and that I always feel like a new woman after a wash and dry. She came back to me with a comment that really interested me.


She said: “As a woman, your hair can really have an effect on making you feel sexy.”

I nodded and left.

The mum-of-four caught sight of herself in the mirror this week and decided enough was enough
Stewart Williams – The Sun

I started ticking over what sexy was to me. It occurred to me that sexy is actually so many different things in my life and has changed over the years.

When I was a Page 3 girl and model for men’s magazines, I played pretend at sexy. It was acting. I knew the faces and expressions to create and the outfits to wear, but it was certainly nothing about feeling sexy.

Then my feeling sexy has been up, down, left and right throughout pregnancies, post-partum and motherhood. It’s been a huge part of my identity and also unimportant in the same breath.

But right now in my life feeling sexy isn’t about pouting, outfits or even the opposite sex at all.

The ex-model, who is married to Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish, says confidence is sexy
Stewart Williams – The Sun

It’s about confidence, identity and the things that make me feel strong, like training in the gym or working. All these little things add up.

In turn, when I feel empowered and sexy the benefits of that spill into my relationship and life in general. But it’s not as basic as you may think.

What makes you feel sexy? Is it great shoes, nice hair, praise at work or a surprise compliment in your relationship?

Everyone has something that gives them a little sparkle in their eye and I actually think it’s more powerful than we think.

I might be a little late to Justin Timberlake’s early-noughties party, but I’m “bringing sexy back”, grown-up style.

Whatever it is that makes you feel like you’re walking with a bit of a strut, grab it with both hands.

And if all else fails, book yourself in for a blow-dry this weekend.

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