What is Sexy?

Esquire magazine recently named Scarlett Johansson the “sexiest woman alive”. This is the second time ScarJo has been at the top of their “sexiest” list, not to mention the countless other sexiest lists she’s been featured on. She’s obviously beautiful, vivacious, and she can hold her own on the big screen.

But, this raises the question – what is sexy?

If being super skinny, blonde, and beautiful, is what makes a woman sexy, then ScarJo’s got it. If sex appeal is what makes a woman sexy, Johansson wins again. But, maybe Esquire got it wrong and the “sexiest woman alive” should be judged differently.

Back in August, Ashton Kutcher blew the world away with his poignant acceptance speech at Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards. Kutcher’s speech was full of powerful and positive insight, but one of the most profound were his comments on being sexy. Kutcher said,

“Being sexy…The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous. Everything else is crap! I promise you. It’s just crap that people try to sell to you to make you feel like less. So, don’t buy it! Be smart. Be thoughtful. Be generous.

Be smart. Be thoughtful. Be generous. What a powerful definition of sexy. The world would be a much better place, if this was the definition of sexy that magazine’s like Esquire were promoting.

And to be honest, besides the “looks department”, I’m actually confused as to why Esquire chose Scarlett Johansson as the sexiest woman alive. If you read ScarJo’s sexiest woman alive interview with Esquire, you will be confused too.

In the interview, ScarJo comes across as egotistical, pretentious, and vain— none of which are sexy. There was one moment, in fairness, where she was somewhat charming and engaged the interviewer, asking him a few questions about his life and summer plans. But, overall, there was nothing sexy about Scarlett Johansson in this interview.

So, again – what is sexy?

Redbook magazine published a piece on “What men think is sexy”; in which they asked women what they thought made them “most sexy”, and then paired that with what their husband’s thought was most sexy.

Angela and Rich – a newly married couple – shared their thoughts about “what is sexy”. Angela commented,

“The irony is that whenever I feel my hottest — say, when I wear a low-cut blouse and fabulous black stilettos — Rich rarely finds me sexy!”

Rich had a completely different view of what was sexiest about his wife. He said,

“I find Angela the most irresistible when she’s zoned out on the couch in front of the TV after a long day at work. She’s not wearing any makeup or jewelry. Everything is stripped away, and she’s just totally relaxed. I’ll look over at her beautiful face and think, ‘Wow, this is a great shot. I have to take a picture.’ Her natural beauty turns me on much more than when she’s all dolled up.”

Angela, like most women today, has been taught to think that “sexy” means wearing a low-cut top, piles of make-up, and sassy stilettos. But, her husband shares the sentiment of most men, who think that natural beauty is more sexy than “manufactured sexy”.

Another couple, that has been married for 7 years and have children, weighed in on the topic of “sexiness”. Sandra said,

“I feel sexiest when I go through the “transformation” from mom to woman. I switch from sneakers to heels and from baby food-stained clothing to a clean and stylish outfit. I put on Chanel perfume and take out my scrunchie and let my hair fall to my shoulders — without having to worry about my kids pulling it or getting syrup in it! I walk and talk differently — I feel different.”

Her husband Michael, had a different view, commenting,

“To me, Sandra is sexiest whenever I see her interact with our children. When my wife and I were dating, I was always intrigued by the way she was with kids. Her warmth, tenderness, and caring way seemed so natural. I was already intensely attracted to her, but envisioning her as the mother of my children made her even hotter.”

Women often think that being “sexy” is something that we must manufacture, but the truth is – the sexiest thing is to be yourself.

“When a man is in love, what he finds really attractive is the feeling that he’s seeing you for who you truly are,” said Redbook Love Network expert Scott Haltzman, M.D., author of The Secrets of Happily Married Women. “To a guy, the makeup, the sexy outfit, it’s all a mask. He wants the woman behind the mask. Openness, vulnerability, an air of contentment — those things are what really turns him on.”

Women work so hard to be beautiful and sexy, but the truth is – we’re at our best, when we’re natural, confident, and love who we are.

Esquire magazine should celebrate true “sexiness”, instead of the manufactured kind. Next year, when they choose their “sexiest woman alive”, I hope that they ask Ashton Kutcher to be a judge.

Remember, if you want to be sexy – “Be smart. Be thoughtful. Be generous.”

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9 responses to “What is Sexy?

  1. I think you need to draw a distinction between sexy and attractive. Sexy is attraction within a purely sexual context. What these men were describing as sexy was a deeper level of attraction, hence the reason they got married. Sexy is what leads to a one-night stand or a “friends with benefits” relationship, not an enduring relationship in which marriage can thrive.

  2. In terms of sexiness, the value of being smart, thoughtful, generous or whatever diminishes the more one looks like a troll. As one’s look approaches that of a troll, money is the best bet. That’s just how the world works.

  3. How friggin ridiculous, on the couch, zoned out, watching tv ? I’m sorry they call it the idiot box for a reason, not only are you an idiot for watching it, but you look like a lobotomized sleepwalker. Also what dude doesn’t think a women in a low cut blouse and stilettos isn’t sexy ? Idiots, that’s who, or dudes like this faker trying to be some new age dude and score brownie points with his wife who sounds sane and says Ill dress up and it will be appealing to my hubby, which is absolutely true.

  4. One must assume that the men quoted in this article answered the question posed while their wives were hovering nearby, so answered the way they were “supposed to”, not the way they really felt. Jeremy got it right.

  5. I respectfully disagree with Rob and Anton. I think the author is talking about deep love. The kind that still finds the other person sexy after 10 years of marriage. That’s not to say they don’t enjoy seeing a woman all dolled up, just that they think seeing her being real is just as hot! I think some women would say the same about men. I’ll be the first to say that I enjoy seeing a man in a suit looking his best, but to me, I find him just as attractive in his work clothes after mowing the lawn or weed-eating. It’s because he’s being real. He’s not trying to impress me, but he still does.

  6. I have to say, I find the two male responses from the article to be a very, VERY unnaturally romanticized version of “sexy”. I strongly agree with Anton, the minute I read the first response I instantly thought “Okay, so he obviously had to answer that question immediately with his wife staring him down.” The second felt like more of the same, if not more so. “Oh man the way my wife cares for children really gives me a raging hard-on”… Sure.

  7. Hang on– help me figure out your logic chain here. Man says “my wife is sexy when zoning on the couch with no makeup” and you accept him at his word. Woman says “I feel sexiest when I’m in heels and look damn fine” yet you refuse to accept that statement? I’m not comfortable with the logic dissonance, and the refutation of the “women often think…” line is insulting to (surprise!) WHAT WOMEN THINK. Give us ladies some credit for simply wanting to look good because it makes us feel good, and don’t read into it as trying to please men or society.

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