Defining Sexy

Extracts from comments relating to an external post about beauty and how sexy is defined.

10th May 2006 · Last updated: 5th October 2016


Japanese woman in synthetic fur
Photograph by Jeremy Hedley of Antipixel

In a post entitled Top Twelve Sexiest Standardistas Molly Holzschlag suggests creating a calendar for charity, featuring twelve people associated with web standards and accessibility. This brought up various comments about beauty, and what defines "sexy". I thought this excerpt from a comment by Jo interesting:

"I look at beauty/sexy in terms of the whole person rather than just outward appearances. I have a few blind friends who base how beautiful a person is based on how much inner beauty they have."

It's something I had never thought about before: how do blind people think of beauty? Surely, since they can't see, beauty is meaningless for them? Apparently not.

In the following excerpts from a comment by Carolyn Wood, she sums up various traits she sees as 'sexy':

"I would have thought he was just really handsome, which is not the same as sexy, but then I heard his voice in an interview, and there's no doubt about it now."

"As we all know, how someone acts in person makes all the difference in the world in assessing sexiness. Being photogenic is not the same as being sexy."

"There's no way to tell who is so sexist and full of ugly attitudes that they make themselves disgustingly unattractive."

"A shark wrangler, for Pete's sake, how sexy is that!?"

In response, a comment by Stephanie Sullivan carries on the topic:

"Smart is so sexy."

"Sexy is as much personality as appearance (maybe more)."

"In my opinion, funny is sexy."

Matthew Pennell's comment adds:

"Sexy is a bit of an ambiguous term, though - someone is only really sexy when you know them, what they're like, how they laugh."

Lastly, Molly chips in with a defining comment herself:

"I find all the people I love and adore to also be sexy. Because we're smart, funny, full of passion. What could be more sexy than that?"

OK, so a person can be sexy not from physical appearance, but character, being funny, cool, having an interesting hobby (shark wrangling!) or any number of factors not directly related to physical beauty. But surely appearance must count as well? What if you met the most interesting and talented person in the world, but they were too ugly to look at comfortably? Would they still be sexy?

Another question is this - which is better - a person with stunning looks, but not a lot else of interest, or a unattractive ugly person who has the most fascinating and funny character? Or do we just hope for a compromise of all things we deem 'sexy'? It's certainly an interesting topic, and not as black and white as I had previously perceived.

Comments (1)

Comments are locked on this topic. Thanks to everyone who posted a comment.

  1. Richard French:
    I find physical beauty not always sexy. The personality of the person really is what I find beautiful (and sexy).

    Posted on 29 May 2006 at 4:58 am