Brian Edwards Media

Posts Tagged 'Perception and Reality'

Musings on the Sexiest Man and Woman on the Planet

While waiting in the doctor’s surgery I was browsing through some old women’s magazines (old magazines, not old women) when I came across an article which stated that Robert Pattison had been voted ‘Sexiest Man on the Planet’. There was a photograph of Mr Pattison who was handsome enough but looked rather ashen and hollow-eyed. This may have something to do with the fact that he is apparently the male lead in the Twilight vampire movies. Someone called Megan Fox was apparently the ‘Sexiest Woman on the Planet’. I have no idea who she is, but she looked rather sulky and pouty in her photograph, which is perhaps a sign of sexiness.

I have never really understood the concept of ‘sexiest man’ or ‘sexiest woman’, least of all ‘on the planet’. Strictly speaking, one can only be judged in such superlative terms by comparison to every other man or woman on the planet. There may well be, and almost certainly is a chartered accountant in downtown Milwaukee who is far sexier than Robert Pattison, or a goat-herder in Uzbekistan who leaves Megan Fox for dead in the sexiness stakes. We will never know.

But perhaps this is mere quibbling. To be considered at all for the title ‘Sexiest Man’ or ‘Sexiest Woman’ on the planet,  you have to be internationally famous.

But this tells us very little about what actually makes someone ‘sexy’ or ‘sexier’ or ‘sexiest’. It isn’t even clear whether such terms refer to the person or to the effect that the person has on others. Some well-known female ‘sex-symbols’, such as Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Kim Novak, Ann Margret, Brigitte Bardot, Raquel Welch, Samantha Fox, Madonna, Sharon Stone, Pamela Anderson and Angelina Jolie convey an image of themselves as highly sexual beings. Their male equivalents would include Elvis Presley, Marlon Brando, Warren Beatty, Mick Jagger, Steve McQueen, David Bowie, Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Kevin Kostner, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, David Duchovny,  George Clooney and Hugh Jackman. But whether the image has anything to do with the real person’s psychosexual make-up, whether, to put it simply, these people have an intense need for and enjoyment of sex, we can never (without benefit of sex tape) really know. And even then….

It may not matter. Both halves of Brangelina may be as cold as ice in the sack for all we know, Sharon Stone may be the most modest creature on earth, Samantha Fox’s thrusting Page Three breasts and come-on looks may disguise a nun’s soul,  David Duchovny may be hetero- or even gen-phobic, but it is a media truism that image and perception are more powerful than reality and truth. Because we think these people are themselves ‘sexy’, we are more likely to find them ‘sexy’.  Read the rest of this entry »