What Is Sexy? Bette Midler, Of Course!

Cay Crow: Don’t let advertisements define what makes someone sexy
Web Posted: 05/14/2005 12:00 AM CDT
San Antonio Express-News

Listen up, readers. Grab your laptops or stationery because I want to hear from you on this one. Write to me and answer the question, “What makes someone sexy?”

Too many external forces impose their perceptions of sexiness or attractiveness on us. Advertisers would have us believe that we are sexy only in our 20s. Not only must we be youthful, the ads say, but thin with perfect teeth and skin. We are bombarded with superficial messages such as lose weight, whiten your teeth or have cosmetic surgery, but we never explore our inherent desirability.

Sexiness is, for me, how someone moves, how they talk, their personally skewed view of the world, their laugh and their humanity. Once a connection happens with the person inside, the physical aspects are not important. A confident person is sexy; someone who knows their own mind and is willing to share themselves. People who are truly sexy are usually not aware of it.

What I notice first about someone is his or her eyes and hands. Can the person hold my gaze? Does he use his hands to express himself? Then I listen carefully to what they say and what they don’t say. Are they direct? Do they play games?

I’ve always been drawn to nerds — intelligent people who are not necessarily physically striking but internally deep and complex. People who are eccentric, quirky and original fascinate me. In high school, I had a crush on a guy with coke-bottle glasses, acne and a lovely soul. I also have a thing for men in tool belts; I guess it is the whole construction worker scenario.

I once went out with a beautiful man who ruined the evening by opening his mouth. George Clooney does nothing for me; Brad Pitt might if he wore a tool belt and really worked at it. Andy Garcia can do anything to me that he wants. Kevin Bacon with long hair is pretty hot. The sexiest celebrity I ever saw was Michael Hutchence of INXS; he had an effortless allure. It wasn’t the hair or the body or even the music that created his sexiness; it was the whole of him. Just like a journalist once said of Sting: “The man oozes sex from every pore.” Dwight Yoakam onstage in tight jeans and a cowboy hat makes all the women scream, but offstage the ladies walk right by him.

Women, in my opinion, are much sexier than men. I have rarely seen a woman without some level of sex appeal. What chaps my hide is the media’s insistence on beauty as homogeneous. Here is the mold of beauty, they say, now fit yourself into it. To me, a sexy woman is exotic, unusual and self-possessed. Diane Keaton at 59 is sexy. J.Lo is not only hot, she glows. Bette Midler is Venus in my book. Nobody can touch Tori Amos when it comes to powerful sensuality, and Susan Sarandon is a demigoddess.

Well, dear readers that is my two cents on the topic of sexiness. Let’s hear yours!
Send your questions to Cay Crow, c/o Features Department, San Antonio Express-News, P.O. Box 2171, San Antonio, TX 78297-2171 or email them to askcay@yahoo.com. Crow’s advice column runs Saturdays.

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