For the June 2008 online issue of ELLE, writer Walter Kirn wrote an article on relationships called "Pieces of You" that I came across yesterday. It leads with the tag: "That crooked nose. That untamed hair. The enormous appetite. The hottest girl in the room isn’t who you think. Why pretty isn’t (always) sexy."
Kirn continues in this vein for four pages, but I found it worth the time to read--if only to feel marginally better about my "untamed hair" and to examine a point of view that isn't always forwarded in modern media. This idea that a man's version of a sexy woman doesn't necessarily equate with what we see lauded in most magazines, virtually all prime-time TV shows and any movie where Brad Pitt costars was...for want of a better word...refreshing.
But--I kept wondering--is it TRUE?
Not being a man, I'm hardly one to claim absolute knowledge on the subject. But, from a woman's point of view, it rang true for me in the reverse. When I was in college and single, I met a lot of really handsome men--some stunningly so. A couple were male models. Many were very nice. A number were quite talented in some field or other. But none were guys I really wanted to date for long. (Granted, I was a "challenging" girlfriend--as one ex so helpfully pointed out--so there were few guys I wanted to date for long...and fewer still who could put up with me. :-)
The guys I fell hard for, though, were rarely attractive in a GQ sense. Their sexiness snuck up on me. They had killer wit. Surprising grace and gentleness. Several decades of experiences and insightful observations they'd somehow managed to pack into their first 22 years of life... I don't know where most of these men are now or if I'd still feel similarly talking with them again, but I do know they set a standard of "real-life sexy" for me that was far from that of some pretty-boy type.
And they're the men (along with my husband, of course--Hi, honey!) who I think of when I write my heroes.
What traits--whether traditional or not--do you find really sexy about someone?