I am a woman (spoiler alert), and given that information I know that my female definition of "sexy" and the male definition of "sexy" is quite different. Women think shoes are sexy; men think of footwear as utilitarian, i.e. not stepping on rocks and beer bottles you just broke. Women think short hair can be very sexy, sadly, most men just don't think that at all (we'll convince you one day!). Men and women, Venus, Mars, yadda yadda.
Gender aside, what is sexy in the American culture versus other cultures can be even more polarizing. Case and point: Yesterday, Empire Magazine, a British publication, released its reader's poll of the top 100 male and female "Sexiest Movie Stars" and the results were surprising. Coming in at No. 1 in the male category is Benedict Cumberbatch, and the No. 1 sexiest woman is Emma Watson.
You may have never heard of Cumberbatch until recently, unless you are gaga over Brit media. He had a part in Spielberg's War Horse and was also Khan in the latest Star Trek movie. Additionally, he plays Smaug in the Hobbit trilogy; although none of these roles scream, "You so want to have sex with me!" Perhaps his sexiest role to date is of a young Sherlock Holmes in the BBC contemporary update on the classic sleuth story. I can't say that as a sly, sharp-talking mystery solver, he makes me want to do anything with him other than sip tea and eat scones and discuss rugby, but to each his own, and sexy is in the underpants of the beholder. But sexiest? That's the "est" of all the sexy.
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Let's jump to the female category where Emma Watson took home the prize of being the numero uno in all things sexy. Most of us know Watson from watching her transition from an awkward, pre-teen Hermione Granger of the Harry Potter films to the stunning woman she is now. Yes, she is absolutely gorgeous and even in her youth you knew she was going to be, but again... sexy? Classy. Beautiful. Flawless. Awesome style that you wish you had. But sexiest?
The denotative meaning of sexy is "sexually suggestive or stimulating," according to Merriam Webster's Dictionary. Are Watson and Cumberbatch suggestive enough to make you launch a thousand ships? That's sexy.
The list has some other odd choices and placements. Scar-Jo clocks in at No. 2; OK, that seems fair. But Anne Hathaway comes in at No. 5 ahead of Mila Kunis, Angelina Jolie and Megan Fox. I want to go see The Lion King on Broadway with Anne Hathaway and together, arm and arm, we will sing "Hankuna Matata" as we skip down Eighth Avenue over to Sardis where we people watch and eat pimento cheese sandwiches. I don't want her to strip for me; that's what Megan Fox and Mila Kunis are for.
No. 30 on the lady's list is cutesy Ellen Page. Sexy? Sexier than curvaceously, hips that will knock you down in a crowded street, Christina Hendricks? No. No. Ellen Page is the new best friend you get Berry Pop with while you discuss where you were the day you heard Kurt Cobain died.
The gentlemen's list is no less perplexing. Robert Pattison takes the No. 7 prize of sexiness, beating out Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba (come on!), George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and the list goes on and on. Ladies, I know some of us really dig him and his pasty skin and anomic vampire ways, but this is a guy you want to hold hands with and exchange love letters and purity rings; he is not ripping anyone's clothing off.
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Mads Mikkelsen shows up at No. 25 on the list. You may know him from his role as Le Chiffre in Casino Royal. He was the bad guy with the creepy, fake eyeball. He currently plays Dr. Hannibal Lecter on the television series Hannibal. Great actor for sure, but do you want to go to bed with him? I'd be afraid he'd have a weird big toe fetish or try and kill me -- both of which are equally bad. Maybe you are into his frightening-provocative thing, but is he sexier than Ryan Reynolds, Orlando Bloom, Ewan McGregor or Jude Law? The British people seem to think so.
Everyone, both men and women, on Empire's list are incredibly attractive people (Helena Bonham Carter at No. 33 sometimes looks like a train wreck that may have actually killed passengers), but the order of their appearance is what I find most interesting from a cultural perspective.
Take a look for yourself. If you were going to re-rank some of these, where would you put them? If you know me, you know who I would put at No. 1.