April 6th, 2005

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02:22 am - on "That's Hot!" (or not)...
(EDIT: For people who are wondering, all the links here should be relatively worksafe. A tad on the sexy side, but I tried to not link to anything more scandalous than what might not grace the cover of Cosmo or Maxim in a grocery store checkout line)

So, I know I sort of touched on this briefly in my recent posts about Depp and Colin, and I'm sure I've hinted about it in one way or another in various 1KWFFHs and such in the past, but after I responded to a comment by akiramich earlier in nemesisn4sa's journal, I started thinking about it more and more and decided that maybe I'd post about it and see what other people's opinions were. So here's the question (open to readers of either gender and any sexual orientation). What is "hot?"

In the earlier conversation, I had basically said that in the movie Sin City(which you should see, because it will change your life. I saw it on opening night, and when it was over, I could walk! Praise Jay-Z, I can walk!) Jessica Alba was hot, akiramich on the other hand, countered that Alexis Bledel was hotter. I respectfully disagreed, claiming that instead she was actually very cute. In fact, she's gorgeous, especially her eyes. But she's not hot. At least not as hot as Jessica Alba. I think nemesisn4sa agreed with me that there was a difference.

But what is that difference?

Let me try to explain what I think hot is using these two women. The thing is, it all depends on what you mean by the word "hot." When I say it, I generally mean it to be a synonym for sexy, as opposed to cute. While both cute and sexy are attractive, they are attractive in totally different ways. I'm not quite prepared to say one is better than the other, I like them both. But they're not the same. Allow me to be crass for a moment. When I was a lad, there was a game called "Marry, Fuck, Kill" wherein we would pick three girls, possibly famous, possibly random girls in school and say which you would like to marry, which you would like to fuck and which you would like to kill. It wasn't a very complex game. It was a simpler time. A very lustful time, but a simpler one, nonetheless.

And that's the big difference. Bledel, even at her most sultry, is still really just adorably cute. Barring knowing anything else about her personality, intelligence, sense of humor or bodily odor, she's just looks like the stereotypical girl next door. Sweet and innocent. The one you might try to sneak a peak at when she's changing into her bathing suit, but then you're embarrassed when you do. The kinda girl you you just want to cuddle up with under the big oak tree in the park and watch the younger kids play on the swing set as you think of days gone by. You slowly reach for her shoulder and for a moment you wish you could reach out and touch her breast. But no, do so and you might lose her forever. Instead you talk and hope that her parents are watching when you drop her off on her doorstep so that maybe you might steal a french kiss before curfew. Sure her character was a whore, but her voice was sweet and innocent and you just know that she'd be a swell girl to take the the malt shop.

Alba on the other hand, is different. Even when Alba is trying to be cute, you just look at her, and you know she's naughty. Dangerous. Sure, for all I know, in reality, she's a prim and proper church going virgin, saving herself for marriage, to someone named Biff or Chet who wears a sweater with a letter on it. But when you look at her, you don't see that. You see the bad girl. The fast girl. The girl who could teach you things. The one who after curfew, when Alexis is safe at home, took you back to the same playground, sat you down on the slide and gave you your first blow job. There's no moving slowly, no wearing a tie and trying to impress her dad when you come to take her to the school dance. No, Mr. Alba just says please use a condom, don't be too loud if you're going to spend the night and then asks if you want a hit of his joint before he goes upstairs with her mom to that same waterbed you used with Jess when they were out of town last week. She could be the best conversationalist in the world, but the way she moves her stomach when she dances with that lasso and you just know that she's the kinda girl you practice the most advanced techniques from the kama sutra with. For 4 hours on a stretch.

So a question open to both genders and any sexual orientation: What does hot mean? What does cute mean? How about sexy, pretty, handsome, etc.? Are they the same? Are they different? Are there other types of attractive? Are there more types for one gender than the other? And are the rules different for men and women? Can you give me examples of people in all of your categories? Which types do you "go for" and why?

Or am I just totally fucked up and cute and hot are the same thing? Is that why the Olsen twins were sex symbols from like the time they were two?

Current Mood: [mood icon] sleepy

(20 comments | Leave a comment)

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[User Picture]From: lizardking625 Date: April 5th, 2005 - 11:52 pm (Link)
See, in regards to the movie, Alexis Bledel was hotter. She was the bad girl with the icy blue eyes.

I felt weird thinking Jessica Alba was hot because she was portrayed as an 11 year old who was almost raped not 2 hours earlier in the movie.
[User Picture]From: suicideking Date: April 6th, 2005 - 05:06 am (Link)
Alexis Bledel was so underage, she looked doughy. She was 14.

Alba, on the other hand, looked like a woman. A very hot woman.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 6th, 2005 - 07:38 am (Link)
Yep. I just checked. They're both currently 23. Yet, its hard for me to shake the kiddie image when I looke at Bledel. And this is even with me not being someone who has watched her show. She just has that look. By the way, I have seen Alba as a child actress, but I have no problem seeing her as a sexy grown-up at all.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 6th, 2005 - 07:26 am (Link)
that's kinda my point. Even with Becky being the bad girl and Nancy being the good girl, I still see Jessica as innately sexier than Alexis. I don't think that really hurts either of their acting ability or anything. Really, I thought they both did great jobs with their parts. But I still just don't see Bledel as hot. She's too cute to be hot.
[User Picture]From: akiramich Date: April 6th, 2005 - 06:28 am (Link)
I think for me I liked Blendel better [I love them both truth be told] because she was more demure in her actions and dress. Plus the way she was talking to Benicio Del Toro was very cute/hot. And for me it was all in the eyes. And yeah they highlighted her eyes in the film, but her eyes were uber gorgeous.

Frankly if a woman had a pretty face than she has me...
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 6th, 2005 - 07:53 am (Link)
Yeah, don't get me wrong. I think Bledel did a fine job in the film. And there was certainly something naughty about her speech to Jackie-Boy. And I have a longstanding well-documented attraction to the "young" look for women, including beststephi. But I still think there is a difference, and its not just the amount of skin each was showing.

But really, thanx for the input. I'm really looking to see some different opinions and stuff here.
[User Picture]From: sabranee Date: April 6th, 2005 - 06:31 am (Link)
I agree with you on the cute vs. hot thing. My dad, who's an avid Gilmore Girls fan - yeah, uh, I'm not sure about that one either - complains about how they're trying to make Rorie (Bledel) into some sort of sex symbol. "Really, Sydney," he said, "that'd be like watching the virgin Mary make out." I heart my dad.
Alba, on the other hand, was sweet in the movie, but clearly her contract said she could show a lot more skin than could Bledel. So she was hot, not cute. There's also just more of her there than there is Bledel - she's more womanly, more solid and substantial, less the urge to cuddle and protect, more the urge to see if she has muscles you didn't know existed.
Lastly, to me there are four classes of attractiveness in men - young; handsome; pretty; and sexy-ugly. Jake Gyllenhaal (or whatever) is young; Clive Owen/Tyrone Beckford are handsome; Jude Law is pretty; and Adrian Brody/young Mick Jager are sexy-ugly. Basically, they can be boyish, adult, fearfully symmetrical or plesantly asymetrical. I like pretty and sexy-ugly better than handsome or boyish, because the former's too old-looking and the latter's too young.
Hope this helped. *g*
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 6th, 2005 - 08:12 am (Link)
yeah, I heard a radio commercial for Gilmore Girls where it sort of implied that the show is all about Rori getting laid now. I was almost tempted to watch it.

Interestingly Alba actually had her contract fixed so that she would show LESS skin. In the comic, Nancy is a topless dancer. They did do a good job of making me not care though. Becky's outfit is pretty much exact to what she was drawn in though.

Your explanation on male attractiveness makes a lot of sense to me. I'll have to think about it later and see if it I have a similar mapping for women.
[User Picture]From: jetgrrl01 Date: April 6th, 2005 - 06:41 am (Link)
I don't disagree with your theory (and, having wanted to be sexy, it's probably why it always bugged the shit out of me when my bf's called me "cute").

But can hot/cute change for some actresses depending on their roles? Or as they age?
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 6th, 2005 - 08:54 am (Link)
I think it can. For men as well. I think there are a lot of factors. Weight, makeup, hair, wardrobe. And certainly behavior can change my views of what is and isn't sexy or cute. I just think in this case I still found Alba sexy and Bledel cute. I don't know if either of them are capable of shaking those images. Maybe they are. But not this time. I'm trying to think og a good example of someone who has floated between. Halle Berry comes to mind.
[User Picture]From: nemesisn4sa Date: April 6th, 2005 - 09:27 am (Link)
it's basically along the lines of what you were saying. both "hot" and "cute" apply to people who are attrative. the difference is, with "hot" you think "fuck" and with "cute" you think "protect and cuddle". it applys to both boys and girls.

and as for someone who floats between both, i'd say drew barrymore. she was cute in "the wedding singer" and hot in "charlie's angels". actually, i think jessica alba can be both. she has an innocent smile, but you know she likes to fuck dirty style.

it's also the beauty of the english language that we can have so many words to describe subtleties like we do. i think it's the only language that's like that. i could be mistaken but i want to say that english has the most adjectives of any language.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 6th, 2005 - 10:54 am (Link)
I usually find Drew a lot more on the cute side, but yeah, I think that's a good example.

i think jessica alba can be both. she has an innocent smile, but you know she likes to fuck dirty style.

*sigh* So much for me being able to concentrate on getting any work done the rest of the day....
[User Picture]From: katieboyd Date: April 6th, 2005 - 09:35 am (Link)
I'm no good with names, especially of actors and actresses, but the Head Prostitute was hotter than both of them.

As for your question, yes, all of those words mean different things. It's very difficult to pin down exactly how to describe the difference, but usually, when I'm trying to describe someone, I know which is appropriate.
For example, in New Orleans, at the casino, there was a woman working my table that was gorgeous. Beautiful could work as well. However, when my guy friends kept calling her "hawt", I felt the need to rant about the difference a bit. I mean she certainly fit qualifications of "hawt". Her body was neigh perfect, and especially accented in the sequined thing they had her wearing. But there was something in the beauty of her face that just made "hawt" an inadequate depiction of her beauty. Gorgeous, or beautiful, was just much more accurate.
They described a rather behavioristic definition of "hawt", where it is applicable if, given the opportunity (and of course personal circumstances are removed from this hypothetical), would you have sex with her. While this definition does make sense, I think it cripples our ability to describe the variety of beauty we see.
I also had someone at a Cam Con try to drunkenly explain that my look was something akin to "handsome", but without the masculine connotation. She eventually settled on "very pretty". It was clear that other words, "hot", "cute", etc, just weren't right for her description. (That was quite a flattering conversation. ::blush::)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 6th, 2005 - 10:57 am (Link)
yeah, see there's definitely tons of little nuances that one can point to if one wants to get very specific. It's certainly not a simple 1 dimensional continuum. Perhaps there needs to a 2 or 3 dimensional chart. But if so, what are the axes? There's a DPB project in the making right there.
[User Picture]From: marsinthestars Date: April 6th, 2005 - 09:00 pm (Link)
I don't know... I had a male friend ask me if he was labeled under "cute" or "hot", and my roommate and I tried to make qualifications for the two. We finally determined that hot refers to a body, and cute can refer to body but more often to face or personality. People don't really have "hot" personalities.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 6th, 2005 - 09:24 pm (Link)
oh, see, I definitely disagree. I think hot can have tons to do with your personality. Cute as well. But I definitely think that someone might have a cute look (or a not attractive look at all) by my judgement, but then once I get to know them, I might transition them into the "hot" category.
From: ludimagist Date: April 7th, 2005 - 11:12 pm (Link)
my roommate and I tried to make qualifications for the two

Where does your concept of "sexy badass" fit in?
[User Picture]From: marsinthestars Date: April 8th, 2005 - 06:33 am (Link)
I believe this discussion was what led to the coining of the term "sexy badass," though I could be mistaken.

A sexy badass is hot. Scorchingly so. But often, very cute once you get to know said sexy badass. It is the fusion of the two.
[User Picture]From: inmostlight Date: April 7th, 2005 - 03:23 pm (Link)
I finally found all the definitions from Newsradio:

pretty = pretty
cute = pretty but short and/or hyperactive
beautiful = pretty and tall
gorgeous = pretty with red hair
striking = pretty with a big nose
voluptuous = pretty and fat
sexy = pretty and easy
exotic = ugly
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 7th, 2005 - 03:35 pm (Link)
heh, that's awesome. I don't think I ever saw that one.

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