Patrick Dempsey has taken home the title of People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive,” leaving envious males wondering whether they can emulate the traits that make him so damn hot.
But it turns out, there’s nothing specific that makes a man — or a woman — sexy.
“Sexiness is in the eye of the beholder,” body language expert Blanca Cobb told HuffPost, saying personal preference plays a huge part.
For instance, some people prefer blonds over brunettes. Others have a penchant for big noses, big ears, or a deep voice.
Meanwhile, experts say cultural and generational trends also play a role in what people find attractive, despite the consensus and universality implied by titles such as the “Sexiest Man Alive.”
Where Kate Moss’ thin frame was once the epitome of female beauty in the ’90s, Kim Kardashian’s voluptuous curves became trendy in the last decade, ushering in a frenzy for BBLs — or, Brazilian Butt Lifts. And, because trends are recycled decades later, big booties have fallen out of favor.
“There are many theories in terms of factors that can enhance level of attractiveness that are surrounded by cultural aspects, such as generational trends and ethnic differences of preferences, evolutionary factors such as ‘curviness’ in women noting fertility, and proximity factors indicting we are attracted to what we see most and what we are exposed to around us,” Florida-based psychologist Kelsey Latimer said.
“This suggests that attraction has both biological and learned factors.”
Personality and charm can also make or break attractiveness, experts say.
“Consider this: have you met someone that you might have considered average in physical appearance and then, after getting to know them, you suddenly realized they have a great smile or beautiful eyes?” Latimer added.
“That’s not a coincidence. Personality absolutely can change the initial feeling of attraction for the positive or negative.”
Cobb concurs, saying sexiness isn’t just related to physical attributes.
“Warm, open, confident body language can be a turn-on,” she stated.
It’s why Pete Davidson’s BDE is so captivating to supermodels and A-list stars — that confidence and charisma, or “rizz” as the kids say, is magnetic, according to the expert. Kindness, too, can forge an emotional connection, she added.
So, unanimous agreement on what is universally sexy simply doesn’t exist, given personal preferences and the standards of beauty that vary across age, time and location.
“The reality is if something were ‘innately’ attractive or not attractive, then trends would never change over time and ‘natural selection’ would have boiled us down into all looking the same,” Latimer said.
“There is a lot of variation about what is attractive.”