What Is Sexy? Here's Why It Is A Hard Question!

What Is Sexy? Here's Why It Is A Hard Question!What Is Sexy? Here's Why It Is A Hard Question!

What is sexy? Does sexy mean having perfectly proportioned boobs? Does sexy mean having absolutely no cellulite? Does sexy mean provocative dressing?

As somebody who loves following pop culture fashion, am always on the lookout for all things trendy. But all too often, they don't seem to hit it out of the park. To top it all, media sets most of the ubiquitous trends and in their own way define what is sexy.

This bar has the tendency to make women feel that they are not what defines sexy. That their legs are not skinny enough, their skin is not flawless enough or that they are not conventionally "hot."  

And while I was in the process of figuring out the conundrum of "what is sexy," there it was--the so-called definition of it. 

A nude (well, almost) photograph of reality television star Kim Kardashian West flashing across every glossy announcing the arrival of her latest fragrance launch, aptly named Body.

What Is Sexy? 

The reality star got a mould of her own body replicated into small perfume bottles. While as genius as this marketing gimmick was (given how Kim K rose to fame), it is also extremely dangerous.

The mere photograph of the famous Kardashian posing in nothing but a mould raised an alarming number of questions in the minds of young millennials such as myself.

Does sexy mean having perfectly proportioned boobs? Does sexy mean having absolutely no cellulite? Does sexy mean provocative dressing (or wearing nothing in this case)? Does sexy mean gyrating to a hip-hop number? Does sexy mean walking down a red carpet with barely there clothes? Does sexy mean celebrating somebody whose career took off with a leaked sex tape?


We are subconsciously celebrating people who have tactfully used social media to show only what they want to show. Not the reality. However, at this point let me take a moment to mention that there is no denying the fact that Kim Kardashian West has made herself a brand. Her endorsement can make or break careers.

But in following people like her are we losing the plot?  

The unfortunate fact is that sex sells. Anything that is even remotely provocative gets the eyeballs, even if it is not done for that said purpose. So the question remains: what is sexy

Being Sexy Is A Quality That Comes From Within

Sexy is being confident and comfortable in one's own skin. It is not having to emulate somebody else in order to fit into the definitions that society has conveniently created. And neither does it mean becoming a sex symbol. 

As legendary Hollywood actor Sophia Loren once said, "I think the quality of sexiness comes from within. It is something that is in you or it isn’t and it really doesn’t have much to do with breasts or thighs or the pout of your lips.” 

  A post shared by Mana Nahavandian (@manadian) on

And it is.

Sexiness is all about the qualities that possess that reflect on the outside. It is when beauty is backed by elegance, poise and composure that it truly becomes the "quality" that it is. Women who are bold, woke and speak their minds with confidence are sexy. And that's why we think these gorgeous women are too. 

1. Jessie Setiono 

  A post shared by Jessie Setiono (@jessiesetiono) on

Soon after finishing high school, Setiono tried her hands at modelling and successfully so. Walking at prestigious Asian runways, this Indonesian model made a name for herself quickly. But the overachiever didn't want to stop at just being a pretty face. She dreamt of changing the world. So Setiono pursued law and post graduation co-founded the F&B conglomerate Ismaya Group with her husband.  

2. Sayo Akasaka

  A post shared by Sayo Akasaka (@sayoakasaka) on

Sayo Akasaka is Japan's "it" girl and has been featured on several glossies including Ginza, Nylon, and Elle. But Akasaka is not just a gorgeous gal. Her work is a reflection of her culturally rooted ideology and she often showcases the best of Japanese fashion on her website and her Instagram page. Not just that Akasaka is also a brilliant photographer.  

3. Trang Pham

  A post shared by Trang Pham (@trangphampw) on

Vietnamese model Trang Pham maybe new to the modelling scene, but she is fast gaining popularity. Not only has she walked many prestigious runways in her home country, she is also being cast internationally and recently walked the London Fashion Week. Her personal style is unapologetic and is not afraid to be comfortable in her skin, which is exactly what makes her sexy. 

4. Bianca Gonzalez Intal 

The gorgeous Filipina TV host and model, Bianca Gonzalez Intal started her career by hosting shows like GameChannel Extreme and MTV U-Break. But her break came when she joined Pinoy Big Brother: Celebrity Edition and bagged the third position. But apart from her flourishing television career, Intal is also the UNICEF Philippines Child Rights Supporter, which brings her to our list. 

5. Priscilla Boh 

  A post shared by Priscilla BOH (@priscillaboh) on

After graduating from Murdoch University (Perth) with a degree in Media and English; Priscilla Boh wanted to explore her passion for fashion, make-up artistry and media production. And it was during her college years that she stumbled upon a career plus-sized modelling and began to represent Singapore at various international runways. Today, Boh is a TEDx speaker and an advocate of body positivity and truly defines what is sexy. 

These women are inspirational in their own sphere and prove that sexiness is not necessarily a physical attribute, but a quality that comes from within. 

(Feature & lead images courtesy: unsplash)

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Written by

Deepshikha Punj