Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Choose your words wisely

People get called a lot of things. Verbal descriptors are a huge thing in our world. They have both negative and positive connotations, but no matter which direction you go, these words are things we strive to attain or distance ourselves from.

No one wants to be called hurtful and hateful things. No one really wants to have a negative descriptor attached to them; fat, ugly, stupid, clumsy, worthless, and really I could go on forever. There is no end to the ugly hateful adjectives I could list off that people use to describe each other.

The hateful ones aren't the ones I am concerned with. It is easy enough to define the bad adjectives and the negative impact on our lives. I am more concerned with the so called good adjectives we strive for. While there is no doubt that being called fat or stupid or any number of things I am not even going to list is incredibly detrimental to the person having those words flung at them, there is also significant damage to be had from the 'good' words we aim for.

Words like pretty and beautiful are words I feel are sometimes misused, but even they are harmless. It is words like 'hot' that I am coming to feel are not really good words. Calling someone 'hot' is a compliment, I am not going to deny that. I mean what person wouldn't want to be told that they look 'hot' when they get all dressed up to go out? I know I like it.

There is the problem though. I like it. I want it. Now I am not saying it is bad to want to look good, my best even. What I am saying is that perhaps the emphasis on achieving such status is not healthy. I mean women in general get sort of crazy in their attempts to achieve a certain look, to the point of harming themselves to become what they think they should look like.

Stay with me here. What is the definition of hot? According to Urban Dictionary (because lets face it Websters is not going to have the definition we are looking for) 'Hot' is:

I. One who is: a. gorgeous, b. pretty, c. beautiful, d. cute, e. attractive

II. One who you would: a. lick, b. suck, c. nibble, d. flirt with, e. have sexual relations with

III. One who makes you: a. flip, b. crazy, c. nutty, d. pass out, e. drool, f. fantasize, g. (if girl) wet, h. (if guy) hard, i. masturbate

Alright so these aren't bad things. As humans we are sort of hard wired to attract other humans to us. So if that is as far as it went it wouldn't be a bad thing. The problem arises in the fact that for the most part we have these media based ideas of what 'hot' is. Just like we have media based ideas what beauty is.

If you were to go out and ask random strangers to give you examples of 'hot' men and women, I can pretty much guarantee you that the women that are listed will be incredibly thin and have big boobs, and the guys will have six packs and use too much product in their hair. You are either a huge exception to the rule or lying if you say that is not your definition of 'hot'. Hell I am the one writing this and I still pulled up in my own mind half a dozen celebrities who fit that criteria before I found someone I thought was hot that was outside those parameters.

If you ask the same question and replace the word 'hot' with say beautiful, I am pretty sure you will get a different list out of those people. Hot is a fantasy. Hot is the ideal that we all build up in our head in a media fed world. Hot are all the things that most of us will never be.

So to be 'hot' you have to look like Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Aniston (who was recently voted by some men's magazine the hottest woman of all times). I don't know about you, but I will never look like that. I would have to do some crazy dieting, and a lot of gym time, and probably some surgery. I would have to do some radical things to my body, which overall probably wouldn't be best for me, to look like those sorts of women. It is not a realistic goal, and it is not healthy to try and become that sort of thing.

We don't live in a society that is alright with you being the best 'you'. We live in a world where you are expected to be the best which equates to being someone most of us are not. Being the best you is by far the better choice. If the best you is fat, or has weird hair, or small breasts, or bad teeth, you shouldn't care. If that is your best, if you are happy with you, if you are healthy, then that is what matters. That is who you are and who you should be.

While it might be nice to be told on occasion that we have accidentally, or purposefully, achieved the descriptor of hot, I think that is not something we should aim for. I would much rather be told that I am beautiful, stunning, gorgeous, elegant, breath taking, striking, or a vision. I think these words all have a greater depth and value than just being 'hot'.

'Hot' is nice on the surface, but there are so many better adjectives to be. Don't be a surface dweller. Have depth. Be the whole package.


  1. Absolutely! Surface is only skin deep and there is so, so much more to human interaction!

  2. I am seriously tempted to go check the 5 on my list for six-packs. I can think of only 1 who might (and really, a Google holiday for topless men? OK!), but you are RIGHT ON with the hair product. (Thinking specifically of one Doctor with truly amazing hair)

    That being said, I know that "hot" for me is a lot more than just those things. You're right that "beautiful" and "stunning" will bring about a different list than "hot" but for me, "hot" is about a person looking their best. Anybody can be hot. Steve Buschemi has days when that weird looking man is totally hot, because he's doing something so perfectly "himself" if that makes sense.

    Then again, I'm not really using it in the way it was defined above, so my whole point is pretty much pointless, because I agree with you about looking beyond the surface...

    and while 1 of my 5 does have a six-pack, I prefer him... softer. Mr. Tumnus, you know? Not Prof X (though, YES, Prof X, but you know what I mean... scarves & freckles will win me over faster than leather suits any day of the week. But it seems I'm a sucker for an archy eyebrow no matter what they're wearing, so...)

    Longest comment ever? Yes. This is why we should do dinner!