Nerds, foodies, and funny people are just a few of the peeps that got it goin’ on.
What is sexy and what is beautiful is what makes us different. I am so glad I figured that out. It took a long time but now when I see people I can see how beautiful they are and why they should never alter anything about themselves. I feel like I just became French or something which is ironic because I think they’re slowly becoming more American. But what’s beautiful in America now is not as shallow as it used to be. Forget the forehead injections and the giant boobies. The new sexy is all about smarts, appetite, authenticity, health and hilariousness. It’s about the heart beat inside you and how strong it is.
This is possibly a result of the digital culture of appropriation or the mash-up of fashion that is the 2000′s, but our style is everyone’s style, and a little piece of it has been taken from everywhere. That kind of opens things up a bit and lets us figure some things out for ourselves. People are more open to trying new things, different foods, different kinds of music. We’re cultural explorers. That’s in part why the person that turns the most heads isn’t the one with “Juicy” written across her butt, it’s the one with a smile and a thirst for life who knows who they are and shines.
A reprise from my last article, but Tina Fey is my poster child for intelligence being sexy again. Nothing looks better on a well-rounded person than a super big brain. It means “I won’t ever be bored with you – even if we were in jail together.” That’s someone to hold onto. Always being abreast of current events, knowledge of niche films and comics, and a quick wit, smart people are engaging on so many levels. They make everyone around them look better by association. And when they speak, everyone quiets and no one dares contest what they have said. One of the best feelings is having a big group of smart people at a dinner party. It almost feels like you should record the conversation, it’s so worthwhile. I thank technology for the proliferation of intelligence. Learning how to brew your own beer, reading the classics you skipped when you were in school, or learning the guitar on your iPad are all easy to do from a shoebox apartment. Robotics and engineering are in a renaissance in high schools and thanks to American Apparel, the nerdy librarian look of the nineties is here for a while. Nerd glasses and social awkwardness are hot. In fact they’re technically high-fashion. If you were a skinny book nerd in elementary school, you might consider bringing out those boat neck dresses and wearing white socks under your Keds. You might be mistaken for a model.
I missed you BLT. Food and, more importantly, real un-compromised food is back in style. No more low fat zero calorie crapola. Places like Wurstenkuche and the Chairman Bao Bun Truck remind us that um, yeah you can eat food. It’s not scary and it’s not the cause of obesity. It’s one of the best parts of life. It used to be all about Snackwells crap, scooped out bagels and energy bars. Not that those are gone, but they have their place. Now what’s attractive in someone is their foodie knowledge and how discerning their palette is, and more importantly— do they have a healthy appetite? I translate that to mean: Does this person enjoy their life? Do they know the best wood-fire oven pizzas, the best place for middle-of-the-night tacos, the best bakery for fresh baguettes? Do they enjoy their KBBQ with Hite ju sey oh? If they don’t that might be a sign you’re gonna be eating at a Subway in the near future. A healthy amount of passion for food = a person with joie de vivre. And just because I like to talk about food, my list of things that should be enjoyed all include Burrata and anything from Mozza LA, truffle oil on your eggs (I know I’m kinda insane), the daikon rice cakes and the imperial rolls with lettuce cups at The Slanted Door in SF, pork buns and pork soonduboo from Ippudo in NY, and a real fresh everything BLT, or perhaps the turkey club from Stanley in New Orleans.
Mental and physical: Being a drug addict used to be portrayed as cool, even in the last couple of years, and now it’s just lame and gross. Thank god. Goodbye to magazine spreads dedicated to the Olsens looking sicker, Lohan unconscious, and Spears skipping her meds. It’s not just me, it’s a cultural shift. Having deep-set problems and issues is not sexy, it’s purgatory. Drugs and acting out are just signs of self-medication for much bigger issues that only get worse. Thanks to people like Ron Artest, mental health issues related to childhood and trauma are becoming part of normal discourse. They need to be. (After thanking his psychiatrist in the finals Lakers game, Ron auctioned his championship ring to fund mental health, based on his experiences growing up.) Suddenly culture has shifted, and people are discovering their need to seek out peace as solace through self discovery. With PTSD and family of origin issues in the past people had to swallow it, only to manifest the same patterns in their kids, and so on. In fact, many psychologists think that all addiction is tied to trauma. I believe it man. There’s now a movement to get better and talk about things. It’s normal to be in the program, and there are millions of people who use yoga and meditation in the place of medication. And when someone is healthy and happy, they glow. It’s like a light turning on that shines through everything they do. Life looks amazing in a person.
The Bieb has inspired us all with his raw talent and also his genuine offering of himself to the world. YouTube’s like a digital high school quad where people show up and sing their hearts out and maybe get booed off the stage, but they still throw it out there. Speaking from the heart and going for it is not a trend. It’s a trend back-lash and it’s a welcome change. People are discovering what they love and what they identify with, and that doesn’t necessarily tie to fame or anything anyone else likes in a magazine. What looks gorgeous on a person is something that you can tell is a translation of their self – it’s just their thing. It takes disarming yourself and removing a layer of affect or cool. My swatch for this is the couple/artists Kozy n Dan. They make beautiful things and they seem really nice. A testament to “Follow your passions and the money will come.”
It’s never been sexier to be funny. A funny person is like a sparkler: mesmerizing and some how magic. Case in point, Kristin Wiig, cowriter and star of Bridesmaids. Just about the best film I’ve ever seen ever in my whole life. So funny I was crying. Not from laughing, but from being overwhelmed at how amazing it was. Her and many other amazing comics have taken a familiar genre and made it better than I’ve ever seen it. It’s infused with the sweetness of their personal relationships, and you can tell that a lot of time was spent in play and in the crafting of the jokes. It’s like when you see a hand-drawn letter form but you can’t tell why you know it’s hand drawn because it looks perfect. It’s just something you feel. I digress. The ability to make people laugh is powerful, and it takes courage, confidence, and the offering of ones heart. A funny person is like a person you wish you could bottle and keep. It’s seductive and incredible – a mundane story will animate to life before your eyes, like you have a live television screen in one person’s face. Funny people in many ways make the world go round. I welcome more and more of them to be as awesome and excellent as the lovely stars of Bridesmaids.
As always please share any traits you think are sexy and beautiful! I always love hearing about amazing people and qualities in a sea of Photo Shopped photos.
Featured Image via Papermag.com