3 May 2013

I am the UK's Sexiest Woman!

Please, before you look at my picture and then laugh yourself to death, give me a chance to explain the rather big-headed title.
Image source

Helen Flanagan, who used to be in Coronation Street, came third in the FHM 100 Sexiest Women list this year, meaning she also became the 'Sexiest Woman in the UK'. Usually I could not care less about this, or at least I wouldn't care enough to write a blog post, but her name was trending on Twitter and I foolishly clicked on it. Rookie mistake. Some of the comments were alright. There were quite a few wondering how Helen had managed to beat fellow Coronation Street star Michelle Keegan; clearly these people do not understand how voting actually works but in the main they were harmless.
Some comments, however, were awful. They called her ugly, of course, with lots of unflattering pictures being circulated. People compared her to animals, namely a dog, and there were a lot of 'slut' and 'bitch' tweets. Some people even made 'jokes' about her having been raped by the actor playing Ken Barlow. Really, truly, horrible and cruel.

Reading through these tweets and comments I started to think about the list and why it was, basically, bullshit and I wanted to share my thoughts here because if you can't share these things on your blog then where can you, eh? I know some people will think I am taking this very seriously and that's fine; I probably am, but this post has been brewing for a few days now and I really hope somebody out there understands. Please let me know what you think of what I have to say!

First off, 'sexy' means 'sexy' as defined by the magazine and its readers. So, that's young, slim women, preferably with big boobs, who look good. And I'm not saying they don't look good. They are beautiful women. But all women are beautiful. They may not look like Mila Kunis or Beyonce or Kaley Cuoco or anyone else on that list but they are beautiful in their own way and they have so much to offer.
FHM and its readers are reducing women to their looks and nothing else; they're voting for who looks best in a pair of heels and a bra, not their personalities, talents or anything else. Beside each picture on the website is a little bit of information about each woman and then often a lot of talk about how sexy they really are. Oh, and maybe a comment about how sad it is that they are dating somebody else.
 Basically, these women are objects who look nice and might strip off for the magazine (there's nothing wrong with that in itself, but if FHM just sees women as these objects, that's very, very wrong) and they don't need to be respected for anything else; what matters is that their appearance appeases the average FHM viewer.

As well as defining 'sexy', it's all a very homogenous type of sexy on display. Only 15 of the women that I counted were non-white, meaning that's a whole load of one type of beauty being displayed there with little variation. All of the women were slim, too, with Beyonce perhaps being the 'biggest' of them. They were all really young, too, with Linda Barker being the oldest that I could see.
So young, white and slim basically sums up the entire list. That means no beautiful, black, plus sized Philomena Kwao, no wonderful, older Helen Mirren, no stunning Nadia Aboulhosn.
This means a lot of girls will grow up without anybody resembling them being called 'sexy' in a mainstream environment, leading to them resenting how they look and idolising impossible beauty standards. It means a lot of girls will feel that they couldn't possibly be sexy because they don't resemble Kelly Brook or Kate Upton and to me that is really, really sad.

Finally, sexiness is totally subjective and this list just shows one side of the sexy coin. I don't think I'm sexy; I don't even think I am verging on pretty most of the time. Hell, some days I can't decide which bit of me I hate the most and full-length mirrors are a no-go area for me.
But I have somebody who thinks that I am beautiful and cute and funny and all the things in between that add up and make me sexy to them; in their eyes, I am the sexiest woman in the UK (although I know that if Sandra Bullock came into his life I'd not see him for dust)
Sexiness really depends on who you ask; that's what I mean by the title of the post. I may not hold much sway with FHM readers, as they don't seem to partial to Northern Irish girls with really small boobs and lots of stretchmarks, but I am somebody's sexiest woman, and so are you, and so is Helen Flanagan.