When, for the heck of it, I typed in “What makes a person sexy?” on my browser the other day, I was directed to a “Yahoo! Answers” discussion site. All of the replies were from young men and women whose predictable insights included: “A pretty face, not too chubby,” “Hot body,” “Voluptuous figure” and “Beautiful eyes and a nice body.”
In the midst of these observations was a comment from a young woman named Keiko. It grabbed my attention.
Keiko was baffled at the attention men lavished on a friend of hers at a party. The woman — “in her 50s," Keiko wrote, "chunky, thick ankles, frizzy hair" — was surrounded by "a ring of men hanging on her every word. She obviously was sexy to them.”
Although Keiko didn’t know what these men saw in her older friend, it got my imagination going. I wondered what would happen if I conducted a fantasy exit poll with that woman's admirers.
“Guys," I would ask, "what made you choose a chunky, frizzy-haired fiftysomething over Keiko?”
Here are their responses:
Guy 1: “Keiko’s friend exuded such confidence. She emitted a glow that pulled me into her orbit. I wanted to be around her. She seemed so at ease with herself.”
Guy 2: “What turned me on is how she listened to everything I said while looking right at me — instead of checking out everything going on around us.”
Guy 3: “She made me feel like the only man at the party.”
Guy 4: “She once lived abroad. Knew all these famous people. I couldn’t get enough of her stories.”
Guy 5: “Her infectious smile and laughter got me. I loved her positive attitude. What a sense of humor!”
Guy 6: “She’d make a great buddy. So supportive of others, always complimenting her friends and their achievements.”
Guy 7: “I loved how she was dressed: simply. Not much jewelry or makeup. She looked so natural, even joking about her frizzy hair, saying, ‘Nothing much I can I do with it.’”
Guy 8: “She seemed so independent, and wasn’t looking to jump into a relationship or put a ring on her finger.”
Guy 9: “Her curiosity and lack of pretension.”
Guy 10: “I’ve never met anyone quite like her.”
I also thought about how Keiko’s friend would respond to all that attention and positive feedback. I'm sure her answer would be, "Blame it on my age."