Sunday, 18 March 2012

Is it better to be sexy or pretty…?

Sad as it may seem (!) this is the level of conversation I had the other day with one of my very best friends.  Of course, I’m talking about my gay friend Julian.  And we were taking about it from the perspective of a woman in her 40’s, who’s (fairly) newly single.  Sounds a bit like me… what a strange coincidence!

Back in the ‘real’ world, I would imagine most people would ideally like a bit of both. 

But this is my blog, and I can set the rules as I see fit… So, I want to present you with the simple choice.  You have to choose one or the other. 

If you’re a man reading this blog, you also have to decide whether you are more drawn to women who are ‘pretty’ or ‘sexy’ and consider how this impacts on your view of her as someone you would want a long-term relationship with.

I have already had some feedback from a straw poll of a few friends and I was somewhat surprised at the unanimity of their responses.

It would seem that whilst being ‘pretty’ has its appeal – it is also associated with the possibility of it being purely ‘skin deep’.   However, being ‘sexy’ seems to come from a deeper place.  Sexy is associated with intelligence, wit, attitude and ‘attractiveness’.  And ‘attractiveness’, in this context, is based on personality, rather than physical appearance.

So, going back to being ‘pretty’ – would I like to be thought of as ‘pretty’?  Well, of course I would.  No one wants to think of themselves as ‘ugly’.  But ‘prettiness’ can fade.  As the tide of time washes our good looks away, what are we left with if we’re not ‘sexy’?

Over the years, I have encountered quite a number of women who, in their early 20’s, were quite considerably prettier than the rest of us.  Men were drawn to them and commented on their looks and these women were perfectly aware of the situation.  Those of us who were not so blessed with the ‘pretty’ genes had to rely on their personality, charm or wit, to be attractive.

As time passed, many of the pretty women became very aware of the impact that they had on men.  It came to define who they were and what role they had in society.  They were the ‘pretty’ girlfriend who became the ‘trophy wife’.  After marriage, kids and 20 years passing, many of these women often have become anxious that their looks have faded.  They are constantly threatened by younger women who, like them are ‘pretty’, but have youth on their side.  Worse still, some of them now have daughters who have inherited their good looks, providing the worst possible competition.

Whilst these pretty women fret about the loss of their youth, their sexy counterparts seem to have blossomed.  I mean, being 40 is not all bad.  Many women, myself included, gain a new type of self-confidence.  We may not be entirely ‘happy with our lot’ – no one wants to have wrinkles and a bit of a spare tyre - but we don’t let it define us.  We also realise that the type of men we are attractive to and attracted to, aren’t worried about it either.  In short, we’ve learnt to ‘chill out’. 

I realise that some people may consider this whole post to be hideously shallow.  But whether we like it or not, our physical appearance does matter and countless research has been done on the subject.

Going back to my original question, “Is it better to be sexy or pretty?”, I have to conclude that if I had to choose, I would choose ‘sexy’.  If nothing else, it’s a damn site more interesting!


  1. My vote would be sexy but it's not an easy thing to be. Define sexy ?

    1. Define sexy....? I fear that, like beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder!


  2. Ahh, Lara.

    Sexy or pretty?
    Hmm. Frankly, I don't care - just one of them would be great! I can relate to this post as an (almost) divorcee.

    I'd never consider myself sexy so it would be nice to think someone out there thought of me as sexy. And in same way,I'd like to think someone, somewhere, might find me pretty.

    I'm with you about sexy being a whole lot more fun though ;)

    Good to make your acquaintance.


  3. Debbie

    You sound like you're a bit *sassy* already. And believe me, *sassy* is good!

    I hope that, like me, once the legalities of divorce are finalised, you can start to get a bit of your old self back.

    Don't forget that you are still the person you were before your marriage.

    If you are anything like me, it will take you some time before you feel up to a meaningful relationship. In the interim, you need an ego boost. Give yourself a break. Go out. Flirt. And don't get hung up on a 'serious' relationship.

    Serious relationships only ever seem to come along when we've stopped worrying about them!



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