Sex symbol

A sex symbol is a famous and/or notable person, male or female, who is found sexually attractive by the general audience.



The film industry played an important part in the rise of sex symbols. It disseminated images of beautiful people around the world, especially during film's silent era, when there were no language barriers.

The first sex symbols were Victorian actress and singer Lillian Russell, Danish silent-film actress Asta Nielsen (nicknamed 'The Silent Muse') and 'It Girl' Clara Bow in the 1910s and 1920s. Although not seen as a real sex symbol, Lillian Gish ('The First Lady of the Silent Screen') became the most popular actress of the era. Theda Bara and Pola Negri, famed for their vamp roles, were also early female sex symbols. Rudolph Valentino was cinema's first male sex symbol.

Film's Golden Age sex symbols include 1930s stars Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow ("The Platinum Blonde"), Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer, Mae West and Clark Gable. 40s and 50s icons Rita Hayworth (nicknamed "The Love Goddess"), Ava Gardner, Jane Russell, Betty Grable, Lana Turner, the three "Blond Bombshells": Marilyn Monroe - Jayne Mansfield - Mamie Van Doren, Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot, Audrey Hepburn, Kim Novak, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, James Dean, Rock Hudson, Robert Mitchum, Gregory Peck and Cary Grant.

Important 60s and 70s sex symbols included Ursula Andress, Ann-Margret, Jacqueline Bisset, Barbara Bouchet, Jane Fonda, Sharon Tate, Raquel Welch, Catherine Deneuve, Pam Grier, Ali MacGraw, Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep, Sean Connery, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Burt Reynolds, Harrison Ford, Robert De Niro and John Travolta.

As TV's influence grew during the last three decades there was a slight shift to TV stars becoming more famous, Pamela Anderson, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Carmen Electra, Farrah Fawcett, Valerie Bertinelli, Halle Berry and Don Johnson, all became sex symbols through TV.

More recent silver screen icons are Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson, Drew Barrymore, Rebecca Romijn, Keira Knightley, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jessica Alba, Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Colin Farrell, Jake Gyllenhaal ,Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon, Jude Law, and the late Heath Ledger.


1930's cartoon character Betty Boop is known as the first and one of the most famous sex symbol on animated screen. After Betty Boop, Jessica Rabbit, who was voiced by Kathleen Turner, is widely considered as the next biggest animated sex symbol.


Blues musicians were some of the first artists to become sex symbols. Rock n' roll and pop would follow later on. Some classic example of former or older sex symbols are Madonna, Marvin Gaye, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Iain Green, Emma Farmer, Andrew Shearer, Robert Plant, Steven Tyler, Jon Bon Jovi, Prince, Sting, Janet Jackson, Tom Jones, Cher, Grace Slick, Bruce Springsteen, and Rod Stewart set the stage for contemporary examples, such as Beyonce, Kylie Minogue, Nicole S. the star of the Pussycat Dolls, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Shakira,Spice Girls,Uhm Jung Hwa


Many models and supermodels are widely known enough to be considered sex symbols. Some of today's sex symbols who have become famous as models include Anna Nicole Smith, Cindy Crawford, Elle Macpherson, Naomi Campbell, Gisele BŁndchen, Christy Turlington, Ana Beatriz Barros, Laetitia Casta, Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks, Kate Moss . Male models: Chad White, David Gandy and Tyson Beckford.

Video Games

Video games have had a few characters that are considered sex symbols, although their fame often does not extend into the mainstream. The most well-known example of this category would be Lara Croft, which has had several appearances in mainstream media. The first Lara Croft model, Nell McAndrew, appeared on Playboy on August of 1999, although the magazine was prevented legally from displaying the name "Lara Croft" next to the model. .

Other sex symbols with less notoriety in the mainstream include:

Teen idols

Many teen idols are also sex symbols. In particular, boy bands are frequently regarded as sex symbols by adoring fans. Fans frequently focus their attention on a single member of the group, but the entire group is seen as a sex symbol by association. Some excellent examples of boy bands are Backstreet Boys and N Sync. More recent examples include the Jonas Brothers, Fall Out Boy, and on the foreign front Tokio Hotel.

Examples of teen idols are Ricky Martin.

See also

External links

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