File:Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes trailer.jpg

A sex symbol is a famous person of either gender, typically an actor, musician, model, teen idol, or sports star, known for their sex appeal. The celebrity "star system"—the tabloid papers, paparazzi, and gossip talk shows—play an important role in creating and sustaining the public perception of which stars are viewed as attractive. These media industries are in turn sustained by a strong public demand for sexually alluring photographs or footage of celebrities, including both posed, scantily-clad publicity shots for magazines like Maxim and unauthorized beach or nightclub photos taken by paparazzi with telephoto lenses.


1930's cartoon character Betty Boop is known as the first and one of the most famous sex symbol on animated screen.[1][2] After Betty Boop, So White from Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs, Red, from Red Hot Riding Hood and her later derivative 'Jessica Rabbit, who was actually voiced by Kathleen Turner, is widely considered as the next biggest animated sex symbols. In Japanese anime there are sex symbols such as Faye Valentine (Cowboy Bebop), the female characters of Neon Genesis Evangelion ( Misato Katsuragi, Asuka Langley Soryu and Rei Ayanami ) or Bulma of Dragon Ball Series.[3][dubious ]

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Rock & roll and pop musicians were some of the first artists to become sex symbols. Some notable examples of musicians who became sex symbols include Elvis Presley, the members of Led Zeppelin The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, Jim Morrison, Sid Vicious, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Debbie Harry, Sting, Prince, Michael Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Billy Idol, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Madonna, Christina Milian, Rihanna, Chris Isaak, Bette Midler, Beyoncé Knowles, Steven Tyler,[4][5] Britney Spears, Cher, Justin Timberlake,Shakira, Lady Gaga, and Christina Aguilera. 2D and Murdoc Niccals from the Gorillaz are also considered sex symbols.


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 Marisa Miller, Christie Brinkley, Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Elle Macpherson, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Milla Jovovich, Kathy Ireland, Stephanie Seymour, Tatjana Patitz, Gisele Bündchen,[6][7] Christy Turlington, Ana Beatriz Barros, Laetitia Casta, Adriana Lima,[6] Alessandra Ambrosio,[6] and Heidi Klum.[6]

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,[8][9] who has had several appearances in mainstream media. Nell McAndrew, who portrayed Lara from 1998 to 1999, appeared on Playboy on August 1999, although the magazine was prevented legally from displaying the name "Lara Croft" next to the model.[10]

Other sex symbols with less notoriety in the mainstream include Rayne, the first video-game character that appeared in Playboy magazine, in the October 2004 U.S. edition as part of an article entitled Gaming Grows Up;[11] and Nina Williams, voted "Hottest" Female Fighting Character Guinness World Records Gamers Edition 2008.[12]

Examples of sex symbols

Film and television

The film and television industries have historically played an important role in the rise of sex symbols.[citation needed] The following list – which is by no means exhaustive – provides some examples of sex symbols who gained their status as such through exposure in film and television, and some examples of work where their appeal was shown best. Template:Col start

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1920s and Earlier

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See also


  1. Betty Boop - Boop Oop a Doop (1986) from Rotten Tomatoes
  2. Video World Is Smitten by a Gun-Toting, Tomb-Raiding Sex Symbol from The New York Times
  3. THE LAST MOVIE STAR from Entertainment Weekly.
  4. Laura: "Jon Bon Jovi", page 73. Citadel Press, 2004
  5. Awarded Sexiest Rock Star by People magazine on 2000, 2002 and 2003
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Victoria's secret Angels Across America Tour
  7. FHM 100 Sexiest Women in The World 2007 List - Shoryuken
  8. Channel 4 Top 100 Sex Symbols internet poll
  9. "Boom Raider" Telegraph retrieved 5 March 2008
  10. Lara saved from Playboy
  11. AT's Top 10 Video Game Chicks Actiontrip. Retrieved on December 2, 2007
  12. Guinness World Records Gamers Edition 2008 pg.81 (bottom-right) ISBN 978-1-904994-20-6
  13. Fields, Arnold (2008). Lillian Russell: A Biography of America's Beauty. McFarland. p. 215. ISBN 978-0786438686. 
  14. Drowne, Kathleen Morgan; Patrick Huber (2004). The 1920's. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 237. ISBN 0313320136.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthor= (help)
  15. Mix, Deborah M. (2000) "Sex Symbol" In Pendergast, Tom (editor) (2000) St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture: Volume 4: P - T St. James Press, Detroit, Michigan, ISBN 1-55862-404-X
  16. Flint, Peter B. (7 May 1992). "Marlene Dietrich, 90, Symbol of Glamour, Dies". New York Times. 
  17. Porter, Darwin (2005). Howard Hughes: Hell's Angel. Blood Moon Productions Ltd. p. 639. ISBN 0-974-81181-5. 
  18. Biond, Chris. "Fpnda memories and the changing face of the sex symbol". Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
  19. So just who was it for you last night? Independent, published 2007-08-10
  21. Palmer, Martyn (2008-12-27). "Scarlett Johansson the reluctant sex symbol". The Times (London). Retrieved 2010-05-23. 

External links

cs:Sexuální symbolfy:Sekssymboal it:Sex symbol he:סמל מין nl:Sekssymbool no:Sexsymbolpl:Seksbombaro:Sex simbol ru:Секс-символ simple:Sex symbol sr:Секс симбол fi:Seksisymboli sv:Sexsymbol uk:Секс-символ zh:性感象徵人物列表

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