FHM’s Battle of the Sexiest

Last month, Jessy Mendiola flaunted her enviable “LaBoracay” figure the hottest way imaginable with a virtual peep show on her Instagram feed in red and grey two-piece bikinis.

The photos, which captions talked about how she could stay on the island forever and how confident she is with her body amid numerous criticisms, launched a number of memes that aim to support the young actress’s statement of being content with her own curves.

“My body may not be perfect but that will not stop me from being confident with myself,” she stated disallowing negative comments to affect her.

Bikini-clad. FHM 2015 sexiest woman Jennylyn Mercado walks the Bro Con ramp (top, pictured center), current leader in the sexiest online poll Jessy Mendiola, and strong “sexiest” contender Nadine Lustre.

One month since her photos went viral, Jessy topped the annual “FHM 100 Sexiest Women in the World” online poll. The Banana Split mainstay grabbed the top spot from On the Wings of Love star Nadine Lustre, based on the partial unofficial results as of June 11.

Nadine, whose real-life boyfriend (James Reid) jokingly castigated her fans for sending her to the top spot, now settled for second place. Jennylyn Mercado is now on the third spot after being named the sexiest woman in the country last year.

Kapamilya star Angel Locsin and Kapuso darling Rhian Ramos maintained their fourth and fifth spots, respectively. And, also in the top 10 are actresses Arci Muñoz, Glaiza De Castro, Kim Domingo, Marian Rivera and volleyball superstar Rachel Anne Daquis.

There are strong messages this “sexiest poll” tells us with Jessy and Nadine in the top two. First, a sexy woman is no longer limited to someone who has a thin waist, round butt, plump breasts, and long legs. And a woman can be called sexy without taking her clothes off. Take Nadine for instance, do a quick Google search and type “Nadine Lustre in bikini” on the search bar. You’ll hardly find a photo of her in bikini or in revealing outfits except for a photo she posted on Instagram a year ago where she can be seen wearing a one-piece floral swimwear with a flower tucked in her left ear. She has since taken the photo down for a reason we wouldn’t really know.

In a similar sense, the names that appear in the top 10 and top 20 give us a better glimpse of how people define what makes women sexy.

During the decade of big hair, spandex, and neon clothing, a sexy woman is someone who had an aerobics trained body – toned yet still looked feminine. Think of Jane Fonda for a better illustration.

Just over the past 30 years, the ideal figure that makes women look sexy has changed. During the 90s, skinny and model-type women were hot. In 2000s, the almost unattainable Barbie figure was in. It’s only now that the “toned yet still looked feminine” women are viewed ideal and, of course, sexy once again, hence, the emergence of “fitspo” culture.

Actresses like Coleen Garcia, Anne Curtis, Solenn Heussaff and Yassi Pressman, who all landed in the top 20 of the annual sexiest poll are good examples of fitspo. They promote an active and healthy lifestyle to achieve the figure they believe is sexy.

In the next few weeks, the new sexiest woman in the world (or rather in the Philippines) will be named. It will culminate in a whole day general men’s interest expo/convention called Bro Con where fans can meet and greet with this year’s sexiest women apart from seeing them sashay the runway in an “ultimate viewing event.” Feminists call this convention a blatant way to commodify women. But they are not irked because the event defines sexy as purely physical. But of course, this calls for an entirely different story.

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