My idea of sexy

Entertainment has always shaped how I see my world.

The moment in Bedazzled when Brendan Fraser meets Elizabeth Hurley rewired my neural pathways.

That other Liz ingrained herself in this Liz's consciousness as the dictionary definition of sexy.

I loved that movie back when we all still had VHS collections, and I have never forgotten the impact of that simple red dress and Hurley's mysterious and dangerous come-hither look. It was easy to forget the woman was the devil and be enraptured through the whole movie by her complete control of herself, her unflinching confidence and her wicked wit. But that was the whole point, wasn't it?

She was a wild creature with a poised exterior. She sauntered about in red sequined bikinis and leather catsuits but never looked vulgar. She was all plump lips and tick tock hips, smirking and smizing and being so delightfully British. 

Of course, there's a time and a place for that version of sex appeal, and I watched a lot of TV. Looking at my closet and personality now, I must acknowledge that I am who I am in large part because of Fran Drescher.

Why are you laughing? Did you even watch The Nanny? Because if you did, you'd know that when Miss Fine appeared at the top of that regal staircase in some loud, skintight outfit, it was glorious. Fran never looked boring or bored. She was warm, goofy and never changed herself to fit in to anyone else's notions. She had style! She had flair! She was the lady in red when everyone else was wearing tan! She was perfection.

I once had a habit of sitting on people's desks to chat that I'm realizing came straight from Fran. When I would wear heels to work and people would ask how the hell I could walk in those things, I remembered the episode when Fran was trying to talk her date off a ledge and didn't take her heels off before climbing out, because she said it would make her lose her balance completely. I live for my bathrobe and say, "YES! I'm going to wear THAT!" to crazy patterns that my friends side-eye me about. Fran's influence is all over my closet and my sense of humor. While Elizabeth Hurley taught me how to play it cool, Fran Drescher taught me how to embrace all the ways I wasn't cool.

Another lasting influence on my ideas of femininity and smokin' hotness was Shakira. Being of Latin American descent, I grew up listening to Shakira's music long before her crossover in the United States, when she was weirdly marketed as Colombia's version of Britney Spears.

Now, I love me some Britney, but Shakira was not our Britney. In reality, I always thought of her more like the Latin American version of Alanis Morissette. Shakira is a gifted lyricist who really influenced my writing and my taste in music. She never relied on clich├ęs. Her sound wasn't bound to one narrow genre.  She had this amazing mix of bravado and vulnerability when she sang about relationships. She's the reason I took bellydancing classes — I admired what she could do with her body a lot more than how it looked. But while we're on the subject of looks, she's also the reason I was always dyeing my hair crazy colors.

And while I'm glad for her success here because she's so freaking talented, my Shakira will always be this one, before the blonde hair and the Weezy collaborations.

Care to share who you looked up to as the ultimate in sexy? I'd love to hear from you!


  1. Where have you been all my life?

  2. Oh, what a great role model The Nanny. Hope you have a great day!


  3. I've always loved Fran "The Nanny's" style--she wears the craziest stuff and OWNS it!

  4. You have helped me see a new perspective on Fran Drescher :). I was never a huge Nanny fan, but maybe I should have watched it more. The way you describe her is awesome; I am all for dressing how you want and embracing the crazy!

  5. It's worth rewatching a few episodes not just for her. All the characters and the family dynamics rock.