The term first used in 1910 or 1911 to describe beautiful silent stars in the then-budding film industry. Danish actor Asta Nielsen was one of the first people to be regarded as a sex symbol. As the film industry grew, so did the number of sex symbols, both male and female.
Types of Sex Symbols
- Charismatic sex symbol: This is a person who is considered "sexy" by the public because of his or her qualities of personality, eloquence, and sometimes a captivating aura of mystery. A charismatic sex symbol does not necessarily need to be physically attractive. Dangerously charismatic political leaders and dictators such as Adolf Hitler are sometimes considered to be sex symbols.
- Sex symbols from film and television: These are people who reach sex-symbol status by their roles in film and television. They are often cast as characters that highlight their sexy qualities. Marilyn Monroe and Raquel Welch are two such people.
- Music industry sex symbols: These are musicians who are popular for their sexual qualities--as much as--if not more so than for their musical talents. Elvis Presley and Madonna are musical sex symbols.
- Teen idols: These are young people who are revered as sex symbols by the youth population. Many teen idols can be found in Boy bands. Others are seen on youth-oriented television stations like MTV or the Disney Channel. Lindsay Lohan is a teen idol.
- Supermodels: Supermodels are perhaps the quintessential sex symbol. They are valued entirely for their physical appearance. Milla Jovovich is a renowned supermodel.
- Fictional sex symbols: These are entirely fictional, or made-up characters who receive the status of sex symbol. Most of these characters are to be found in animation, especially anime, ecchi and hentai. Fictitious sex symbols are also found in video games. Lara Croft is a notable fictitious sex symbol.