Boy Meets Girl Kirsten Dunst is Girl Hot. Bar Refaeli is Boy Hot. Let’s talk about the difference—and which one YOU aspire to

Kirsten Dunst Cannes 2011 Kirsten Dunst is Girl Hot. Bar Refaeli is Boy Hot. Lets talk about the difference—and which one YOU aspire to

Okay, maybe “hot” isn’t the correct adjective for Kirsten Dunst. Cute? I think so. Because I’m a girl, and girls enjoy things like red lipstick, shoulder-length haircuts, bejewelled hair accessories and mustard-yellow dresses.

Boys, on the other hand, as we discussed a few weeks back when examining the most man-repelling beauty trends, have… ahem… simpler tastes. Sure, there are a few outliers who actually LIKE IT when you wear griege nail polish, purple eyeshadow, orange lipstick and a top knot—all at once!—but I think it’s safe to say that some looks are more universally appreciated.

Not that I think you need to consider men at all when you do your hair, makeup and wardrobe. But you might want to, so let’s talk about this.

Like I said, Kirsten, seen here on the red carpet at Cannes, is one of the best celebrity examples of Girl Hot:

Kirsten Dunst Cannes 2011 2 Kirsten Dunst is Girl Hot. Bar Refaeli is Boy Hot. Lets talk about the difference—and which one YOU aspire to

With her blonde hair and blue eyes, it would be so easy for her to do the more conventional Boy Hot. In fact, she has, in the past. I think this is from the Spider-Man era:

kirsten dunst Kirsten Dunst is Girl Hot. Bar Refaeli is Boy Hot. Lets talk about the difference—and which one YOU aspire to

You won’t see this Kirsten on the red carpet anytime soon. Now it’s all about the quirky. Mostly in the clothing choices, but it’s reflected beauty-wise, too: the shorter hair, the unusual makeup (remember this silvery grey eyeshadow?), the slight imperfection. Just like fellow Girl Hot contemporaries Chloë Sevigny:

Chloe Sevigny glasses Kirsten Dunst is Girl Hot. Bar Refaeli is Boy Hot. Lets talk about the difference—and which one YOU aspire to

and Maggie Gyllenhaal:

Maggie Gyllenhaal Kirsten Dunst is Girl Hot. Bar Refaeli is Boy Hot. Lets talk about the difference—and which one YOU aspire to

Get what I mean? Girl Hot is kind of a lifestyle thing. Those in this camp appreciate these celebs because of what they wear, first and foremost, and also what they represent—namely, not the mainstream. And if you are very into fashion, then chances are you’re probably Girl Hot. (In fact, this entire post idea is borrowed from my most stylish friend, who likes to describe herself as not only “Girl Hot,” but also “an acquired taste” and “a niche market.”)

Then there is Boy Hot. And, well, there’s no better example than a lingerie model. Here’s Leo’s ex, Bar Refaeli, at Cannes:

Bar Refaeli Cannes 2011 Kirsten Dunst is Girl Hot. Bar Refaeli is Boy Hot. Lets talk about the difference—and which one YOU aspire to

Here’s a close-up of her nails, by the way:

Bar Refaeli Cannes 2011 2 Kirsten Dunst is Girl Hot. Bar Refaeli is Boy Hot. Lets talk about the difference—and which one YOU aspire to

Bar was joined by Victoria’s Secret model Doutzen Kroes:

Doutzen Kroes Cannes 2011 Kirsten Dunst is Girl Hot. Bar Refaeli is Boy Hot. Lets talk about the difference—and which one YOU aspire to

And here are HER nails:

Doutzen Kroes Cannes 2011 2 Kirsten Dunst is Girl Hot. Bar Refaeli is Boy Hot. Lets talk about the difference—and which one YOU aspire to

Okay, so let’s break this down:
Long—very long—hair? Check.
No bangs? Check. (Bangs tend to fall in the Girl Hot camp.)
Tone-on-tone, barely visible highlights? Check.
Fresh skin with possibly the barest hint of bronzer? Check.
Full brows with softly shaded smoky eyes? Check.
Nude and/or glossy lips? Check.
Understated nail polish? Check.
Pouty pose for the cameras? Check.

And there you have the recipe for Boy Hot gorgeousness. (It helps to be born with the features of a supermodel, obvs.) Notice, if you will, that there are absolutely NO detectable trends here. These ladies could be in 2011, or 2001—you really wouldn’t be able to to tell the difference.

Now, as a beauty editor it’s a little bit heart-wrenching to examine the entire notion of Girl Hot and Boy Hot, because as you know, we rarely meet a beauty trend we don’t like. (Even if most eds stick with pretty bare-ish faces and simple hair…most of the time. Although the bright lipstick trend has certainly changed that.)

That said, I think I’m ready to embrace a bit more Boy Hot after dabbling for so long in Girl Hot land. Blame it on meeting Carmindy and learning of her preference for subtly enhanced eye makeup over the coral lipstick I showed up with. I also followed my own advice about cutting your hair to a bob, or at least a lob… and now I can’t wait until it grows. And, well, you know how I feel about yellow nail polish.

Tell me:

Who are YOUR favourite examples of Girl Hot versus Boy Hot?
Which side are you on?
And which side do you aspire to—or does it depend on the situation?

25 Comments

Thomas
Wednesday, May 18/2011 at 1:30 pm

I always liked how Kirsten Dunst was never a convential hollywood type, she was never TOO blonde, never too tanned, you could always see her face through the makeup… etc. Also, how unfair is it that Bar Refaeli can have an inch-or-so of brown roots (not to mention the name ‘Bar’…) and still look so jaw-droppingly beautiful? Doutzen Kroes really is perfect though. Nuff sed.

Huge fan, fellow blonderexic Thomas xx

P.S. Was recently mamed by hairdresser – hair so short at back that all blonde was chopped off. Not happy. Two tone, teeny, tacky madness.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, May 23/2011 at 5:50 pm

Yes I’m more Team Doutzen than Team Bar here, but the fact that Bar can rock the visible roots and it doesn’t even bother me is… impressive.

Sad your hair got butchered! It happens to the best of us. So you just had blonde ends? What colour is it now?

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Thomas
Tuesday, May 24/2011 at 2:28 am

WELL. Since my hair is mens hair, (i.e. quite short) she wacked a whole load of the back making it completely brown and at the front because of my layers my roots are showing through the blonde, so it’s a ver strange, two toned patchy affair… Sooo, to compensate since I simply cannot afford a set of highlights just for them to be chopped off every 6 weeks, I have bought (shock horror!) a bleach and golden blonde dye kit! Yes, with my mothers help I am attempting it myself! Wish me luck! :D

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Kharina
Wednesday, May 18/2011 at 1:39 pm

You are so bang on right there. The girl hot is definitely more towards to fashion conscious, ie yellow nail varnish and orange lipstick. Boy hot will forever be, long unfussy hair, smokey eye and nude lips. Oh and cleavage. Even if you are sporting a pair of harem pants and your top is showing some of your puppies, you’re a-okay. ;)
Emma Watson since she cut her hair has fallen straight into the girl hot category, which is nuts, but men keep calling her a “boy” now, which is so unfair. Boy hot? Keira Knightley if we stick to British beauties, she doesn’t goes avant garde on the makeup front and is rarely seen without smokes around her eyes.
Personally, I like to mix it up. Life is too short to stick to one category and different situations require different looks. :)

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, May 23/2011 at 5:52 pm

I feel like Keira is one of the rare ones that can go either way… You’re right, she doesn’t really experiment at all with makeup but her hair is probably more Girl Hot than Boy Hot right now. (Although I’m a girl and I’m not even a fan of that bob!)

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thechicstorm
Wednesday, May 18/2011 at 2:31 pm

Niche. ‘Nuff said.

Girl hot: Kate Bosworth
Guy hot: Blake Lively

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, May 23/2011 at 5:53 pm

Totes!

PS – I am so glad Blake is with Leo in Cannes and has stayed away from our boy Gosling.

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QuiteLight
Wednesday, May 18/2011 at 3:23 pm

Swing wildly back & forth. Boy Hot – less work for tall blondes like me. I do smoky eye & forget lips all the time. However, tend to dress a bit starkly (fitted, but minimalist, full coverage, not exactly boy bait), & when I do Act Up with fashion, definitely swing Girl Hot.

But I argue red lips are BOTH. Guys stare when I do work up to red lips! & Most guys think lipstick is by definition red.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, May 23/2011 at 5:56 pm

Yes I was reading something the other day (after I wrote this) about how darkening our lips is meant to mimic the labia. Yes. You read that right. Hmmm…

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Alexandra
Thursday, May 19/2011 at 12:05 am

Hi Michelle! I know this is soooo off topic, but can you do an article about Dianna Agron who just recently chopped her hair off? I really love it! And I think you should write an article for her just like you did when Emma Watson chopped her hair off. Thank you for listening to me! :D

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Becca
Thursday, May 19/2011 at 9:23 am

Hmm, I don’t know, I think it’s actually a bit unfair to pigeonhole men’s & women’s taste like that. My husband, sweet guy that he is, tells me he doesn’t care how I wear my hair, but it’s pretty obvious that he overwhelmingly prefers it when it’s on the shorter side. And I know more than a few girls who, right around the time that Angelina Jolie’s career was blowing up, were like, “I’m not interested in women, but I soooo would with Angie!”. I’ve never heard a girl say that about someone like, say, Michelle Williams, whom I think is substantially more foxy than Angelina Jolie has ever been. As with anything, it’s a matter of personal taste. That being said, I do have an inkling that traditional gender roles probably influence the notion of girl-hot vs. guy-hot. Anyone who ever watched a pop-psych program on TLC back when it was still The Learning Channel knows that men are “supposed” to be attracted to long hair, clear skin, and voluptuous curves because they are signifiers of health and fertility… it seems to me like the men who are only attracted to that specific type of woman are the same kind of men who expect their women to crank out a lot of babies, keep the dishes clean, and not do much else. Maybe it’s less girl-hot vs. guy hot than it is progressive-hot vs. neanderthal-hot. As for which type I, personally, strive to be like, I can’t really say I put that much thought into it. I wear what I like without much regard for what other people will think of it. I hope this comment doesn’t sound like an endless criticism, because I do think this is a fun topic, but at the same time, I think there’s room for further thought on the matter that provokes an interesting conversation. At least, it’s interesting to me, haha!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, May 23/2011 at 6:04 pm

I think what we’re attracted to can be a bit of both – biological AND socially conditioned. I wouldn’t at all say it’s a neanderthal thing to appreciate a woman’s good skin, lustrous hair etc… those are cues of health and fertility and they’re hard-wired in our systems, nothing wrong with that. But at the same time personal taste is HUGE and so I appreciate where you’re coming from regarding men who appreciate less mainstream beauty. I think there is room for both! But yeah… for a blog post I’m of course generalizing. Plus I would say it’s a safe bet that Victoria’s Secret has done enough market research on “Boy Hot” for the selection of their supermodels :-)

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Ainsley
Thursday, May 19/2011 at 12:16 pm

I’d love to be Girl Hot, but I think I was born to be Boy Hot.

I look silly if I try to be cute or quirky.. I’m more of a Giselle than a Zooey, let’s say.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, May 23/2011 at 6:04 pm

Lucky you!

I think all girls have a crush on Zooey…

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Kathy
Thursday, May 19/2011 at 2:19 pm

My hubby thinks Tina Fey is hot…but she is sooo boring and soo safe (to me)….he likes long hair, with subtle highlights…natural make up …..me I think I should have been a drag queen! I like to try trends at the RPRT (right place -right time) and like unconventional beauty. Girl hot to me is Agnes Deyn. But I have also always thought Drew Barrymore was stunning and also a little different ….although in her Cover Girl ads she does come off as Boy Hot.

I tend to cycle though looks, hair styles, make up …I hate doing the same thing every day. I can’t imagine being just one type of Hot all the time!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, May 23/2011 at 6:06 pm

Aw, I kinda like that your husband digs Tina Fey! I find her style safe and boring too but she’s much more of an achievable, normal look than, say, Megan Fox!

I agree, Drew Barrymore can go either way. Although thank goodness we’ve seen the last of that two-tone hair…

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Lime
Thursday, May 19/2011 at 10:24 pm

Doutzen is girl AND guy hot. She has a sweet face. Beautiful and sexy without being trashy, like Bar.

I’m really digging Kirsten’s look by the way.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, May 23/2011 at 6:07 pm

Yeah, Doutzen is kinda more innocent-looking than Bar.

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Meeka
Friday, May 20/2011 at 6:23 am

I definitely fall into the boy hot category. I’ve never been able to pull off cute and quirky sadly. I think the best style is a mix of both though. Go for the boy hot but add in a girl hot quirk or two.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, May 23/2011 at 6:08 pm

Yep, agree! Maybe with shoes! :-)

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Lisa
Monday, May 30/2011 at 11:54 am

Agree completely. I have always longed to be cute and quirky, but sadly, it doesn’t work on me. I tend to do wear a pretty classic style (aka Boy-Hot) with an accessory or two of Girl Hot to mix it up. I will say that my hubby has never had anything negative to say about my style- even when I know I don’t look that great! One time I was wearing this acid green nail polish from American Apparel. I got soooo many compliments on this nail colour from females- the most compliments I think I’ve ever received on my nails! And then one day, my husband jokingly said to me, “Do you really think that that nail polish is nice?” He’s the sweetest guy ever, and wasn’t being mean, but the colour is a bit ugly, I’ll admit. But sometimes ugly is interesting.

Anyway…. that was the one time I have truly recognized the spilt between Boy Hot and Girl Hot. Acid green nail polish from American Apparel? Definitely Girl Hot.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, June 26/2011 at 2:34 pm

Well maybe if you wore the nail polish with some of the skimpy outfits those AA models wear… then it would be Boy Hot! :-)

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marta
Wednesday, June 8/2011 at 9:31 am

I must be a boy then :P

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clara
Friday, June 14/2013 at 3:13 pm

So two things this brought up for me:

While a certain look of boy-hotness is an obvious choice to fall back on when you’re looking to pick up a dude,I wonder if it might be more appealing to certain types of men. Like sports bar/dance club types.
I’ve never dated a manly-men. I tend to go for more androgynous types. And all the men I’ve dated LOVE my red lips, pale skin, well chosen bold nail color, sometimes crazy hair [my little pony hair when I was in middle school? check. bleach blonde dreads? check? Gray-blonde hair five years ago? Check.] and fashion forward outfits. The guys I date tend to like someone who who knows what they like, and feels good dressing for themselves.
As for the ladies, its interesting notice some of the commenters mentioning how the girl-hot girls are cute but maybe not HOT a la Angelina Jolie [or my fave- Monica Bellucci]. I wonder if this might have to do with more finding the girl-hot types to be the one you want in your corner – your best friend- where as some some of the other more blatantly sexy types register not only to men but women as well, in a sort of alpha-female way?
I myself have been wearing bright lipsticks for way to long now… and I have this terrible ocd thing with not wearing what everyone else is wearing. I’m honestly kinda embarrassed by it. So anyway, after years of talkin’ sh*t about the smokey look, I’m currently trying to master it, and having a hell of a time. Waaaay more difficult then get right then given credit for!

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Julia
Tuesday, February 18/2014 at 3:25 pm

In my opinion jessica alba is that one peron who is perfectly both boy and girl hot.

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