Sex symbol: why we are attracted to Damiano David and Aniston

Stfold one irrational feeling – how can it be the attraction towards Damiano David or Jennifer Aniston – with a scientific approach does that sound crazy to you?

And yet, even if the terms semiotics And sex symbol they appear as one unusual “combo”., perhaps they have more in common than you think. According to a study recently released by XChannel, one might be helpful in explaining something about the other.

George Clooney, 60 years of eternal sex symbol

George Clooney, 60 years of eternal sex symbol

According to the results of the research, semiotics would be able to identify in a simple and effective way what is the image of sensuality for individuals.

Let’s take a step back and try to understand, first of all, the meaning of the “sex symbol” formula. The Wikipedia entry says that it is «a famous character, male or female, whether by physical virtues of him capable of arousing sexual attraction in third parties».

The search for XChannel

Then one has to ask: who can be considered as such? Through a questionnaire netnographic (or built with the method of anthropologyi.e. ethnography, to then be disseminated through the network) XChannel asked a sample of web users, made up of men and women between the ages of 24 and 50to answer with four names.

Among the female sex symbols have emerged Jennifer Aniston, Zendaya, Emma Watson and Angelina Jolie. Their male counterparts include, however, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Damiano of Måneskin and Manu Rios (Spanish model and influencer).

The sex symbols voted in 2022 (Credit: XChannel)

The semiotic interpretation

To investigate the reasons and trends that led the sample questioned to give these answers, a approach semiotic. Because semiotics studies the relationship between the sign and the thing to which it refers: for example, an exclamation point on a sign tells us to pay attention, the heart emoji stands for love, and so on.

In order to analyze the results obtained, the semiotic square which, having identified the category of sex symbol, made it possible to articulate it in four positions – through three different relationships: opposition, implication, denial – which also represent some of the more common ones “models” in the field of lovewhen the rules of attraction come into play.

Pitt and Aniston, at the top of the two rankings. (Getty Images)

In ranking, Damian Davidleader of Måneskin, is the paradigm of a new and fluid sex appeal, which Generation Z likes it. Generational it is too Emma Watsonwhich leads a more sophisticated image in the ranking.

With them are faces that come from Netflix or from the small screen: among the most voted there are Manu Rios in the men’s field and Zendaya among women.

Emma Watson. (Getty Images)

Female sex symbol

Starting from the sex symbols to the femalethe relations of opposition between the “types” represented by Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolieunited by one of the most sensational events of the gossip news of recent years (marriage with Brad Pitt), you come almost spontaneously.

So let’s try to explore the semantic field of the contrariety/presupposition relationship between the beautiful and impossible (Angelina Jolie) and the vip next door (Jennifer Aniston), two ways of seeing sensuality at the antipodes.

From this relation one can derive that of the opposites cosmopolitan and multifaceted (Zendaya) versus sexy-intellectual (Emma Watson)which in turn have a relationship of implication or contradiction with the terms that supersede them.

The semiotic squares that explain what attracts us to the sex symbols of 2022. (Credit: XChannel)

Male sex symbol

The same can be done by articulating the opposition man, strong, mature (Brad Pitt) versus the toy boy (Leonardo DiCaprio)with the relative sub-antonyms of the latin-from-the-beach (Manu Rios) compared to rocker-fluid (Damiano David, leader of Maneskin).

The semiotic square of the sex symbol thus takes shape. And, with these explanations, it no longer seems so illogical to explain attraction with science.

Damian David. (Getty Images)

Sound complicated? It’s actually not, because this apparent tangle of logical relationships identifies a mapa “topography of meaning”, four ways to value sensuality by the very well defined individuals and immediately identifiable.

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But perhaps deep down we like to think that the rules of attractionsomehow, even escape from a science that wants to explain them.


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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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