“That’s hot” was first popularized by Paris Hilton to describe anything she considers cool/cute/in fashion. Decades later, Gen Z is reclaiming what “hot” means- and giving the catchphrase a less superficial and more purposeful definition.
She Talks Asia talked to several Gen Zs who shared their perspective on what the word “hot” means to them, and their advice to young women seeking to redefine the norms and expectations set by society.
Susan Ho, 19
I define the word “hot” as someone who has manners, intelligence and personality. Simply because what matters most is what’s inside. A person could be called beautiful for having a cheerful personality, or having a beautiful smile. For me a person who knows to be respectful like a simple thank you to our kuyas and ates who open the doors or waiters and waitresses Is what I consider as “hot”.
Always remember that beauty is subjective and in my eyes, you and everyone else around you are beautiful. Just because society says you have to look a certain way or act a certain way to be considered beautiful doesn’t mean you have to change because it is only through your eyes that you may be able to change what beauty is to you.
Jealeka Abesamis, 22
For me, being "hot" encompasses more than just the physical or sexual aspect of an individual. Your emotional maturity, personality, and way of thinking are the things that make you attractive. For instance, mentally attractive people are not necessarily those who are "smart" in the objective sense. They aren't always the brightest and the most intelligent in academics. Instead, they possess unique qualities that we can’t see in someone physically or sexually attractive.
Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and strive to reach your full potential. It’s not easy going against norms that have long been established and ingrained in our society, but it will all be worthwhile. Just continue to be the woman you want to become and don’t let society dictate what you’re capable of.
Janina Buenaflor, 19
As being hot for me is equivalent to being who I am. As basic as you are, you can be hot . That's all there is to it when you possess certain qualities that cause others to like you. you are able to draw people to you because of your inherent human qualities. Simply being yourself will help you attract their attention. In particular, if you have the ability to influence people to act morally, these people will perceive you as a charismatic person who motivates them to do so. what really makes you hot is the natural and good energy you can give to people and that is by simply being yourself.
It will always be OK to redefine the norms. So, if you're a part of Generation Z and trying to change the world into a better one, keep sharing the message that you have. We, the younger generations, are the eternal hope. Therefore, stand up and make your stances in life heard.
Jessa Regencia, 20
I think it’s time we let the definition of the word ‘hot’ transcend that aspect. Even pop culture affects how ‘hot’ a person can be. As part of Gen Z, I think most of us are familiar with the current culture in music, the internet, and even fashion. And when these interests align, or as we say, when “we vibe,” it definitely makes a person hot. Some people are just hot in a very ‘wholesome’ way, for lack of a better word. Ultimately, it's a mixture of my taste in people when it comes to physical, interpersonal, and intellectual aspects.
● Be independent. Build your personality isolated from the fads and pressures of our society. There’s nothing more freeing than being confident in the way you present yourself without having to think whether most people around you approve of it.
● Labels are temporary. Language is ever-changing and labels get redefined every now and then. Don’t box yourself into one or two of these labels; don’t get pressured into conforming to their definitions as of the moment.
● Find the things you truly enjoy and feel comfortable in and start from there. You can’t do the two things I mentioned if you’re uncertain of what you’re comfortable with. Be open to changes, try new things, and feel yourself. If you’re not enjoying it or you’re just doing it for the sake of other people, you might want to reconsider.
● It’s okay to be different. We have been shamed for being different in many ways since time immemorial. Well, newsflash: we’re supposed to be different! Where’s the fun in being the same as everyone else?
Written by Sonya Go