Unclaiming the term “sex symbol” for celebrities

For decades, celebrities have been coined as “sex symbols,” artists admired for their “conspicuous sex appeal.” But is this really what they want to be known for?
Throughout the years we have heard the names: Megan Fox, Scarlett Johanson, Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling. Why? They were labeled as sex symbols. Although it may not seem like a big deal to someone with an outside perspective such as fans who go along with the sexualizing of the celebrity, talking about a person in these types of manner reduces a person’s identity and makes it seem as if they are only valued for their looks rather than what they produce.
Few things change as the years go by but the over-sexualization of celebrities never seems to change. Many don’t speak out or feel as though they will be taken seriously, since it seems as though some people only talk about looks rather than the art that takes time and effort to become what it is.
Every so often, a celebrity who has stepped into the spotlight, no matter the quality of their craft , gets this attention based on appearance from millions of people. Harry Styles for example, has impeccable music but it seems as though he is only talked about for his looks or how he presents himself to the world.
For example, Styles was over-sexualized at this year’s Grammys. Throughout the show, the host Trevor Noah said, “Women throw their panties at him, then he puts them on and then he looks better than they do,” while also noting that, “he is easily the sexiest man.” The host proceeded to say that there was “no competition” when it came to talking about looks. Is this really what you want to hear at an award show that focuses on music? Listen to the artists, appreciate their music, love their words not their attractiveness. They are more than their looks.
In an interview with US Weekly back in 2019, Styles discussed how uncomfortable it is to be known as a sex symbol. In the interview he described the experience saying, “So uncomfortable, I’d say I try to think of it as little as possible because it’s a very strange dynamic thing.” He continued, “It’s also a weird thing to think of about yourself.” Celebrities have had varying reactions to being dubbed sex symbols, but I chose Harry Styles as a focus subject since he is one of the only people who has spoken about how uncomfortable he was for being referred to in this manner. Stop putting celebrities in a position where they have to openly speak about how uncomfortable they are when they shouldn’t be feeling this way at all.