The Sexiest Unsexy People Ever

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Lili Taylor
In 1998’s Girls Town, a thirty-year-old Taylor played a hard-ass seventeen year old with hairsprayed bangs, big overalls and doorknocker earrings, and she was far better than the hardass seventeen year old girls playing themselves. Since then she’s been a vampire, Valerie Solanas, and a crazy babymama on Six Feet Under. Every time you see her, you’re a little bit worried she’s going to jump out on the screen and bite you on the face. Anyone who acts this well has to be crazy, and crazy is sexy.
Snoop Dogg
You’d think this one didn’t have to be pointed out, but then you never read or hear anything about how hot Snoop is. And he’s witty. And then there’s the porn: “With six original music videos and five scenes of raw, uncut and unbelievable backyard fucking, this video satisfies strokers and hip-hop fans alike.” Snoop Dogg satisfies strokers and hip-hop fans alike. Who else can make that claim?
Sharon Osbourne
Whether you can stand to watch The Osbournes or not (and I can, endlessly), you can’t help loving her. She’s funny, cute, swears a lot and is so sweet. She either reminds you of your real mom or you’d trade your real mom in for her in a second. But consider your motivations: do you really just want one of those loving pats on the cheek from her?
Peter Sellers
In the Pink Panther movies, there was always one scene in which Inspector Clouseau found himself in some racy situation with a ridiculously beautiful lady. It was a joke. You were supposed to disbelieve that such a shlub could score like that. I never got that joke.
Abraham Lincoln
Your sixth-grade American History textbook told you that he was homely. That was his thing. JFK was a sexy president. Lincoln? Homely. Bullshit. Abolition aside — and abolition is very sexy — Lincoln was gawky-scrawny-big-nosedly cute one hundred and fifty years before Adrian Brody even thought about trying it.
Sandra Bernhard
The patron saint of unsexy-sexiness, except I never quite saw why. I’d be inclined to credit her with garden-variety sexiness: great body, filthy mouth, etc. etc. But she’s got a big nose, so that confuses some people. For those who want to love Sandra Bernhard, but aren’t sure if they’re allowed to love someone with a big nose, let me clear something up for you. Sandra Bernhard? Sexy.
Duh. He’s a five-foot-tall guy with a pompadour and bullfighter outfits, flicking his tongue at you in serpentine and potentially repulsive ways. But it’s actually pretty appealing. Maybe he doesn’t make you want to do him, but he makes you want to do somebody.
Patti Smith
In Late-’70s New York Punk for Dummies, Debbie Harry and Patti Smith are trotted out as a study in contrasts: one was unfathomably beautiful, singing melodic Blondie songs in a sweet voice; the other was dark and scruffy, shouting inaccessible things about cannibals. So is something wrong with that? Aside from being wicked hot (check out the cover of Horses), Patti has always been kind of loopy, what with thinking she’s Rimbaud and everything.
Shane MacGowan
If it’s wrong to be strangely attracted to a man who lost all his teeth in bar fights and his mind to whiskey, and who is possibly the mangiest-looking person (barely) alive — the guy got kicked off the POGUES for drinking too much, for chrissakes — then I don’t want to be right. Well, I do, but desperate, dilapidated songs like “The Old Main Drag” keep me coming back.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard
Or whatever his name is now. Osiris? Big Baby Jesus? Dirt McGirt? No, it’s Ol’ Dirty Bastard, forever and always, because that’s what he is. In the Wu-Tang Clan, GZA may have called himself the Genius, but it’s ODB who actually was. Combine his lyrical skills with endless legal problems, possible schizophrenia, and the kind of snaggle-teeth that would make MacGowan blush if he still had actual blood in his veins, and you’ve got an excellent, high profile, tortured fixer-upper case. ODB? Sexy.  

©2003 Carrie Hill Wilner and

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Carrie Hill Wilner is a Manhattanite by birth and breeding. Still, she has lived in a lot of places and done a lot of things, and will probably live in others and do more. She is pretty sure she graduated from Columbia, but they never sent her a diploma.