I was reading a friend's blog post on how she gets offended when someone uses the word 'hot' to describe a woman. She is not unique, I know many people like that.
I was at RIS when a hawker at a stall in the bazaar, while talking to a female friend of mine, described her a hot Trinidadian. Now this was in an Islamic conference! And of course my friend was all indignant and angry.
Moreover, when told about behaviour of aunties when picking brides for their wives, where the aunties would display the pictures of prospects on a table and then pick and choose, based on beauty alone, girls usually start foaming around the mouth.
"Hah, what about personality, what about this, that..."
Let me add my two cents here as a man.
Every man wants a hot wife. There. Now you know. I would love my future wife to be hot (for me alone). I would love to compose poems for her beautiful eyes or hair or whatever. I would love her to come sashaying down the stairs in a beautiful dress (be it a Western dress - shoulders covered of course, or be it a beautiful lahenga or a sari, or even the lowly shalwar kameez, or be it just a T-shirt) but every man wants a physically attractive wife. In other words - hot.
Now beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. While one may like long hair, another may like a curvaceous figure while yet another may prefer a tall, lanky girl, while others may base their criterion on voice, and so on. You will notice these are all physical attributes.
One thing girls forget about aunties selecting girls based on looks is that these girls have already been pre-screened by other factors. For example those girls would have been daughters of their friends, or some close relative, or of similar education, wealth and social standing, etc. In other words, similar mentality and compatible background. You know, for example a girl a university degree is bound to be smart, and so on. So looks are secondary. I have always told my parents I don't care (much) for looks, a girl has to be a good girl. Decent values. She doesn't even need to like Hindi movies. Most important is that we click.
Also, what about girls? Don't girls look for "presentability"? As in 'my guy has to be presentable'. He has to be tall. Smartly dressed. Not have a FOB-by accent. Rich is very good.
Of course girls are not superficial here. No no, then they are looking for "stability". Which is good for a marriage. As opposed to us men who are just superficial chauvinistic pigs who just want a doll. Sure.
I used to think girls who used to say "guys are superficial if they concentrate on looks" are ugly themselves. That opinion has changed as I met - "hot" - women who think similarly. So why do they get offended at the word "hot"?
As a guy, if some girl called me hot I would not mind (hehe) but I am comfortable with my body. Although when I go to the gym I am thinking of Shiney Ahuja (that's the body I want to build since John Abraham is now out of reach with his long hair - for those of you on my MSN list wondering what "Project John Abraham Failed" meant this was it).
I find it's usually girls who I consider 'hot' are not the ones that are physically the most attractive but those that are comfortable in their own skins.