Sweat - it's too sexy for your body.
For one thing, your body doesn't sweat. It perspires. Perspiration has an odor. They don't call deodorants "anti-sweats," do they? No, they call them "antiperspirants."No, sweat belongs on "celebrities"' bodies. Marlon Brando. Chris Isaak. Michael Jordan. Janet Jackson. To paraphrase Will Smith, they make this sweat look "good."
In entertainment and advertising, sweat is sexy for a reason: You can't smell it. It gives you the sense that people are pumped or primed, without giving you the sense that they stink. Sweat looks good, it feels good.
Our proof? These damp moments in movies, music, videos and commercials.
"Cool Hand Luke": No less than the first episode of "Cheers" called this the sweatiest movie ever made. The most memorably sweaty scene finds Paul Newman, George Kennedy and a whole chain gang of now-familiar faces leering at a scantily clad young woman "innocently" washing her car.
"The African Queen:" Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn star in this classic adventure about a boozy boat captain and a missionary who become an unlikely couple. Bogart, especially, sweats so much that his perspiration should get screen credit.
"Body Heat": William Hurt and Kathleen Turner generated enough heat in this Southern noir to make entire audiences sweat.
"A Streetcar Named Desire": A sweaty Marlon Brando, when he was still something to look at, and his torn T-shirt raise Vivien Leigh's temperature in Tennessee Williams' N'Awlins story. Years later, Brando would produce sweat of a much different kind in "Apocalypse Now."
"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof": Sweat master Paul Newman (see "Cool Hand Luke") works up some steam with Elizabeth Taylor (who's never looked hotter) in another of Williams' feverish Southern tales.
"Flashdance": Jennifer Beals works up a sweat as a hot-looking young welder/nightclub dancer/wannabe ballerina/boss-dater. "Anyone" would sweat if they were this busy.
Honorable mention: It's not sexy, but Albert Brooks' flop-sweat scene in "Broadcast News" is probably the biggest case of perspiration in movie history.
Sweat to the beat
"Cold Sweat," James Brown: The hardest-sweating man in show business sings "You got me - `huh!' - in a cold sweat!"
"When Doves Cry," Prince: Maybe the best song to ever come from a bad movie ("Purple Rain"), it contains the lines: "Dig if u will the picture/Of u and I engaged in a kiss/The sweat of your body covers me/Can u my darling/Can u picture this?" Even though Prince can be sexy, nobody ever said he was a great speller.
"Need You Tonight," INXS: Michael Hutchence sings "I need you tonight/'cause I'm not sleeping/
There's something about you girl/
That makes me sweat."
"Dancing With Myself," Billy Idol: Even sneering, bleached-blond Mohawked rock stars get lonely sometimes, but Billy seems to enjoy it: " . . . Oh, world's all wet/ . . . I'm gonna sweat" (repeat 18 times). A little too much information, Billy.
"Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)," C1/4+C Music Factory: The title says it all in this 1990 hit.
Honorable mention: "Sweatin' to the Oldies," Richard Simmons' collection of aerobicized dinosaur rock.
Spots of sweat (Sweat in advertising)
Diet Coke: The commercial was called "11:30 Break," and it gave Lucky Vanous his 15 seconds of fame as a construction worker who doffs his shirt and downs Diet Coke, much to the delight of some women in a nearby office looking out a window.
Gatorade: The campaign's called "Blood, Sweat and Tears" and features athletes sweating in Gatorade colors.
Zima: A sweaty guy drinks Zima, and then, King Midas-style, he freezes everything he touches. It must've been "really" hot for him to drink this bland junk.
Honorable mention: Country singer Sammy Kershaw once planned to bottle his sweat and market it as cologne. OK, so this is a product, not an ad.