What the phrase “Hot Mess” Means

English: Britney Spears

What the phrase “Hot Mess” Means

The term “Hot Mess” is a really interesting term, and one I had really not thought about much before.  But like many terms, once you learn of them, they find a way to come into reality more and more frequently.  Perhaps also it has a little to do with pop culture today and the media exposure celebrities, sports stars, musicians and others are given.

At first blush the term seems pretty trivial, but as you give it more thought, it actually becomes quite complex and interesting.

One of the reasons I say that is the term can have both positive and negative meaning.  It can and often is used sarcastically.  You usually need to know the context with which the term is used to understand the true meaning.

The term originally was used to describe a person, but has evolved to also be used to describe a situation.

Like many terms, it is hard to give a clear cut definition of the term.  With that in mind, we have included some images below that will perhaps help to explain the term to those of you who are unfamiliar with the term or are looking for concrete examples of what we (and others) are talking about when we use the term.

So, with all of this in mind, we turned our attention to the Urban Dictionary to see what they had to say about the term.  We were rewarded handsomely as there was a number of different definitions using the term in context which helps clearly define this amazing term.  Here are some of the better examples:

“When ones thoughts or appearance are in a state of disarray but they maintain an undeniable attractiveness or beauty.”

and another,

“An attractive person, generally female, that repeatedly engages in situations which could negatively impact his or her social, mental, societal, and legal reputation. Examples include, repeated and excessive alcohol and/or drug consumption, a habit of being ejected from drinking establishments, a general disregard for the law concerning public safety, petty theft from convenience stores/supermarkets, and a voice that is about 3 decibels louder than everyone else.
Friend: Wanna hang out with **** tonight?
You: You know, I love her to death but she’s such a hot mess when she drinks

Friend: I just can’t get that chick out of my head. I mean, I know she’s a total hot mess, but I dig it.
You: Beware”

And Another (Which seems to sum it up nicely)

“When someone’s life is a mess but they are still super hot. ”

Another source we turned to was Wiktionary, which you may also want to check out.  And also you can go to Yahoo Answers and see what they have to say.

Although the term is most often used to refer to females, the term can also be applied to males as well.  Here is an example of a male “Hot Mess”:


Here is Britny Spears, who a few years ago was the perfect definition of a Hot Mess, and in a negative way.

Some clear signs:  Now, Britney Spears is in my opinion normally a really pretty girl, with a smoking hot body, however, in this picture, she somehow makes herself look very unattractive.  Mismatched clothes, ratty hair, no bra, acting strangely, a true “Hot Mess”.

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