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Too Sexy? A Mathematical Analysis of The Sexiness Of Right Said Fred
The key to analysing whether or not Right Said Fred is too sexy is to understand precisely what is being claimed in the song’s lyrics. It is not being claimed, for example, that Right Said Fred is sexier than his shirt (ie S(Right Said Fred) > S(shirt), where S is a ‘sexiness’ function). The claim is that Right Said Fred is too sexy for his shirt.
To claim that a person is too sexy for an object is equivalent to saying that there is a set of people who could conceivably be associated with the object, and that this one particular person is sexier than all members of that set of people. (Yes, I know Right Said Fred is technically a group of people — I’m using the name ‘Right Said Fred’ interchangeably with the first-person ‘I’ of the song. Because that’s just how I roll.)
In mathematical terms, S(Right Said Fred) > max(S(p) | p is an element of A(O)), where A(O) represents the set of all people who can be associated with object O and S is the previously defined ‘sexiness’ function. For objects such as his shirt, his car and his cat, this representation doesn’t provide assistance. There is not enough information to determine what set of people might associate with these objects, and hence what people might be surpassed by Right Said Fred in terms of sexiness.
However, the claim of being too sexy for Milan, New York and Japan does help quantify Right Said Fred’s sexiness. It is reasonable to say that an inhabitant of a place has an association with that place. Hence, Right Said Fred is sexier than the total population of all three of those places. (For if they contained a person sexier than Right Said Fred, that person would, by definition, also be too sexy for their city or country and would have to leave.) At the time of the song’s release (1992), the total population of the areas we’re considering were: Milan (~3 million), New York (~7.3 million), Japan (~124.2 million). This gives a total minimum population of approximately 135 million people in 1992 who were surpassed in the sexiness stakes by Right Said Fred.
If we assume, as seems reasonable, that these locations have a distribution of sexiness that is not significantly different to the population of any randomly chosen set of 135 million people, then Right Said Fred can be safely classified as being at least in the top 0.0000007% of sexy people in the world. This is, by any definition, very sexy. But is it too sexy?
Let’s go a little further. Throughout the film clip for the song, as Right Said Fred assesses that he is too sexy for objects he is associated with, he discards them. He tears off his shirt, he tosses his hat away and so forth. Finally, it is assessed that he is too sexy for the very song he is singing, and it is terminated abruptly. However, while Right Said Fred can discard his clothing and thereby remove his association with it, it is not so simple for him to disassociate from the song. The song is not the same as his hat or his shirt. In fact, given its ‘one hit wonder’ status, it can be argued that Right Said Fred is inextricably associated with the song.
As we have seen, to be too sexy for the song is to be sexier than everyone associated with the song. But, given that Right Said Fred can’t extricate his own association from the song, he is effectively claiming that he is sexier than himself. This can only be reconciled if Right Said Fred is infinitely sexy. And that is, by any sane definition, too sexy.