Good-Looking Privates

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Not what you think it means, although they may well possess them...

There's something about a man—or a woman—in uniform. It's not just due to Hollywood's inability to cast unattractive people; something about the cut, colors and symbolism of military drag can bump a person up a couple of points on the hotness meter.

For one thing, uniforms are designed to look uniform, so that troops look good en masse. Dress uniforms are deliberately tailored to create a neat-but-athletic look; tactically practical battle uniforms are less pretty, but have their own appeal...yes, even on females.

It's the martial equivalent of She Cleans Up Nicely. Compare Fair Cop, Hot Men At Work and Firemen Are Hot. While traditionally a result of a Female Gaze, that's rapidly changing.

Keep in mind, this is NOT just "hot actor in a military uniform." There must be an in-story acknowledgement that the person is better looking because of the uniform.

Examples of Good-Looking Privates include:


  • In Eyes Wide Shut Nicole Kidman makes her husband Tom Cruise jealous when she reveals that she has fantasies about a Naval officer in dress whites she met when their family was on vacation.
  • Taking Chance: Lampshaded by a girl in the seat next to Lt. Colonel Strobl, texting about the "HOT Soldier" sitting next to her.[1]


  • Hostile Takeover has Commander Marc Davidoff, Space Marine and Ace Pilot. Though he's heir to one of the largest oligarchies in the galaxy, and as athletic as you would expect from a man of his job description, CC notes he's not really as handsome as her social-climber fiance. It's Davidoff's blunt manner, spiffy uniform and dedication to duty that make him so attractive.
  • Pride and Prejudice: Some major sub-plots are driven by the arrival of the ___shire militia to Netherfield. Mainly, Kitty and Lydia go bananas trying to flirt with all the officers, and completely lose interest in any man not wearing a red coat.

Live-Action TV

  • In The One With The Chicken Pox episode of Friends, a shore leave visit by Phoebe's submariner old flame gets the group discussing the appeal of a uniform. Inspired, Ross later treats Rachel by getting hold of some Navy whites and attempting the "An Officer and a Gentleman" carry out.
  • Rory Williams from Doctor Who - Adorkable in civvies (or his nurse's scrubs), but totally Badass in any uniform, be it museum security guard, modern combat fatigues or particularly his signature Roman centurion outfit. In "A Christmas Carol", he's dressed as the last one for his honeymoon, so clearly Amy loves it too.


  • Lampshaded and Double Subverted in Patience. None of the female cast are remotely interested in the Dragoons, instead swooning after the poets Bunthorne and Grosvenor, because aestheticism is all the rage. The soldiers wonder why their uniforms are no longer effective at conquering women, and they only start winning the ladies back when they start to dress and act like aesthetic poets. When Grosvenor gives up the aesthetic game, the women who were chasing after him have a sudden change in taste and go back to the soldiers to whom they were originally engaged.

Video Games

  • In Devil Survivor 2 Daichi generally tends to be lecherous in general, but aside from hitting on Io (who's his own age), who he gives up on about of third of the way through the game, the first older woman he hits on is JP's commander Yamato Hotsuin's Right-Hand Hottie Makoto, to the point she is very creeped out and wonders if he's okay.

Web Original

  • Quite a few web forums out there - there are least two military discussion forums that have dedicated threads on the subject (with only full-clothed pictures generally allowed) and one dedicated blog.

Real Life

  • There is a Polish saying, roughly translated: "all girls want uniform-wearing boys". 'Nuff said.[2]
  • During Operation Desert Storm, the Today show featured a live interview with a U.S. Air Force Colonel (who was roughly Katie Couric's age at the time). When they sent it back to Katie and Bryant, Katie said, "Can you put the Colonel back on? Hubba hubba!"
    • During the same war Cher came back from entertaining the troops to announce that America had the cutest armed forces in the world - including the girls!
  • Meredith Viera of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? totally loses her cool over a handsome Sailor contestant. In her defense... golly. See for yourself.
  1. Strobl leans over and corrects her: He's a Marine.
  2. No known female version probably due to the fact that war used to be a man's job.