It’s tradition, folks. I can’t give up now, even though this is clearly a) sexist; b) rigged in the most cynical fashion; c) pretty racist; and d) just silly.
I am of course talking about People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive!
I’m once again writing this based off the website, not the actual magazine, because I’m cheap and also because I do not want to be seen buying this issue.
So, first of all, the magazine has organized their sexy men into various lists. They do this every year (lest we forget the “United States of Sexy” of 2014) and it makes recapping that much harder. This year we’ve got:
- the 25 photos of our 25 sexiest men alive – a retrospective of all past winners, to which I can only say “HARRY HAMELIN?”
- the sexiest photos of our sexiest man alive – which is just weird
- 10 sexiest men of the future – which is just gross, because one of them is SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD
- the top 15 sexiest shirtless scenes in film history – invalid, because that scene in “Thor” where Chris Hemsworth pulls on jeans isn’t included
- and the sexiest “man words” around – literally a list of words that have the letters “m-a-n”, like “manatee”
There are other lists but I think I’m done being embarrassed for America, the state of publishing, and my gender for one day. Yeesh.
The “main” list has this year’s winner, plus nine others, and so I’ll be confining my comments to that. Otherwise, this post will be in two parts and bore everyone to tears.
Here we go!
This year’s winner is… David Beckham.
I mean, I guess I can see it. I guess. I like *some* ink, but the sleeves are a bit much. I certainly wouldn’t slam the door in his face if he offered to mow my lawn with his shirt off. I think I’m mostly struggling to understand his immediate relevance. Usually, the ‘sexiest man alive’ is really the ‘sexiest man with a big-budget studio movie coming out this year’. He does nothing for me, personally, but I can see that objectively he is handsome. I’m just left with a big ol’ meh on this one.
Their reasoning for including Justin Timberlake on the list is that he’s become a dad since last year; this automatically ups the “sexy” quotient among hetero ladies of a certain age, and so he’s back. However! Unconfirmed rumour from an “unnamed source” claims that Justin and his wife Jessica Biel are not vaccinating their son, feeling it may cause complications. Refusing to believe reams of proven science in the face of Jenny McCarthy’s unicorn woo? NOT SEXY.
This is Reid Scott. Reid Scott is in Veep, apparently. But… I’ve watched Veep! A bunch of times! I do not recognize this guy… who is he??
Ohhhhhh, he’s THAT guy!
Normally I’m Team Beard but in this case, no. I prefer him clean-shaven. His character on Veep is reprehensible, but they all are, so that’s OK. He’s definitely funny, and I like funny. Again, handsome, but doesn’t make me need to go cool my loins or anything.
Now, this is not a great picture of Idris Elba, but he is a legitimately sexy man and so I approve. What’s cringeworthy about this is that People describes him as “a perennial favourite” – he’s been on the list for the past few years, but never made the cover. Why has he never made the cover?? Too British? Too handsome? Too black? IS HE TOO SEXY FOR THIS MAGAZINE, PEOPLE?? We may never know.*
*It’s because he’s black.
Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie Fraser on the TV series Outlander, based on the wildly-popular historical time travel / heaving bosoms novels by Diana Gabaldon. I tried reading one of those books years ago, hated it, put it down and ran in the opposite direction. Against my will I got drawn into the TV series, and I enjoyed it so much I then started reading the books. I freely admit that a big component of my enjoyment is watching Jamie Fraser leaping through the heather in a kilt and Scottish-accenting all over the place. He IS sexy, he’s a worthy addition to the list, well done, People magazine.
I feel like Justin Theroux gets added every year just so People has an excuse to put Jennifer Aniston’s name in print. Again. And speculate about her marriage and refusal to have children. Again. Because honestly, I still think he looks like a slightly-younger Rob Lowe, which is to say, a Ken doll. Pass.
If I want blond, scruffy, and blue-eyed, I’ll take Chris Hemsworth every time and twice on Sundays. I have never watched Sons of Anarchy but I’m prepared to accept that Charlie Hunnam is one of those people who is sexier on the screen than in still photos. Also, he was supposed to play the dreadful shitstain on the underwear of the universe known as Christian Grey in the 50 Shades of Grey movie, but he (wisely) backed out. Anyone who rejects that piece of abuse-glorifying tripe is a-ok in my book.
This is Jussie Smollet. (Yes, “Jussie”, not “Jessie”. OK.) Apparently he is one of the stars of Empire, on Fox. I have to admit, he’s pretty sexy. Sort of like a cross between pre-Scientology Will Smith and John Legend. I really had no desire to watch Empire before but maybe I’ll check it out.
Also, any man who can successfully wear leather pants and NOT look like a giant tool gets bonus points.
This is, like, the worst picture of Jake Gyllenhal I’ve ever seen. What is going on with his hair? Where are his shoes? Are we honestly supposed to believe that’s what he wears to the beach? Ugh.
I haven’t found him sexy in any role except for as Jack Twist, in Brokeback Mountain, and that probably had more to do with the fact that I find guy-on-guy reasonably enticing than any innate sexiness.
This is Nick Jonas. I have no idea who Nick Jonas is. He’s 23 years old. TWENTY-THREE. That feels uncomfortably young to me. I have many, many possessions older than this young man. Is he handsome? I guess so. His features are reasonably symmetrical and he has nice eyes. But people too young to grow half-decent facial hair just turn me off. I want to tell him what a nice young man he is, not sex him.
And that’s it! That’s the list. If I had to pick one word to sum it up, it would be boring. Very safe choices, in the main, terrible photos, it just feels like they were phoning it in even more than usual this time around.
Come on, People. Own your shit. Do better!