Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Is Jennifer Aniston the most beautiful woman of 2016?

I’m sure whenever a group of people sit down for a lovely dinner these days the conversation naturally gets around to Jennifer Aniston being named PEOPLE Magazine’s most beautiful woman of 2016. And that’s usually followed by “Huh?”

Nothing against Jennifer Aniston, and attractive she is – adorable even – but THE most beautiful woman of 2016?

Of course there’s the larger question – why even have such a competition?

But PEOPLE does and people care. Or at least buy the magazine. Or at the very least discuss it over dessert. (Note: if Jennifer Aniston is the FIRST topic at your group dinner that’s a cry for help.)

The conversation naturally drifts to “If not Jennifer then who?” For the next ten minutes candidates are suggested and there’s rarely any consensus. Jessica Alba? Guys- yes, girls-no. Keira Knightley got some votes. J-Lo?  Meh.  I mentioned Katy Perry and was roundly shot down. Margot Robbie got some love. So did Scarlett Johansson. A couple of Olivia’s received honorable mention – Wilde & Munn. There was also some thought that Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek were the same person. At our table, Charlize Theron got the ultimate nod.

Now yes, this is all very objectifying, but the alternative is politics. Plus, within nano-seconds, the topic extends to who’s the sexiest guy? This leads to a ten minute very heated debate over Bradley Cooper. In my group, Ryan Gosling collected the most super delegates. I, meanwhile, received zero votes.

I’m sure these conversations have been going on since the beginning of time. ("Mona Lisa?  Really?  She's built like a tank.")  Certainly since the start of movie fan magazines. I think the only difference now is that we’re more enlightened and feel a pang a guilt. But not to where we drop the subject and go on to something else.

Congratulations Charlize & Ryan.

50 comments:

Peter said...

Olivia Munn all the way! She is beyond gorgeous. She was the only good thing about the painfully unfunny Ride Along 2.

Runner-up: Melissa Benoist.

Mitchell Hundred said...

Personally, I think it's a meaningless debate. Attractiveness is a subjective quality, so when people say that a given person is beautiful, they're really only saying they think that person is beautiful. In a lot of cases, the things I find attractive don't align with what society finds attractive. And that's the result of a problem with society, not me.

VP81955 said...

As long as shopgirls and receptionists focus on her overblown personal life, Jennifer Aniston will grace magazine covers (headed by TimeWarner, which has corporately logrolled her and "Friends" for more than two decades). If I go see "Mother's Day," it'll be for Kate Hudson, not for Jen.

Charlize Theron would be a good choice; so would the equally ethereal, if aging, Michelle Pfeiffer. I doubt Aniston will be anywhere as attractive when she turns 58.

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

How about "the most beautiful person - on the inside" contest.
no?

Markus said...

Of course, the real cry for help on a larger scale is the fact that bullshit magezines like this even exist.

Allan V said...

It's a (very) superficial way to remind people that "Yes, People magazine is still actually out there selling magazines". But at least it helps keep the people who airbrush imperfections out of cover model's faces pay their bills.

Alan C said...

What I find amusing about People's most beautiful woman sexiest man features is that they have one "sexiest man alive" for the English-speaking readership, while People En Espanol has a completely different one--"El Hombre Mas Sexy del Mundo!"

Mike said...

No, never had a conversation like that ever. And the nearest I can recall was a magazine article that concluded that Ginger Spice would be your best bet.

Mike Barer said...

I think it was Sandra Bullock last year. Although I think Sandra is pretty, it seemed like an odd choice.

Paul Gottlieb said...

Isn't it an amazing coincidence that every year both the "Most Beautiful Woman" and the "Sexiest Man" titles are won by show business insiders who employ highly paid publicists. Why it's almost as if that incredibly sexy hunk working in a gas station in Paducah Kentucky, or that stunningly beautiful waitress in Allentown were never really in the running

Pat Reeder said...

They should be honest and call this "People Magazine's Celebrity With The Most Powerful Press Agent of 2016."

Anthony said...

Of course it's all a meaningless angle for the magazine to score an exclusive interview with Aniston, but since they've been doing Sexiest Man Alive for 30 years, sure, why not give equal treatment to the ladies? My personal vote would be Anna Kendrick, but shoutout to Zooey Deschanel, Kacey Musgraves, Margot Robbie, and Amber Stevens West too.

Kirk said...

Usually when People does that, it's because the person in question happens to be hot at the moment (they can't just be honest like Rolling Stone magazine and simply use the term "hot".) Except I'm not sure that applies this time. Aniston has a new movie coming out on Friday, one directed by Gary Marshall, who has a very good track record. So maybe it's in anticipation of her being hot, as well as beautiful.

Greg Ehrbar said...

All I know is that Miss Yvonne is the most beautiful woman in all of Puppetland.

H Johnson said...

Since you asked... No

Aloha

Joseph Scarbrough said...

Hasn't PEOPLE already named her the most beautiful woman of the year a few times before?

Better yet, my main question is this: how much longer is she going to keep playing the same thirtysomething, unlucky-at-love, hopeless romantic role she keeps playing in almost every movie she does? I guess as long as Will Ferrell is going to keep playing the same one-dimensional, unlikeable, jerkass, sketch show character type role.

thomas tucker said...

Ridiculous. Everyone knows my wife is the most beautiful.
Hi, dear!

Jeff Parker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DwWashburn said...

As many have mentioned, it's all subjective. But Aniston was not even the most beautiful woman on "Friends". That was Courteney Cox before she screwed herself up with plastic surgery.

Peter said...

On a different note, I am bursting with excitement at the forthcoming return of Twin Peaks. The full cast list of 217 names was unveiled yesterday and among the expected names were a few not so expected, like Jim Belushi and Richard Chamberlain.

18 episodes, all directed by the genius David Lynch. I've been waiting 25 years for this to happen. It's gonna be amazing!!!!!

Steve G said...

It seems to me the choices are more often these days non-20 year olds. Either a sign that the "definition" is widening or that People's editors are voting for the same people they had crushes on 20 years ago.

Alan C said...

Sometimes I'll pick up a People that someone left in the break room and notice the crossword puzzle has been started and abandoned. And there will be a clue like " 10 Across. Actor Hugh (see picture) with a photo of Hugh Grant smack in the middle of the puzzle and 10 ACROSS ISN'T EVEN FILLED IN! That's the typical readership of People. Of course US Weekly makes People look like Foreign Policy Review by comparison.

VP81955 said...

Who are more obnoxious: The David Lynch/"Twin Peaks" cultists or the Joss Whedon/"Buffy" cultists? I'm thinking it over...

Elf said...

Of course beauty is subjective. I've always found Aniston to be cute at best, but for me, never in the 'gorgeous' category.

It makes me think of the scene in WTF where Margot Robbie's character says that in New York, Tina Fey's character is a 6, maybe a 7, but in Kabul she's a 10. In response, Fey asks of Robbie, "So, what does that make you, a 15?" And Robbie replies, completely matter-of-factly "Yes."

Stephen Marks said...

I'm Anistunned that People keep putting this woman on their cover as "most beautiful." Brad Pitt cheated on her, John Mayer cheated on her, Ross Geller cheated on her (I know, they were on a fucking break) and I cheated on her twice, with Bea Arthur and Imogene Coca. Obviously, there is something wrong here, either in the sack, in the kitchen or in the head.

I'm equally shocked that Ken listed beautiful women without mentioning Natalie Wood, a woman who has appeared on the cover of every issue of Levine's Monthly since 1965, like Oprah on O. Sadly Ms. Wood's beauty was more than skin deep, more like 50 meters deep. Deep, dark and murky as her body was found floating off the coast of R.J. Wagner. Wagner just couldn't handle being married to a beautiful wife, just like Kris Jenner.

Peter said...

Them's fightin' words, VP!

tb said...

Rolling Stone is the worst. They are all lists now. Top 100 guitarists, etc...They know people just have to rank everything and everyone, it's some disease we all have. But it works, I guess. Oh and I still got the hots for Jen so I agree with People's choice, haha

VP81955 said...

Fot "Twin Peaks," blame David Bianculli.

jcs said...

Friday Question

With THE GOOD WIFE wrapping up soon, it occurred to me that there's a lot of situational humour in this drama. I probably spent more time laughing during this show than during many sitcoms. Do the Kings employ some writers with sitcom experience or are their drama writers just incredibly versatile?

Gary said...

Ken, do you plan to weigh in on the Kelly Ripa story? As someone with so much experience dealing with the networks, your opinion of this would be very interesting (as Arte Johnson used to say).

Donald Benson said...

Temporality is another factor: Actresses (and actors) will look wildly different from role to role, as real-life people will change day to day at the whim of moods, bad hair days, whether a decent clean shirt is at hand, etc.

There's a story of Marilyn Monroe walking with a female friend, totally unnoticed. Monroe says something like "Watch this. I'll be Her" and changes her posture and expression. Suddenly everybody recognizes her.

Anonymous said...

And what made her less beautiful in 2015 that now she's the most beautiful in 2016? She didn't change that much!

Steve Bailey said...

I'm still on an Adrienne Barbeau kick myself.

Cap'n Bob said...

It's Margot Robbie. There, that's settled.

Mike said...

Jennifer Aniston's best line was "Here comes the science bit".

VP81955 said...

Carole Lombard was the subject of a similar anecdote, which supposedly took place on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan in the 1930s.

Johnny Walker said...

America's magazines are always trying to do the right thing in situations like this, but it just rings false. I remember the American FHM listing Oprah and Hilary in their "sexiest women" list. Respect to both those women, and such lists are indeed silly, but would Bernie Sanders make a "sexiest male" list? Hmm.

Also, I love Joss Whedon and Twin Peaks, and the fanbases of both are generally lovely people.

Charles H. Bryan said...

When the alien super race comes to judge humanity, People Magazine ain't gonna help our case.

Ted said...

Jennifer Aniston is quite attractive, but I don't understand the point of her ads for skin-care products, in which her face is so Photoshopped that she looks like a cartoon character. Are we supposed to believe that these moisturizers have caused a normally aging 47-year-old woman to appear 25, just because her features have been erased with a bucket of electronic Wite-Out?

Jahn Ghalt said...

I tend to go for the actresses who are currently stacked up on my DVR, so:

Maggie Siff (now on Showtime's Billions - love that Jewish-American Princess look)
Rhea Seahorn (Kim Wexler on Better Call Saul)
Lizzy Caplan (another "JAP" - Masters of Sex)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus (another one) is a perennial favorite of mine - though none of her shows are on the DVR lately.

BTW - Ken mentioned Katy Perry - who is conventionally attractive when not doing the $L#T thing (RS Covers?). I saw in a recent Forbes that she knocked down over $75-Million touring in a recent 12-month period. I've heard her sing live twice on TV - she can't - or at least couldn't those two times.

On the recently concluded Downton Abbey - the lovely woman who played the eldest daughter (Lady Mary).

When Mad Men was going, they had a fabulous parade of beautiful actresses (Matt Weiner has excellent taste IMO):

My favorite - and the least "conventionally beautiful" - Lizzie Moss

And:

January Jones (who is more Grace Kelly than Grace Kelly)
Christina Hendricks (VA VA VA VOOM)

(when was the last time you heard or read VA VA VA VOOM??)

Linda Cardellini
Alison Brie
Jessica Paré
Maggie Siff (is there an echo in here?)
Peyton List
Cara Buono
Abigail Spencer
Julia Ormond
Alexis Bledel

SharoneRosen said...

I'm with you on Charlize Theron.

Now, if you want to reach back a few decades, I was working in North Hollywood and went into a local health food/store restaurant. I saw a woman sitting with friends and was stopped in my tracks. I was stupified. This was the most stunningly gorgeous woman I had ever seen (mind you, I like boys, so my reaction surprised even me!). I didn't mean to, but I couldn't take my eyes off of her. She looked back at me like,"What???" She turned back to her friends and started to talk.. that voice...it was then that I realized I'd been gawking at Suzanne Pleshette, sitting with her cast-mates of the Newhart Show.

Suzanne Pleshette had, without a doubt, one of the most perfectly formed faces of all time.

CRL said...

Working off some earlier Twin Peaks related posts, the correct answer will always be Peggy Lipton.

Klee said...

Well it's a matter of taste, and a great publicist, especially if you have a big movie coming out soon. She's cute and funny but far from the beauty standard (If there's such I thing anymore, these change throughout the years regardless). But of course, being hot and funny, beauty doesn't a person make, in my opinion. Charlize Theron is the most beautiful right now if I had to pick one.

CarolMR said...

I think Suzanne Pleshette was beautiful, too. I have heard her described as being as beautiful as Elizabeth Taylor.

RCP said...

During my brief stint at Us Weekly (2000-2002), Jennifer Aniston was on the cover every other week - alternating with J-Lo. Sixteen years later she's still selling magazines. Whatever it is about her that resonates with people still resonates. If it didn't, even the best publicist couldn't work it. I think.

Mike Barer said...

At least it isn't a "Jessica" every year.

Daddy Background said...

Zero votes? We tied!

Ken Keltner said...

Rachel Reynolds, easily the most beautiful woman, Charlize, a distant 2nd.

RyderDA said...

Jennifer Aniston, yes. But also Emma Thompson, Michelle Pfieffer, Charlize Theron, Danica McKellar (who also happens to be a math whiz AND was Winnie Cooper), Cameron Diaz, Angelina Jolie, Catherine Zeta Jones, Natalie Wood, the lady I hang with, a lady I knew in Grade 12, ladies I worked with in 1984, 1996 AND 2012 (all of whomevare still world class beautiful), and... the list goes on. It's real -- but it's also subjective, but more important, irrelevant.

John said...

First time poster on here, reader of this magnificent blog for about a month or so. As a huge fan of Cheers, Wings, and Frasier, it's a wonder it took me so long to find it. Anyway, on to the subject at hand.

I've never been wild about Jennifer Aniston in the first place. She is attractive for sure, has a great body and all, but I feel she is definitely overrated. The other night some ad for a tv show was on and I happened to look up and saw this face I couldn't look away from. She was absolutely gorgeous. Being the type who just has to know, I noted the name of the show and found out who she is. Her name is Emma Ishta. Lovely, lovely girl.

That said, my wife is still the most beautiful woman I've ever laid eyes on, and I tell her that often. She'll be 44 next week and she still turns heads of all ages everywhere we go. Like Bob Dylan once said, "I can't help it if I'm lucky...."