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Friday, November 25, 2005
Sexiest Men Alive (According to Popular Magazines)
My mother has a subscription to People magazine. I've been known to glance at it from time to time. Purely in a spirit of research, as People's core approach to "news" is "entertainment lite designed to assuage/promote the fears and obsessions of the largely suburban, largely conservative women who make up the bulk of the readership," so it's a useful gauge of what the culture at large is preoccupied with at any given time.
Also, once a year they put together a big photo-pictorial of good-looking men. And, though it may come as a surprise to many of you, I like looking at pictures of good-looking men. So, for the amusement of, well, myself, my responses to People magazine's 2005 list of Sexiest Men Alive.
Sexiest Man Alive: Matthew McConaughey Well, he's certainly pretty, I'll give you that. But "sexiest man alive?" No, not by a long shot, sorry. He's got a certain scruffy demeanor that puts him above most of the blond pretty boys out there, but he's still, basically, a blond pretty boy. And there's something both off-putting and vaguely nelly about the way he purses his lips. It's like he's trying to imitate Tony Curtis in Some Like it Hot, but is forgetting that Curtis was in drag for a big part of that film.
Most Wanted Men
Jake Gyllenhall Now, this is more like it. Easily the most talented and charismatic actor of his generation. I don't much go for the big puppy-dog eyes in most cases, but I'll happily make an exception for him.
George Clooney At this point, he's simply a classic. He's gotten better looking with age, and seems to be happily settling into a niche as the inheritor of Cary Grant's charm and gravitas.
Matthew Fox I wasn't really aware of him until I started watching Lost a few months ago. Yeah, he's a bit of all right, isn't he.
Jamie Foxx Hrm, no. He just doesn't appeal to me at all.
Orlando Bloom Remember what I said earlier about not really getting into the blond pretty-boys. Yeah, I can understand in the abstract why some people find him attractive, but he does nothing at all for me.
Owen Wilson What's the only thing worse than a blond pretty-boy? A dumb blond pretty-boy. The sad thing is, his brother is more talented and better looking, but it's Owen I'm always hearing about, mostly from straight men who get very uncomfortable when it comes to talking about how attractive other men are. And that pursed lip thing I don't like about McConaughey is done by Wilson all the time as well.
Antonio Banderas Like Clooney, he's actually getting better looking as he ages. Plus, he played Zorro. That alone makes me all kinds of tingly.
Vince Vaughn Now, this is a sad case. He's not bad looking. And in normal circumstances he's much my type. And he has loads of charisma. But knowing that he makes out with Jennifer Aniston just destroys any and all appeal he might have once had for me.
Matt Damon Too pretty.
Brad Pitt Too pretty. See also: Vince Vaughn.
Viggo Mortensen He's a bit...intense. But damn good-looking. Don't bring up politics or any other controversial topic around him, and he's welcome to hang around.
Heath Ledger Another fellow I managed to remain unware of for some time. Not exactly my type, but I can see the appeal. Plus, before much longer I'll get to watch him make out with Jake Gyllenhaal, so I'm sure my appreciation of him will improve dramatically. Or, I'll hate him out of jealousy.
Patrick Dempsey He's been around forever, hasn't he? I certainly wouldn't throw him out of bed for eating crackers, so to speak, and I guess he's getting some attention lately because of some TV show I don't watch. He's all right.
Sexy at Every Age is a special feature featuring a bunch of attractive men broken down by decade of age. Most of the men are of varying talent and appeal, and there are a few guys here I'm sort of scratching my head at the inclusion of (Tyler Hilton? Constantine Maroulis? Are these people famous for anything other than being obscenely wealthy and having poor social skills?), but there are a couple of winners.
Dominic Monaghan I've thought he was bothersomely cute since I first saw him in Hettie Wainthrop Investigates. I don't do "cute." It’s not my thing. Yet I find him irresistable.
Kyle Secor He was brilliant on Homicide, and dead sexy to boot. I gather he's on that Geena Davis show now. He's good-looking, but I'm still not going to watch a Geena Davis show.
William L. Petersen C.S.I. was a show I'd occasionally watch if I was bored, had nothing else to do, and there wasn't anything else on. Then Petersen grew his beard. Now I make a point of trying to watch it when I can.
Men of Notes is a feature on sexy musicians. Yeah, I know, being good looking and being a good musician are usualy in conflict with one another.
Kanye West looks very angry in his photo. I'm not aware enough of him to know whether this is normal or not.
Franz Ferdinand is a very good band, but the guys are pretty goofy looking.
This Chayanne person looks like something I'd see in some sort of "Sexy Cowboy" calender. Too buffed, too pretty, too airbrushed.
Tim McGraw may be good-looking, but unfortunately most country singers look alike to me.
Nick Lachey is sort of cute, but he's married to Jessica Simpson, and that doesn't speak well for him.
Men of the Year appears to be a sort of catch-all article where they get to give "cute" labels to the men.
James Denton is apparently famous for frequently taking his shirt off on a show I don't watch. He's drop dead gorgeous, yes, but I still won't be watching the show he's on.
Daniel Dae Kim has got that intensely brooding thing down to a fine art. It's a very, very sexy skill. Just as an aside, the producers of Lost sure didn't shy away from casting plenty of beefcake for their series, did they?
Ian McShane doesn't belong anywhere near a "sexy men" list. Sorry.
This Terrance Howard fellow is kind of cute, but I don't really do cute. The same thing goes for Freddie Prinze Jr.
Denis Leary isn't bad-looking, but I don't understand how me made it onto this list. And again with Lance Armstrong, Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, John O'Hurley and Neil Patrick Harris. Dermot Mulrooney I can sort of see, but his handsomeness is sort of bland.
Now, Bradley Cooper definitely belongs here. That's an exceptionally good-looking man.
Rounding up the rest of the magazine, and focusing just on the fellows who I think do deserve to be here:
Jeremy Piven: Short, stocky, balding and furry. I'm rather surprised that a magazine aimed at heterosexual women put him on the list. I know tons of gay men adore him, myself included, but you don't often think of him appealing to straight women.
Anderson Cooper: Smart is always sexy. Now, if only he didn't think he was fooling anyone about that other thing…
Johnny Knoxville: I feel vaguely dirty for admitting I find him attractive.
Steve Carell: It's an unconventional sexiness, but it's there.
Ken Watanabe: It's that intense, brooding thing that wins me over again.
Mark Valley: Before I opened up this magazine, I'd never even heard of him. Very good looking, however.
The "What The Hell Are They Doing On A List Of Sexy Men" Men
Bono: Since when is pretentiousness sexy?
Tommy Lee and Travis Barker: And since when are men who look like junkies considered good-looking?
Dmitri Hamlin and Brawley Nolte: Now, it may just be my knee-jerk aversion to blond pretty boys, or maybe it's my distaste for people who are famous only for being famous, but I fail to see how being the children of men who looked really good twenty to thirty years ago qualifies you to be on a list of "sexy men."
Criminally Left Out
Paul Rudd: I mean, come on? He's funny, he's talented and he's very, very good-looking. And out of the huge list of men they compiled for this issue, he gets left out? What were they thinking?