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I Feel Weird About People’s “Most Beautiful” List

According to People magazine Julia Roberts is 2017’s Most Beautiful Woman, and in the corresponding interview she mentioned she was “very flattered.”

And look! Look. (LOOK AT ME, I AM SPEAKING.) Congratulations to Julia Roberts. Guys, I wanted to be Julia Roberts for a good number of my (pre)teen years, and I mean specifically Julia Roberts-as-Isabel-in-Stepmom and Julia-Roberts-as-Erin Brockovich, who is still a character I use to describe myself when I’m determined to get shit done. Julia Roberts is, objectively, beautiful. Of course she is! She’s Julia Roberts. And she did it! She got this title and everyone’s lives are the better for it, and I’m actually still confused as to why this title exists at all, TBH.

Now don’t freak out. If you love making lists of beautiful people I’m not going to use this as an opportunity to shame you or email your boss at People magazine and blame you for the shortcomings of our society. Especially since in a few months, we’ll be talking about People‘s Most Beautiful Man (don’t correct me if I have this wrong, I think this title is perfect), which will inevitably make us wonder why these lists continue in general and/or whether What’s-His-Name is truly worthy of the title. Then, we will spend a good portion of the morning making “But I thought [this person] was the beautiful-est!” commentary between jokes that the Most Beautiful Anybody is, was, and will always be, Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic and Romeo + Juliet, particularly when he’s staring with a look of purpose or smoking a cigarette. This is just a fact.

But the thing is, why are we still making lists of Beautiful People? Why is this happening? Who made this happen? What happens next? Do you guys think Julia Roberts framed the People cover with her on it, and will make sure to point it out to anybody who comes over? “This is my Most Beautiful Woman cover,” she will say to guests and family members. “It changed my life.”

Of course not. Julia Roberts needs this as much as anybody needs it (which is to say that no one needs this — no one needs to top a Beautiful Woman list unless Beautiful Woman is the name of a new Marvel character, and even then the whole thing would be exhausting). I mean, hi: what makes somebody “beautiful”? What makes someone not quite “beautiful” enough? Who really cares? Do you? Do you care? I don’t care. I don’t care because if I did care, I’d end up banging my shoe on the desk and shouting about how beauty is subjective and it’s impossible to rank beauty fairly without being personally prejudiced about who comes out on top. And then I’d say that conventional beauty is dangerous and promotes damaging stereotypes and I’d like to think that we’ve evolved enough not to have to rank famouses in terms of their faces. And so on and so forth.

But remember, I don’t care. I’m not banging my shoe on the desk. Instead, I am just wondering if maybe Julia Roberts really did frame the People magazine cover because I wouldn’t. Instead, I would just give it out as Christmas/birthday cards so I could say, “Happy holidays everyone, it is 2017 and here is the People magazine cover of Julia Roberts, who is the Most Beautiful.” We did it.

http://29secrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/29s_julia-roberts-peoples-most-beautiful-woman-2017-150x100.jpg Anne T. Donahue Pop Culture ,,,,,,,

According to People magazine Julia Roberts is 2017’s Most Beautiful Woman, and in the corresponding interview she mentioned she was “very flattered.”

And look! Look. (LOOK AT ME, I AM SPEAKING.) Congratulations to Julia Roberts. Guys, I wanted to be Julia Roberts for a good number of my (pre)teen years, and I mean specifically Julia Roberts-as-Isabel-in-Stepmom and Julia-Roberts-as-Erin Brockovich, who is still a character I use to describe myself when I’m determined to get shit done. Julia Roberts is, objectively, beautiful. Of course she is! She’s Julia Roberts. And she did it! She got this title and everyone’s lives are the better for it, and I’m actually still confused as to why this title exists at all, TBH.

Now don’t freak out. If you love making lists of beautiful people I’m not going to use this as an opportunity to shame you or email your boss at People magazine and blame you for the shortcomings of our society. Especially since in a few months, we’ll be talking about People‘s Most Beautiful Man (don’t correct me if I have this wrong, I think this title is perfect), which will inevitably make us wonder why these lists continue in general and/or whether What’s-His-Name is truly worthy of the title. Then, we will spend a good portion of the morning making “But I thought [this person] was the beautiful-est!” commentary between jokes that the Most Beautiful Anybody is, was, and will always be, Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic and Romeo + Juliet, particularly when he’s staring with a look of purpose or smoking a cigarette. This is just a fact.

But the thing is, why are we still making lists of Beautiful People? Why is this happening? Who made this happen? What happens next? Do you guys think Julia Roberts framed the People cover with her on it, and will make sure to point it out to anybody who comes over? “This is my Most Beautiful Woman cover,” she will say to guests and family members. “It changed my life.”

Of course not. Julia Roberts needs this as much as anybody needs it (which is to say that no one needs this — no one needs to top a Beautiful Woman list unless Beautiful Woman is the name of a new Marvel character, and even then the whole thing would be exhausting). I mean, hi: what makes somebody “beautiful”? What makes someone not quite “beautiful” enough? Who really cares? Do you? Do you care? I don’t care. I don’t care because if I did care, I’d end up banging my shoe on the desk and shouting about how beauty is subjective and it’s impossible to rank beauty fairly without being personally prejudiced about who comes out on top. And then I’d say that conventional beauty is dangerous and promotes damaging stereotypes and I’d like to think that we’ve evolved enough not to have to rank famouses in terms of their faces. And so on and so forth.

But remember, I don’t care. I’m not banging my shoe on the desk. Instead, I am just wondering if maybe Julia Roberts really did frame the People magazine cover because I wouldn’t. Instead, I would just give it out as Christmas/birthday cards so I could say, “Happy holidays everyone, it is 2017 and here is the People magazine cover of Julia Roberts, who is the Most Beautiful.” We did it.

annetdonahue@gmail.com Author Anne T. Donahue is a writer and person who lives just outside of Toronto and knows way too much about the Great British Bake Off. 29Secrets

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