question of the day: What is the point of ‘People’s Sexiest Man Alive designation?

So, Ryan Reynolds has been designated by People magazine as the Sexist Man Alive, the 25 such man to “earn” the “honor.” For the 25th year in a row, the “award” went to a celebrity: only one SMA wasn’t an actor — John F. Kennedy Jr. in 1988 — and Reynolds is the first non-American SMA. It’s such a wild coincidence, don’tcha think, that nearly the entirety of the world’s sexiest men are found within one profession in a country with only five percent of the global population?

There’s gotta be a few Pretty Sex Guys in, I dunno, China or India who are disappointed yet again to miss out on this prestigious award.

But you’ll be stunned to learn, I’m sure, that Kim Kardashian, who hosted the ABC TV “special” 25 Years of Sexy the other night, “believes the magazine picked just the right guy this year,” according to The Today Show:

“He’s so handsome, so funny,” Kardashian said of Reynolds. “He has the full package, and I think that’s what People magazine really looks for.”

No one knows why the hell Kardashian is famous, so perhaps it’s fitting that she’s the one explaining how this Sexiest Man Alive thing works.
Mysteriously, the tenor of much of the “news” coverage of Reynolds’ coup is that this choice is a “surprise” — because, it seems, People has some sort of secret insight into what makes a man truly, actually, authentically sexy, one that doesn’t quite coincide with what we mere mortals think, but that now that People has deigned to bestow its sexy wisdom upon us, we must give it all due respect and deference. We may have thought we knew who the Sexiest Man Alive was, but we were wrong. Bow down to People.

Nothing against Reynolds, but can any one man be the Sexiest Man Alive? And if this can be, wouldn’t the editors of People have to at least meet all three billion or so men on the planet before coming to a conclusion that genuinely reflects all men alive?

What is the point of People’s Sexiest Man Alive designation? It couldn’t be something so crass as, I dunno, selling magazines, could it?

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