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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

question of the day: Who is the *actual* sexiest man (and woman) alive?

Channing Tatum Sexiest Man Alive People magazine

My nemesis, professional lunkhead Channing Tatum, has been declared the Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine. Which is clearly wrong. I would say that Tatum planned some sort of ninja infiltration into the printing plant to replace whomever People had actually chosen with himself, in professionally created ready-for-publication material in an impeccable imitation of People’s design and voice, except that’s obviously beyond him. Not when he’s incapable of playing himself in a movie and making it even mildly interesting.

Whatever happened, however, it’s not just People’s problem. Because now the actor’s name is officially Channing Tatum People’s Sexiest Man Alive for the next year, and forever after that his name will be Channing Tatum Former People’s Sexiest Man Alive. My ears are bleeding already.

Who is the *actual* sexiest man alive? And/or sexiest woman alive, too — I want everyone to have some fun with this. What makes them sexy?
Frankly and in all seriousness, I have no idea how People could make this decision every year (even when I am happy with their choice). It seems so arbitrary… or worse, driven by marketing and PR. Tatum played a stripper this year, so he’s sexy? (Magic Mike is just out on DVD, too. From Warner Bros. Which is a corporate cousin of People. Hmm.) Lots of famous celebrity type people are sexy. Who can say with a definitive certitude that this one surpasses the sexiness of all others?


Anyway. My choices, made under duress. Sexiest Man Alive 2012: Benedict Cumberbatch. Talented as hell, a voice to make you melt (as advertisers in the U.K. have realized — his voice can be heard over every other ad on British TV). Totally compelling onscreen, exudes intellectual brawn. Gorgeous, but in an intriguing, unexpected way. There’s nothing bland about him. Sexiest Woman Alive 2012: Christina Hendricks. She’s smart, incredibly magnetic — you can’t take your eyes off her onscreen, and not just because of her impressive assets. And she bucks the otherwise seemingly inescapable trend of only skinny being considered sexy. She is in all ways awesome.

Your turn…

Thanks to Stefanie for suggesting the question.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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