What a glorious time of year this is! The leaves are changing, Thanksgiving is still in the future, and the elections are over. Today I want to remind us of a lesser known November occasion, one that isn’t on most people’s calendars. Put a big red circle around the 16th.
That’s the day People Magazine crowns this year’s Sexiest Man Alive.
I’m not sure who will take home the title this year. Last year Channing Tatum was the big winner. Last year is also the first time I started to really question the process.
Let’s be clear before I start with the complaining. I am not going to tell Channing Tatum that I had a lovely time but I’ve got an early meeting tomorrow morning. That would be terribly silly, wouldn’t it? He’s not a bad looking fellow at all.
But is he sexy? Is he?
I don’t want to say no … but I can’t say yes.
Sexy, to me, is about a hell of a lot more than looks. Strength of character is sexy. Experience is sexy. Intellect is super sexy.
I’m not saying that I don’t see that in Channing Tatum. I will say I had to go to GQ to see what, if anything, was really going on inside the pretty. I just think – and yes, my mouth does burn a little to say this – we can do better.
How? Well, let’s look at Benedict Cumberbatch.
Benedict was just named Empire Magazine’s Sexiest Movie Star. He’s got depth of character (that's my favorite picture of him), he doesn’t take himself too seriously, and he does a great Chewbacca impression. Is it too much to hope that he’ll end up on People’s cover this year, too? Probably. But I’m hoping anyway.
Who else? I checked out Glamour UK’s gallery – they put this contest to the popular vote – for some ideas.
First I imposed a couple of restrictions.
I’m not sure anyone under the age of 25 is even old enough to be sexy. Seriously, if you’re younger than 25, you don’t know the world, yourself, or what you want well enough to be sexy. That would keep Justin Bieber off the list of candidates. I’m sorry, I just can’t think of a single reason Justin Bieber would be sexy.
Because experience is sexy, I don’t think New Jacks, Johnnies Come Lately, or other Flavors of the Month should be on the list of candidates, either. This should also exclude those candidates who haven’t really been doing anything lately (bye bye, Taylor Lautner).
Having said all that, a quick look see at the gallery turns up some promising candidates. Robert Downey Jr. is still one of my favorites. His trip back to the world from rock bottom, his perspective on the journey and on his new place in the world, and his rock-solid grasp of who he is – all that makes him big-time sexy. Idris Elba is right up there, too. I like the way he works as a black actor – he doesn’t let it force him into or out of anything. Black is a part of who he is, and it’s an important part, but it’s not all there is, and he won’t let anyone forget it.
When all is said and done, I just want to see more of a focus on the sexy instead of just the hot. Granted, this might mean a shift in emphasis away from the young and the very young. But the good news is that sexy is much more durable than hot. Once a man is sexy, chances are that he’ll always be sexy. For a hot man, the future is far less certain. Even if he stays hot, which does happen from time to time, there will always be someone younger and hotter waiting in the wings.
Sexy is evergreen. Maybe that’s why this annual ritual is such a good fit for the winter, right?
Alexa Day's ILLICIT IMPULSE is a finalist in the Erotica category in the 2014 EPIC E-Book Awards. Check out this story of two friends, a friend with benefits, and a pill that suppresses the bonding hormone wherever e-books are sold, and watch for Alexa right here on the first Wednesday of the month, on Facebook, or on Twitter every Thursday night for Scandal!