Did you know that in the 32 years that People magazine has been running doing their “Sexiest Man Alive” issue, only two men of color have ever graced the cover?
Two. Literal billions of men of color in the world, and only two have ever made this list.
Yet this year, People Magazine decided they needed to go with Blake Shelton, the actual definition of “white man.”
“But we just had a brown man on the cover last year! God, you people are never satisfied,” a chorus of white voices shouted into night at once upon reading that above sentence.
Sure. But Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, last year’s honoree, was the first man of color to be featured in 18 years. Before that, it was Denzel Washington in 1998, which was 13 years after People started making this mostly bizarre and mediocre list.
This is indicative of the prevailing problem in our culture that posits whiteness as the standard while considering all else just exceptions to the rule. This belief has been subconsciously influencing the racist undertow of our country for too long, and though we have begun to see some success in diversifying media, this People debacle shows that there is still a long way to go.
Since People seems to only think that Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Johnny Depp exist (they’ve all been named Sexiest Man multiple times) and have forgotten about men of color, I’ve decided to help them out. So here ten men of color who should’ve been named “Sexiest Man Alive” instead of Blake Shelton.
Starting with the obvious.
If I didn’t include Idris, I know it would ruin the entire legitimacy of this list. In fact, every single comment on an article about Blake Shelton being named sexiest man alive essentially boiled down to this:
“But IDRIS ELBA! I’m so wet just typing his name.”
And he’s more relevant than Blake Shelton, who I always just assume was a white boy who went to my high school every time I see his name. This Fall alone, Idris had two movies out - one you probably didn’t see, which was essentially “Titanic” in the mountains but with Elba instead of Leonardo DiCaprio, and that very popular Marvel flick we all rushed out to see.
And even in “Thor: Ragnarok”, a movie so saturated with hotties that it wasn’t fair to any other movie that came out in 2017, Idris still managed to stand out. He’s the only person in the world who can make you forget that you’re watching a movie that’s supposed to revolve around Chris Hemsworth.
I don’t even have to list nine more men. It should’ve just been fucking Idris Elba. But for listicles’ sake, I’ll keep it going.
Is this list making you Thorsty yet?
Bad pun, but the director of “Thor: Ragnarok” is a treasure of a man! A silver daddy with a sense of humor! An auteur committed to honoring diversity in his films! A fuckin’ family man! C’mon, People!
Also, let’s not forget how well he pulled off this matching pineapple outfit:
Blake Shelton looks like he owns just three pairs of underwear, but sure, let’s rob fashion guru Taika of his rightful distinction of the sexiest man alive and give it to a reality show judge instead.
After Idris, this was the name that popped up the most in the “WTF BLAKE SHELTON?!” comments as a favorite for the sexiest man alive (which in itself shows that so many want diversity in their sexy - takes notes, People).
It makes sense. Momoa is so sexy that my mind has a hard time even comprehending it.
I’d be remiss not to mention that Momoa has made some troubling, problematic comments in the past, and though he did apologize, I was admittedly hesitant to include him on this list, because I do absolutely condemn his careless, awful words.
But at face value (see what I did there), not only is he sexier than anyone that’s ever been on a “Sexiest Man Alive” cover, he’s sexier than most people on earth (Lisa Bonet knows what’s up), so it really is puzzling when you think of all the underwhelming white men who have gotten to wield People’s title before him.
Johnny Depp’s awful ass got his face on that cover TWICE in the 2000’s alone. So we’re not even talking “21 Jump Street, Gilbert Grape” Depp, but “Rango, way-too-many-Jack-Sparrow-movies” Depp. We haven’t even seen Depp’s actual, unaltered face on a movie screen in over a decade, but okay People, keep doing Jason Momoa dirty like that.
More like Colin Baepernick.
(I’m sorry, but his last name makes it too easy.)
Woke is sexy, and Kaepernick fits the bill. He sacrificed his career to make a statement, launching a crucial conversation across America about social justice, police brutality and the treatment of black lives while revealing even further the racism that resides in the heart of many people in this country.
In our social media, slang saturated era, the word “iconic” is overused (just about every 10 second viral meme sensation has gotten that distinction), but Colin is truly an American icon - someone who cares enough about this country and its people to actually do something about it, no matter what the cost.
And that, my friends, is sexy.
Dude got a good face, too.
Do y’all know Godfrey?
Well if not, you’re about to.
This Taiwanese-born Canadian actor and model (who was the first Asian male to model for Louis Vuitton) is clearly very deserving of the “Sexiest Man Alive” honor. I know the argument will be that People wanted someone more “widely known” and “culturally relevant” to feature (as if The Voice isn’t a show only watched by the moms of everyone reading this article and the 7th graders who bought four copies of Taylor Swift’s new album so they could get early access to concert tickets), but when your face looks like that, do you really need to be a household name?
Besides, it isn’t “The Most Recognizable Name Alive” issue.
Gael Garcia Bernal
Sexy can come in any size and at any age, which is exemplified by Mr. Gael Garcia Bernal. Sure, he doesn’t spend his nights in a rotating chair, sitting next to the most overplayed voice on the radio while telling people if they can sing or not, but he does have some things going for him.
Like a Golden Globe, for starters. And credits such as "The Motorcycle Diaries", "Y Tu Mama Tambien" and "Mozart’s Jungle" for an illustrious acting career that has spanned decades.
Also, I’d take the Bernal/Diego Luna bromance over the Shelton/Adam Levine one any day.
If you don’t know Daveed Diggs, then you’re probably one of the seven people who didn’t have a problem with this year’s “Sexiest Man Alive” cover. But he’s one to watch out for, and there are so many ways to witness this man’s sexiness. From everybody’s favorite musical “Hamilton”, to everyone’s favorite woke sitcom “black-ish”, plus this Fall’s “Wonder”, which is surprisingly getting good reviews despite debuting the cheesiest trailer of 2017, Diggs is a multi-talented super star in the making who would’ve made a good choice for this year’s cover.
One of .3 people of color to step on the set of “Girls.”
These things in itself would be enough for British-Pakistani Riz Ahmed to catch anyone’s attention.
But then he has to be so sexy on top of that?
People Magazine, you really dropped the ball.
Michael B. Jordan
Have you seen the “Black Panther” trailer? I have. Twenty six times. And even my mostly gay ass drools every single time Michael B. Jordan struts onto my screen.
Don’t get me wrong - Chadwick Boseman ain’t nothing to scoff at either, but Michael. Michael! He also deserves some recognition for being able to rise from the ashes of “That Awkward Moment” and “The Fantastic Four.”
He’s so hot, though, that he probably made those ashes himself. Is it professional to include a string of fire emojis in a published article? Because God, it’s tempting.
Honestly, Dev Patel’s hair alone could be a contender for the sexiest man alive. Like, can we just take a moment?
Also, he had the best glow up of the century.
His moving performance in last year’s “Lion” earned him well-deserved acclaim and nominations, and I truly believe that looking into his brown puppy eyes could melt even the coldest heart of stone (so can he challenge the entire presidential cabinet to a staring contest, please)?
Donald has literally done everything but been named People’s Sexiest Man Alive, so they might as well just give him this so he can also claim his title of most accomplished man alive.
Between the critically acclaimed, award winning “Atlanta” which he both created and starred in, all the way down to being one of the best parts of this summer’s “Spider-man: Homecoming”, the past year has undoubtedly belonged to Donald. And with more “Atlanta” on its way along with his upcoming turn as a young Lando Calrissian (a.k.a. the only reason most are gonna bother to see the honestly needless Han Solo origin movie, cleverly and imaginatively titled “Solo”), it looks like next year is going to be his too.
And he is so fine. Though that doesn’t seem to necessarily be a requirement to be considered the sexiest man alive these days.
So there you go, People Magazine - you’re set for the next ten years. You’re welcome.