MAXIM Hot 100 2012

Democracy can be a strange thing. The current issue of Maxim magazine includes their annual Hot 100 list, which claims to be "the definitive list of the world's most beautiful women." This year, though, instead of choosing the people on the list, the Maxim staff let their readers vote to determine the list. The results are... different.

The format of the Hot 100 supplement is the same as in the past. The list counts down from 100 to 1, with several entries to a page and a few women getting a whole page of their own. (Numbers nine to two all get a full page, while the number one entry has two pages.) The entries also have a paragraph about the subject, whether career notes (Yvonne Strahovski: "This Aussie has been a superspy (Chuck), went up against Robert De Niro (Killer Elite), and will have direct contact with Frankenstein (I, Frankenstein)," trivia (Sarah Hyland, teenager Haley Dunphy on Modern Family, is actually 21), or plenty of bad jokes. The list is largely made of the usual suspects: actresses, singers, supermodels, athletes, and other celebrities.

This year, thanks to voting the net for "the world's most beautiful women" got cast quite wide. There are Victoria's Secret models here -- but there are as many past Disney stars (Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus (below), Vanessa Hudgens) and one Nickelodeon star (Victoria Justice). It makes sense that Dominique Storelli (the winner of the Maxim "Hometown Hotties" contest) is here -- but why once-convicted murderer Amanda Knox? An animated character made the list (which I suppose could open the door for a slew of comic book and animated film characters), as did a dude (Stephen Colbert, who I so hope covers his "win" on The Colbert Report). There are enough grown daughters of celebrities I grew up with (Eddie Murphy, Phil Collins) to make me feel old. And while any list like this inevitably omits people who "should" have made it (this is the first year in ages Britney Spears didn't show up), how did they miss Beyonce, who was voted People magazine's Most Beautiful Woman in the World?

The Maxim Hot 100 is bundled with the current issue in a sealed, black plastic bag, presumably to keep people from finding out who got the number one spot (and possibly to give the impression it's somehow more titillating than the usual issue of Maxim). While this collection doesn't redefine society's current icons of female beauty, the voting element resulted in some interesting choices.

Reviewed by James Lynch

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