Tuesday, May 16, 2006

And Who’s the Fairest of Them All?

[[M E D I A]] * Call it the Battle of the Magazine Babes. The American version of the lad mag Maxim has just announced--drum roll, please--that Desperate Housewives co-star Eva Longoria tops its seventh annual “Hot 100” rundown of the most successful women in film, television, music, sports, and fashion. This marks the second win in a row for the 31-year-old Longoria. Also making the top 10: Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan, Angelina Jolie, Dancing with the Stars contestant Stacy Keibler, Scarlett Johansson, Cameron Diaz, Kate Bosworth, Keira Knightley, and singer-actress Christina Milian.

Of course, when it comes to crowning the most pulchritudinous examples of femininity, magazines are in as much disagreement as the average male. While Maxim hails Longoria’s evident charms, the U.S. version of FHM magazine last month heralded 21-year-old starlet Scarlett Johansson as the “sexiest woman in the world.” And even more recently, FHM’s British predecessor countered that this planet’s sexiest woman is actually 21-year-old Keira Knightley. What this means for 7th Heaven star Jessica Biel, the 24-year-old whom Esquire last year proclaimed to be “the sexiest woman alive,” is anybody’s guess. But it’s not hard to imagine that there are now handsomely paid publicists the world o’er arguing with pigs-in-shit male magazine editors that their clients have been better endowed by Mother Nature with high, curvaceous busts, heart-shaped bums, and bright smiles than those represented by their competitors.

Frankly, between the likes of Alba, Knightley, Halle Berry, Elizabeth Hurley, Kelly Monaco, Sarah Michelle Geller, Josie Maran, Ashley Judd, Alicia Keys, Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman, Kate Beckinsale, Roselyn Sanchez, Jaime Pressly, Evangeline Lilly, Kelly Hu, and myriad others (stop me now, before I completely embarrass myself), it’s impossible to choose. Not that anybody wants a definitive selection of the world’s most beautiful woman--certainly not the editors and circulation managers of magazines, who’ve found a winning sales strategy in these sorts of photo-friendly non-competitions.

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