OMG it’s finally happened. I’m too old for People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive. Not to date, to appreciate. With the announcement that Chris Hemsworth has claimed this year’s honor, I find myself completely unmoved. Not that Mr. Hemsworth isn’t good-looking. It’s just that he’s young — far too young for my appreciation meter to move even one bit.
Of course, I realize that People is looking to choose celebs whose covers will sell magazines. That’s just good business. And no, I don’t imagine that a cover shot of Al Pacino or Robert Redford today would sell as many magazines as the current titleholder. But when it comes to Sexiest Man Alive, I think I just passed out of People‘s demographic. My choices would have been a tad more mature, a bit more seasoned, a touch more … je ne sais quoi. People has chosen a couple of them before — I’d choose them all now:
George Clooney. Need I say more?
Stanley Tucci. The smart woman’s choice for sexy. In a subtle — but nonetheless simmering — way.
Denzel Washington. Give me a minute — I need to catch my breath.
Bruce Springsteen. Like you’ve never wanted to strap your hands across his engines?
President Obama. Not a power thing. Not a president thing. Just a cool, smart, sexy thing. (The fact that he adores and respects his wife makes him even more attractive.)
Derek Jeter. First class — RE2PECT all the way.
If we’re talking pre-People‘s list days, at a time when celebrity, glamour and elegance went hand in hand, I would have gone (gladly) with these gentlemen:
Cary Grant. Kind of like George Clooney. Only before.
Humphrey Bogart. I have five words for you: white dinner jacket in Casablanca.
Kirk Douglas. (Circa 1950s) The chin cleft that launched a thousand ships.
Frank Sinatra. (Circa 1950s – early 1960s). Not traditionally handsome, but suave, smooth, a little bit naughty, a heartbreaker. And that voice — swingin’, baby.
Burt Lancaster. Take a look at From Here to Eternity. That beach scene. That kiss. And he looked fabulous in uniform too.
If I were given the assignment to pick just one Sexiest Man Ever, I would go with a classic. Great-looking without looking pretty. Bad-boy enough to be both trouble and charming. Eyes and a smile that could light up a screen — and light a fire — like nobody’s business. And a hell of a driver.
“S” is for Steve McQueen. Number-one with a Bullitt.
© 2014 Claudia Grossman