YES! EDITOR IN CHIEF JO-ANN Q. MAGLIPON’S SPEECH
It’s that time of the year. Once again, as we have in the past 10 years, YES! celebrates the 100 MOST BEAUTIFUL STARS, this time of 2017.
It’s a funny thing really. In an industry that throbs with the very beautiful, how do you tell who are in the TOP 100? And does this mean that—if you are not in the 2017 list, but were in the 2016 list, or the list of the years before—you are no longer beautiful in 2017? Well, no, it doesn’t work that way. It works more like this: Making the YES! LIST OF THE 100 MOST BEAUTIFUL STARS is, to us, a once-ayear occasion to cheer the new and young and rising, to shout out the hot love teams, to recognize the reliable and the bankable and the sexy, to name the star kids, to honor the idol and the hero, to applaud the A-lister, to acknowledge the talent gene pool, to name who is in a league of his own, to spot someone upending the TV landscape with a second coming…
Sometimes, the stars will not come solo but in groups, such as the A-listers, for they are certainly many, or showbiz won’t have an exciting star pool; or in twos, such as the love teams that spawn the fiercest fan clubs; or in a set of five, such as the family of one very respected actor, already once called the “Idol” in our list of the most beautiful.
We barely care if a star is from the biggest network or the second-biggest network—as we don’t even say which is which, because showbiz needs them both, and, besides, fortunes change and the world is round.
But most especially for the newbies, we like to level the playing field: you don’t have to be in the highest-rating TV show, on primetime, to make it here. You may be in the wings, waiting for your time, promised the lead in a show that can’t seem to get off the ground, or moving from one network to another trying to find the most hospitable home for your talent. You can be here.
We don’t make stardom the ultimate and only reason for having you on the YES! List. We believe everyone has to start somewhere.
But it is also true that the List has many, many things to do with who is current, who is on the radar, who is trending, who is shaking up the scene. We want to turn the spotlight on these gems, right when they’re happening to showbiz, right when it’s their time to shine.
At the same time, the List has a lot to do with recognizing old and familiar and recognizable talents, those who appear in the movies and teleseryes we enjoy, they who make the stories happen, whose acting makes us believe.
So, yes, ours is a List of veteran star and relative unknown, small name and big name, box-office breaker and sidekick of the sidekick.
The List, after all, is the result of mixing and matching many elements: the quantifiable and countable (hits, shares, trending on FB, the most read on PEP); plus the reporters’ instinct (“that girl has an innocent face but don’t mistake her for dumb”); plus industry chatter (“ah, yes, that one wants to stay long as a performer” or “hmm, that one is spoiled”); plus the track record (“that actor is never bad even when the role is”); and, finally, that indefinable “it” (“in person, that boy owns the room he enters”).
It is not the time for picking up on rumors, or baiting anyone, or putting someone on the spot. We keep it happy; we keep it light. So, even as we see that everyone in showbiz is beautiful—with real talent, with features the camera loves, with stunning bearing and grace— we at YES! take the risk, every single year, of naming only the 100 we choose to celebrate in the current year.
We aren’t perfect. We just try very hard to be. We transform our editorial team into a working committee. We have sessions that start in October of the year before. We make a list of the categories we want for the coming year. Each one quickly nominates names for these categories, but whoever does the nominating must defend the choice when questioned. Another session is set for adding categories. Another, for making a short list. Informal consultations follow. One member may have seen a new face in a talk show, and calls on the others to consider her. Months after, someone says we need another group session. And so it goes.
My role, as editor in chief, mainly happens in the beginning—when we set the List’s rationale and criteria and remind each other of the ethics required in making a List as subjective as this; and in the end—when we clean up the List and contend with all the doubts and naysaying as well as the certainties and rah-rah-ing within the group. In between, I come in only to break ties.
So, for good or bad, the real persons to damn or to praise are the men and women of the YES! team.
I join them tonight to applaud the stars on the YES! LIST OF THE 100 MOST BEAUTIFUL STARS 2017… but I make special mention of the stars who are here tonight, who took the trouble to get dressed and coiffed and groomed, to grace this occasion as the most beautiful stars they are.•
All these stars, we want to celebrate. It’s a happy occasion, a chance to make the stars feel good, to make us feel good.