Adam not the people’s choice of edgy or sexy
LOS ANGELES: Adam Levine is officially People’s Sexiest Man Alive. The chest of the Sexiest Man Alive is permanently inscribed with a string of Mardi Gras beads. The Sexiest Man Alive has a shark tattoo, which is one step away from a dolphin. The preferred birth control method of the Sexiest Man Alive is pulling out. The Sexiest Man Alive named his band Maroon 5. What can account for People’s bizarre choice?
For all the ways that print publications have been rendered obsolete by the internet, their silliest artifact is perhaps the impulse to dictate to millions of people what they ought to believe is “sexy.”
I know two people with a subscription to People: my grandmother and my dentist. This is a magazine that asks its readers whether a variety of handsome celebrities are more attractive with goatees on their faces, as if that were a serious question.
Peruse the magazine’s Sexiest Men from the past decade, and you’ll find a roster of blandly handsome and reliably bankable movie stars – Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Channing Tatum.
But even among People’s target audience, symmetrical, rich actors can become a bit of a bore. So this year, People opted for an “edgy” choice to get our attention – a symmetrical, rich, alternative rock star.
Actually, Levine is a massproduced parody of what an “alternative” dreamboat is supposed to be. Levine’s “edginess” has been officially sanctioned by the reality TV singing competition The Voice, where he serves as a judge; his style has been co-opted by Kmart, where he hawks a menswear line; and his appeal has been distilled into perfumes, Adam Levine for Women and Adam Levine for Men.
The Sexiest Man Alive is edgy – to people whose tastes are mainstream and a few years out of date.
I may not subscribe to People, but I visit its website just once every year – to see who the magazine selected as sexiest, and inevitably, to mock the choice. That is the brilliance of People’s annual feature. It appeals to print subscribers on its own merits and attracts clicks from internet denizens who find its construction of attractiveness personally offensive – like Jezebel’s Madeleine Davies, who reacted to People’s pick by calling Levine “the human equivalent of testing positive for chlamydia”. – Slate.
BELTING IT OUT: Ricky Martin performs during the Latin Recording Academy’s Person of the Year event honouring singer Miguel Bose in Las Vegas, Nevada.