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June 11, 2007

The 100 Hottest Chicks, As Voted On... By Lesbians

Are lesbians and men all that different? Apart from our differing appreciation of power tools and wood-lathes (men, of course, not caring so much about such macho accoutrements), we seem to have pretty similar tastes.

The article tries to make distinctions with the brutish, patriarchal, objectifying list offered by Maxim:

How is our list different from Maxim's? Eight of the top 10 women on our list aren't mentioned anywhere on the Maxim list (Angelina Jolie and Lena Headey are the exceptions), and only four of the women who made Maxim's top 10 (Jessica Alba, Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel and Lindsay Lohan) appear somewhere on the AfterEllen.com list.

Clearly, what straight men and lesbians find sexy in a woman is a little bit different.


"A little bit different," yes. Men wouldn't have chosen this
particular shot of Scarlett Johanssen, for example.

"Hot" for lesbians and bisexual women comes in all ages, sizes, colors and styles, as the diversity of women on our list demonstrates — from Tina Fey (No. 7) and Helen Mirren (No. 31), to Ellen DeGeneres (No. 50), America Ferrera (No. 30) and Queen Latifah (No. 55). There's even a conservative Republican in the mix (Angie Harmon, No. 82), proving we can still find a women sexy even if we don't agree with her alternative lifestyle choice.

The list also shows that we like women who like us — slightly over half the women on the AfterEllen.com Hot 100 List have played queer characters at one time or another. Eight of the women (nine, if you count Drew Barrymore) are openly lesbian or bisexual; they're noted with an asterisk (*) next to their name.

But there is one thing all the women on the list have in common: They're more than just pretty faces. Many of these women aren't just women we like, they're women we want to be like — women we admire as well as desire.

Well, let's note the ways in which the list is exactly similar to Maxim's: Most of the women are, fairly objectively, teh hotness. I don't think Scarlett Johanson, Kate Winslet, Natalie Portman, and Jessica Alba made the list due to their "inner beauty" or gay shit of this nature.

A good number of the choices are women who aren't hot, but are either 1) lesbians themselves (Ellen DeGeneres) or 2) have portrayed lesbians. It seems that just about everyone on the cable series The L-Word is here. I submit these women are on the list just for "You Go Girl!!!11!!! TEH ROXXOR!!11!" points, or at least had their numbers, errm, helped by this. Just about every damn women who's ever played a lesbian, has been rumored to be a lesbian, or once stood in a supermarket check-out line with a lesbian is on here.

This is not beauty-based -- inner or outer -- but simple identity politics and well-wishing of those similar to oneself. It would be like me putting together a list of the top most attractive men and putting George Lucas on there six or seven times (George Lucas During The Filming of Star Wars, George Lucas During The Difficult "Willow/Howard The Duck" Period (Showing Inner Strength), etc.).

Tina Fey is on there because any group of liberals is required by secret codicil to claim she is blazingly hot.

In short, most of the picks that the lesbians are proud of -- the ones that show they're not just looking for hotness in a ranking of women by, errm, hotness --are no different than polls of women in (especially older-skewing) women's magazines perenially choosing Nancy Reagan or even Barbara Bush as among the world's most beautiful women. Let us say that while either woman may have her virtues and attractiveness, they seem to be, shall we say, wishful-thinking choices often made by elderly women.

Also, the list differs chiefly according to what sorts of media the respondents are consuming. Maxim has a lot of pin-up girls and Sports Illustrated swimsuit types. The lesbian list has a lot of... tv actresses. Lesbians, it seems, watch a hell of a lot of TV. But given they're still picking the hotties from TV (mostly; the hotties plus the women they know they're supposed to say are cute in order to not seem as superficial as men), I have little doubt that if lesbians were exposed to the same media as straight young men, and saw the hot women straight young men do, the list would be even more similar. Almost identical. Except the lesbian list would still include Ellen DeGeneres and Queen Latifah.

And, of course, Tina Fey.

All that said -- despite the heroic efforts to portray the AfterEllen list as somehow more elevated than the Maxim one -- both the AfterEllen crowd and Maxim seem to take note of 1) a gorgeous face 2) young, unweathered skin 3) a nice set of cans 4) a long set of stems and 5) a kickin' gedonkadonk. Correction: I'm informed it's "badonkadonk."

Thanks to Phinn of Agent Bedhead.


On Tina Fey: A commenter objects and says she's attractive.

Well, yes, she is attractive. My problem is the Tina Gap -- the vast chasm between what Tina Fey actually is and what she is purported to be by liberals. She was bad on Weekend Update. Mean Girls was an atrocious mish-mash of Heathers and a half-dozen better teen-comedies but was overpraised by a liberal critical clacque in her corner ("You Go Girl!"). Whatever slight charms the derivative, uninspired teen comedy may have had were ruined due to the exorbitant, nearly-unhinged claims liberal critics fell over themselves to make about the movie.

And she's a passably cute girl. But the Tina Gap becomes embarrassing as her modest beauty is continuously trumpeted as gorgeousness. It becomes embarrassing, I imagine, for her herself; she can't imagine she's super-hot. Cute yes. Super-hot? No.

It's like the way the media was always claiming that Hillary! was beautiful. Um, no, she was, I'm sorry to say, on the lower end of the attractiveness spectrum. Coyote ugly, no. But unfortunately somewhere in that sad area where "unappetizing" meets "I'll just be kind and say it just doesn't work for me." Repeatedly calling a non-beauty beautiful has the perverse effect of highlighting her fundamental plainness, making her seem less attractive than she is.

(Of course, Hillary! is actually looking better now -- not "beautiful" yet, but somewhat attractive for the first time in her life -- but due to extensive plastic surgery, which of course we're not allowed to call attention to.)


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posted by Ace at 04:31 PM

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