Intro for November 8, 2016

November 8, 2016 12:36:56 Posted at November 8, 2016 12:36:56
Lainey Posted by Lainey

Dear Gossips,

Today is a day for …distractions? We are here for that. And several celebrities are helping. We even got a royal assist from Prince Harry. Are you swooning?

Also today, since stress relief is at a premium, it’s that thing we do every year – handicapping the Sexiest Man Alive. If you’ve been visiting this site a while, you know it’s a prediction game we play a week or so before PEOPLE Magazine makes its annual declaration. I don’t think the list of possibles is very long this time. But remember, the SMA is not your personal choice of who’s the Sexiest, not that guy on that show that not many people watch but OMG you’re so into him. The SMA typically has to meet a broad set of requirements. And, as we’ve seen over the years, it’s now custom that the SMA must formally accept the title and give an exclusive interview.

Can you remember last year’s SMA though? Without having to think too much about it? Without having to google it? Like by now, by the end of that last sentence, have you come up with his name? I completely forgot. I had to look it up last night. It’s David Beckham. And before that it was Chris Hemsworth. And before that it was the worst SMA of all time, Adam Levine. David Beckham? Past his prime as an athlete. Chris Hemsworth? He may be more well-known now but in 2014, not exactly a household name. Adam Levine??? No explanation required. The Sexiest Man Alive has been in decline. Can the Sexiest Man Alive be saved?

Before we look ahead, maybe it’s worth looking back. The first Sexiest Man Alive was Mel Gibson, in 1985. A couple of years ago, Amanda Hess, in a piece for Slate wrote about the origins of PEOPLE’s annual feature. And how Mel came to claim the inaugural title. It wasn’t actually intended to be an interview naming him the Sexiest Man Alive. He was drinking on the set of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. He seemed miserable and resentful and even though it would be another 20 years until his DUI arrest and subsequent vilification for his racist outbursts, this 29 year old Mel Gibson, as Amanda Hess notes, was already prone to “regressive rants (he managed to work in a casual dig at a ‘5-year-old Mongoloid’)”. Auspicious beginnings!

Amanda’s article then goes on to examine the Sexiest Man Alive’s 30 year history and how it went from a selection that didn’t actually come with any expectation that the SMA participate in the process to where we are now, with the aforementioned exclusive interview and an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel for the official unveiling. In all that time, in the over 30 year history of the issue, only one SMA has been a person of colour. And no SMA has ever been a gay man. Click here to revisit the Slate piece if you missed it the first time and, with all that in mind, we’ll get to it after pressing gossip business later today.

Yours in gossip,

Lainey

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