But let me start here: Amanda Knox. Amanda, I spent four years in an Italian prison for murdering my foreign exchange student roommate, Knox is on Maxim’s Hot 100 List. Now I know her murder conviction was overturned last October and the 26-year-old earned the nickname “Foxy Knoxy” during her trial because of her good looks, which is disturbing enough. But I would think there’s something about standing trial for murder that’s sort of unswexy and would hinder you from claiming the no. 92 spot on a list such as this, but I stand corrected—and in anticipation of Casey Anthony being added to the lineup next year.
What’s even more disturbing than the reality that Foxy Knoxy is on the list is the fact that there was room for her but only space for five black women out of the 100 named. Yes, we constitute an entire 1/20 or 0.05 percent of the “definitive list of the world’s most beautiful women.” By world, they pretty much mean America since women from the USA constitute about 90 percent of those on the list. And by women, they mean real or perceived, as among the 100 named are a cartoon—Lois Griffin from “Family Guy”—and Stephen Colbert who’s no. 69, which I really have no explanation for other than a massive write-in vote campaign. Those are problems two and three with this list by the way.
In terms of black women, we’ve basically got two Afro-Latinas, two token black chicks, and an outlier. The rundown is Lala Anthony at no. 93, Bria Murphy at no. 90, Nicki Minaj at no. 79, no. 45 is Zoe Saldana, and no. 32 is Rihanna. And that’s pretty much where it ends. Put your hands together for diversity? Now Maxim didn’t divulge exactly how it comes up with it’s list but it did say for the first time in Hot 100 history, they let readers of the magazine weigh in on who should comprise the definitive list of the world’s most beautiful women. I’m starting to wonder who their readers are and how much weight their opinions hold.
Of course, Maxim‘s list itself holds about as much weight as PEOPLE’s or any other magazines. But when we celebrate our own in one, I think we have a right to question a little bias in the other. What I find most interesting about the list as a whole is how many unexpected women are featured—except when it comes to black girls. Of course the Megan Fox’s and the Adriana Lima’s are there. But so are Amanda Bines and Kristen Stewart. Would it have killed the respondents to think outside the box just a teeny little bit for black beauty? I was actually pretty amazed Beyonce wasn’t on the list but I don’t really know what to credit that to when I look at the women who were. From this list I sort of get the feeling no African American women were chosen at all and the editors had an office meeting and thought we better figure out a way to get some black color in this list, who’s hot now and how should we disperse them? The picks are so cliché it’s not even funny and not to take away anything from Lala, but in a list heavily doused with white women, I’m surprised she’s well known enough among the overwhelming population of white men I’m assuming contributed to this list to earn her one of these five spots. Maybe it’s the Carmello effect but something seems a tad off.
When it comes down to it, I know these lists are supposed to be fun and for every black woman who’s mad there’s hardly any color in the rankings another will be glad we’re not being objectified. All I’m saying is, if you can find room for a once convicted murderer, a cartoon, and a man on this list, I know some well-deserving black women were overlooked. Am I right?
What do you think bout Amanda Knox’s rank and the Hot 100 list as a whole?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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