People has released its 2017 World's Most Beautiful Woman issue, and the winner is a familiar face. Even though America's sweetheart has held the honor four times before, Julia Roberts nabbed the title again.
But as to be expected, not everyone is pleased. Some people complained that Roberts' time has past; others pointed to the magazine's lack of diverse choices over the years; and even more argued that ranking women according to their beauty is a bit old-school and uncool.
"Julia Roberts" The l990s called and suggested that maybe the whole "most beautiful" thing in general is getting a little tired now.— Ryan (@ryanfield) April 19, 2017
Julia Roberts? Really? When Lupita is alive and well? pic.twitter.com/KnDrdDydgz— Kristan Higgins (@Kristan_Higgins) April 19, 2017
But of course, there was a lot (and we mean a lot) of gross ageism. Because of course:
Why is Julia Roberts considered the "Most Beautiful Woman" of the year? Isn't she like 2,000 years old and irrelevant?— Jason Breslin (@jasonbres) April 19, 2017
We can see how those concerned about People's lack of racially diverse choices have a point. We can also agree that having a feature solely dedicated to honoring a woman's physical beauty is pretty gross, but we are not — wait, let me clarify that — we are absolutely, 100 percent never ever going to be on board with anyone saying Roberts is too old to hold the title. Because ageism is despicable and ICYMI, it's 2017.
First of all, if we have to talk about a woman and her age, look at her.
Nothing more needs to be said about that.
Secondly, we don't hold men to these age constraints in the same way at all — People has chosen plenty of older men for their Sexiest Man Alive feature, including George Clooney, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere and Sean Connery. Constantly conflating age and beauty is pretty stale in our books.
Finally, beauty is about so much more than looks. During the interview, Roberts' awesome personality shines through while she talks about everything from her recent charity work to her love of mahjong, her three children and her husband of 14 years Danny Moder.
With this year's title, Roberts has become the only celebrity — woman or man — to win People's title five times; in fact, she's the only person to win it more than twice. After hearing that her friend George Clooney only won twice, she joked, “I’m going to mention that in my Christmas card to the Clooneys this year.” And gosh darn it, she deserves it!
Plus, this isn't the first time People has named an older woman the Most Beautiful of the Year — Brooke Shields held the title in 2008 at 42 years old, Cindy Crawford was named most beautiful in 2009 at 43 years old and Jennifer Aniston was crowned most beautiful in 2016 at 47 years old. Are you saying because they were over 40 they also didn't deserve it? Please.
At the end of the day, Roberts is a pretty incredible woman and the correlation between age and beauty is only skin deep. Roberts says she feels like she's still peaking — and we couldn't agree more.
Moral of the story: For anyone dismissing Roberts because of her age — this is what we have to say:
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