It seems that hordes of people are outraged about Channing Tatum being named "Sexiest Man Alive" by People Magazine. And by hordes, I just mean Ryan Gosling fans. Fair enough, he is a very attractive fellow. But let's look at the bigger picture here. Every year People Magazine trots out this cover and every year we forget who was on the last one. Go ahead, try to name the last five "honorees." How about the last two? Hell, who was even last year's? (It was Bradley Cooper, but I only remember that because of the backlash from Gosling devotees.)
I just want to put things in perspective and remind you that we don't even remember who's graced this cover in the past. And MORE IMPORTANTLY, they in no way reflect how we as a society remember that era. Previous covers may surprise you, as they only represented how People Magazine felt at that very instance, not accounting for what future generations would think is sexy. They exist in a vacuum and in retrospect, a lot of those choices are puzzling.
For example, 2006. Who should have won? Probably someone like Justin Timberlake, right? Wrong. Here is the cover from that year.
Let's reach further back in the well. To the 80s, a decade full of hunks and dreamboats. If how we view the decade in retrospect has any say, it was someone like Kevin Costner or Tom Cruise who graced the 1986 issue. But alas…
I know, I know, I skipped the 90s. I just thought it may have been too jarring. Here you go:
See? "Oh come on, those were just anomalies. They in no way reflect the history of People Magazine's selections." Oh no? Let's dig deeper. Here's one from the 40s.
And if you still need proof that the cover selections are irrelevant, take a look at what's going on in international issues of People.
Better luck next year, Gosling. Not that it matters.