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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

People Magazine's Unsexiest Men Alive: A Look Back at Regrettable Choices

By Piper Weiss

Mel Gibson: Sexiest Man Alive, 1985

People Magazine's annual quest for the Sexiest Man Alive will come to an end Wednesday when the winner is announced. This year, the editors are taking a lighter approach, launching "funny is the new sexy" campaign which will likely lead to a more unconventionally attractive winner. After 26 years, they've learned a valuable lesson. Brooding five o' clock shadows and bright, blue wild man eyes don't always make for the ideal guy.

See People's very first SMA choice for proof.
At least twice a year the magazine doles out praise in the form of "sexiest" and "most beautiful" lists. It's only logical that a few of those list-makers let it get to their head. Here are some of the more regrettable hunks honored by the magazine, long before their rap sheets and tabloid scandals. Hey, everybody makes bad choices sometimes. But if People Magazine ever wants to set you up with a really great guy, do a background check first.

Those baby blues turned into crazy eyes by the 2000's.   
The very first SMA ever chosen, he was still Mad Max and not Mad Mel when he was bestowed the title. Over two decades later he's still making Hollywood headlines but for not-so-sexy things like racist, anti-Semitic tirades and tape-recorded threats to the mother of his child.

John Edwards: Sexiest Politician, 2000 
Edwards at a photo shoot in June for the US Marshals Service.   
Chosen for his "clean-cut boyish charm," Edwards was still a political hopeful and a family man when the magazine's turn of the century sexy list debuted. Posing for his mug-shot, in preparation for his fraud trial, his boyish charm was the only thing hard to spot under those precinct lights.  

Andrew Dan-Jumbo: Most Beautiful List, 2003
Don't look for this guy on any Most Beautiful Lists moving forward. 
Nick Nolte: Sexiest Man Alive, 1992
Nick not being sexy in 2002.
He was still whispering "Lowenstein" in the "Prince of Tides" when he was selected for the esteemed title. 10 years later, that whisper had turned into a slur, the night Nolte was arrested for DUI, and snapped for a mug shot that will haunt him forever.

Keith Clinkscales: Sexiest Businessman, 2001  
Keith probably doesn't want to be associated with the word 'sex' right about now.
 At the time, he was a 37-year-old magazine mogul, who spent his evenings "vegging out in front of the TV" with his wife. Now he's a top dog at ESPN, mired in a sex scandal that's anything but sexy. He's been accused of "fondling himself on an airplane" while sitting next to ESPN reporter Erin Andrews. Clinkscales vehemently denies the claim and has filed a defamation suit against the ESPN employee who spread the rumor. Regardless of what really happened, this kind of press coverage doesn't exactly make you burn for the guy.
Jesse James: Most Beautiful People list, 2003  
Jesse's not looking so beautiful these days.
 This marked the 'rise' part of James' short rise and long fall. He had a hit TV show, a memoir and he'd just started seeing Sandra Bullock of too-good-for-him fame. These days, he's hung his head in shame over his compulsive cheating problem so many times he's practically a human bobble-head. Ex-fiancee Kat Von D claims he cheated on her with 19 other women, which beats his Bullock record by a long shot.

Jude Law: Sexiest Man Alive, 2004  
Uh oh. Jude's making that Me-Want-Nanny-Face again. Hide your babysitters.
 Less than a year after he landed on the cover of People for being sexy, he was back on magazine covers for being sexy with his kids' nanny. Nothing is hotter than a man who cheats on his much younger girlfriend with the caretaker of his three children.

Ashton Kutcher: Most Beautiful, 2008  
Remember back a few months ago when Ashton was still sexy?
 When he landed on the list three years ago, he told Ellen DeGeneres he was hoping to get the 'sexiest' title next. "Once you're beautiful, you can sort of lean into sexy," he said. He probably shouldn't get his hopes up: after a year of cheating scandals and idiotic tweets, he might not even make the "most intriguing" list.

Britney and Kevin: Most Beautiful Couples list, 2005
If these crazy kids can't make it, nobody on that 2005 list can.
 They made the list, along with J.Lo and Marc, Jessica and Nick, Gisele and Leo and Ryan and Reese. Not a good list to be on, in hindsight.

O.J. Simpson: Sexiest Male Athletes, reader's poll, 1980  
O.J. not in 1980.
 Long before the 'sexiest' or 'most beautiful' lists, People asked, well, other people, who they mooned over. At the start of the '80s, one of the top jocks to make the cut was none other than the star of the trial of the century.

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