“Fat Actress” Is Most Desirable Woman

hunger-games-katniss-everdeen_458[1]It seems that just yesterday Jennifer Lawrence was deemed a fat actress — in Hollyweird, anyway. But now she’s been named Most Desirable Woman” by more than 2.4 million AskMen readers. Also on the list were her sisters in non-starvation, Christina Hendricks and Kim Kardashian.

But actually, different sizes, shapes, colors and ages are on this list, too. And in a truly revolutionary move:

These men were tasked with voting on more than just sex appeal, taking into account character, intelligence, talent, sense of humor, professional success, achievements in 2012 and potential for 2013.

And as a result, “a new breed of women have changed the definition of ‘desirability’” read one headline.

And so the list includes non-voluptuous celebs with Mila Kunis at #2, along with Kristen Stewart and Kate Middleton.

Women of different colors were named: Rihanna, Selena Gomez and Lucy Liu, among them.

You needn’t be a classic beauty, either. Check out Emma Stone and Claire Danes, who got her start playing a very ordinary teen.

Even the over-40 set was lauded, including Sofia Vergara, Sarah Silverman and Rachel Weisz.

Powerful women were also among the most desirable, including Michelle Obama, Marissa Mayer, President and CEO of Yahoo! and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of the Russian activist-punk group Pussy Riot.

As feminism has spread men have become less intimidated by, and more appreciative of, strong women. James Bassil, the Editor-In-Chief of AskMen, put it this way:

The top-rated women on AskMen’s 12th edition of the Top 99 Most Desirable Women list speaks to men’s growing comfort with strong and independent partners.

It speaks to men’s growing confidence in themselves, as well.

I’m not thrilled about ranking women. But perhaps this varied list that moves beyond looks will encourage more women to move outside the one-dimensionality of narrow beauty norms and help us to broaden and grow greater confidence in ourselves, too.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on December 12, 2012, in body image, feminism, men, psychology, women and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. I agree with you – I am not a fan of ranking women, especially when cis-gendered straight men are the ones who are dictating how and why women are “the most desirable.” It’s uncomfortable (to say the least) that we play into this type of social interaction in order to deem ourselves worthy – or not – of affection and acceptance. It can also add to the rift and conflict between women, pegging each other against their female peers because some fit that type better than others, making women with different bodies, sizes, and colors social pariahs. I also agree with your point that men “have become less intimidated by, and more appreciative of, stronger women” – I very much believe that feminism, the women’s movement, and younger generations with progressive views have helped to bolster this opinion. Hopefully, as we move forward, there will be a trend normalizing all types of women, and showing how being desirable comes in a variety of types and bodies. This will most likely come with an equalizing of gendered roles, gender identity, and sexual identity being more accepted. I understand that there will always be outside forces that will influence how we think of ourselves. I grew up in a time where I never saw someone who looked like me in films or TV, which definitely gave me an interesting complex. Do I belong? Am I normal? As an adult, and someone who has held several jobs in the entertainment industry, what the media portrays as “normal society” and “desire” are almost never accurate of what my everyday world looks like. But, as an impressionable kid, that doesn’t matter – what matters is to fit in. Thankfully, casting has become a lot more diverse, inviting actors of many colors, shapes, and sizes to portray characters who fall in love, are in healthy relationships, and have the respect of the people around them. We’ll always have labeling and categorization. It’s in our nature to name things, label them, and put them in a specific place in our minds-eye. It is how we process the world around us. But it is our job now to find better, equal, and inclusive ways of doing this. Women’s ability to express themselves without the oppression of men is at the highest point in our history. Hopefully, confidence, self-acceptance, and self-love will continue to trend as we redefine “sexy,” “desirable,” and “beautiful.”

  2. In my opinion, the threads which are common to all these ladies mentioned above are: confidence and achievement. It is good to see that men have started going beyond mere looks of ladies and have acknowledged their confidence in dealing with the world and whatever they have achieved despite odds. Very soon there will be a paradigm shift which will encourage women to work harder, love themselves, be confident and achieve more laurels.
    I am still unable to understand why a few of these ladies have been labelled as “fat”. Who on Earth are others to categorize men or women as “fat” or “thin”?

  3. Everybody comes in different shapes, sizes, colors, ages, etc. It is important to remind yourself that you are different then what you see in the media and in the media they are also different from you. A lot of the time most people are very inclined to look up and praise some celebrity on their looks and body because they are beautiful. It makes people feel like they need the high expectations of what a celebrity looks like and that is not the case. Everyone is beautiful in their own skin no matter what and the only way you will actually realize that is if you have confidence in yourself and you constantly remind yourself how beautiful you are. Ranking women based on how they look in this celebrity game in the article is not ideal because each celebrity is SO different. Ranking women in general based on how they look isn’t fair because everyone is different and brings a unique beauty to the table. Gaining self confidence will help remind yourself how beautiful yourself is and the people around you.

  4. I recently saw this picture on Facebook that was a screenshot of a twitter thread. The first was this girl posting a selfie of herself all dressed up in makeup looking beautiful. Then, some random guy says, “Not my type” so she responds, “Ok and” and he responds in return saying, “So take it down”. This really angered me. It’s just the sort of thing that any angry woman would think a man would say. And it’s true. I do believe that those kinds of men, the kind that feel entitled to things that aren’t theirs, exist. But this article has calmed me down because where there may be 50 guys like this one, there will probably be 5,000 more who aren’t. I’m grateful for the women who have gotten us here to this day, to the day where men are looking at more than just our bodies but our minds as well. It sends out a message to other guys just coming into their own that it’s okay to think a mind is sexier than a body.

  5. The fact that men are still allowed to rank women as “Desirable” is really unbelievable. The fact that they get credit for voting for women who aren’t 5’4” and blonde with oversized assets, the ones who aren’t ‘classic beauties’, is even less believable. It seems like a betrayal of the concept of feminism at it’s core; as it only serves to play to the idea that men are shallow, un-evolved creatures waiting for an opportunity to bang a woman over the head with a club and drag her back to his cave and that we should somehow applaud them for expanding their gaze to a larger spectrum of women to objectify. And why as women who want to be equal, do we continue the pattern by acknowledging a woman’s weight as directly related to her perceived desirability? By continuing to use the term “fat actress” you are perpetuating ‘fatphobia’ and degrading a fellow female at the same time, which just seems silly to me.

  6. I believe that at times it is hard to realize and remember that what we see throughout the media isn’t necessarily true. With the use of programs like Photoshop images get altered to an unrealistic expectation of beauty women may think they have to follow. Women and young girls need to feel more confident with their bodies without starving themselves. It is not always about beauty but the strength and power you present around others. With many strong and independent celebrities around us it can potentially boost our self-esteem and confidence in order to be the best version of us we can be. It is a great step like you mentioned since men have started to become less intimidated and more appreciative of strong women so as a result it is helping our society become a society where we value and treat all genders equally.

  7. Sehyeon (Sam) Park

    I found this story from different website. The writer of the other article had different opinion. Your article is titled as ‘“Fat Actress” Is Most Desirable Woman’, and talks about how views on woman are changed. I once again think how important that culture and society influence people. Because the articled talked about the reason why this actress was top ranked is because she hasen’t had any kind of scandal for four years. The country I came from expects pure and innocence from actress. If actress were in some kind of scandal with a man, she is most likely to lose a lot of fans. I found it very interesting that how different culture and society can see things in so totally different ways.

  8. Great to hear that men are more appreciative of strong women a step forward of understanding that women can do anything they set there mind to. jennifer Lawerence deemed as an fat actress PLEASE! hollywood needs to stop! Every women thats curvy, fat, ETC… is BEAUTIFUL!

  9. **This might seem revolutionary after the wave of extreme anorexia in women that continues to permeate the media; however, Jennifer Lawrence, Christina Hendricks, and Kim Kardashian still have very idealized bodies. They are still slender women. It’s nice to see that anorexia isn’t being totally praised, and I think this definitely could be a step in the right direction. Or it could be a step in the direction that women are expected to have idealized bodies in another way, like Hendricks, Lawrence, and Kardashian, who are all thin, but have curves in the right places, like curvy hips and breasts. Most women I know gain weight in their stomach or legs, unless they’re lucky enough for their bodies to naturally fit the standard of beauty.**

    When we take a real step forward is when we start acknowledging that there is no real ideal, there is nothing to be attained because everyone is different, when we can recognize that striving to be identical to someone else is ridiculous, especially to the point where it compromises one’s health. And living in a time when movie stars have to defend themselves from being called fat when they are still a billion times more suited to an ideal than most people, still eons from being even near overweight, we have a very long way to go.

  10. Nice to see diversity of all kinds in this ranking.

  11. I think you hint at one of the most important things here. What answer you get will depend on what question you ask.
    Many stereotypes and damaging prejudices can be maintained and supported by asking leading questions. So the gutter media, who thrive by exploiting ignorance and bigotry, can ask questions like “who’s got the best tits”, or “which guy gets laid more?” and then make out that this was all the interviewees were interested.

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