But, of course, whenever there’s a list of anything (hotties, TV shows, humus recipes, paint thinners, etc.) you also have people complaining about whoever is on the list. “How could Person X not be on this list?!” “How could Person Y be on this list?!” “You are all nuts because Person Z should be the only person on this list 100 times, and then another 100 times because that’s how awesome Person Z is.” “Whatever, Person Z is fat.” Sigh.
I’ve discussed the sometimes problematic exercise of ranking women in the first place before. But I consider the AfterEllen Hot 100 voting to be a somewhat respectful objectification, more than just tawdry leering (fine, OK, there’s a lot of that, too). What I enjoy I enjoy most about it is not just looking at this list of beautiful women, but looking at this list of beautiful women who queer women consider beautiful. We can argue all we want about who is and isn’t on the list, but in the end we made the list. This was voted on by us. And that’s why I like it. I think us gay gals bring a different perspective that is all-too-often missing from the oiled-up bikini babes that tend to dominate other such lists. And, no, I am not bashing oiled-up bikini babes. Especially since I hope to see many when I’m near the beach in the very immediate future. Still it’s that variety, the nuance and the reasoning that always intrigues me about this very special list of 100 ladies each year.
The Top 10 this year is particularly interesting:
- Naya Rivera
- Heather Morris
- Jessica Capshaw
- Sara Ramirez
- Olivia Wilde
- Amber Heard
- Shay Mitchell
- Dianna Agron
- Lily Loveless
- Lea Michelle
I find this group fantastic because it says that what we love most in women this year is women who play gay, are gay or act gay with their best friend on Twitter (oh, Achele, you adorable teases). We think it’s beautiful when women allow us to see ourselves reflected through them – either through their real lives or their portrayals on screen. That’s an important thing to celebrate and acknowledge. We are very loyal to those who are good to us. One of the greatest struggles when you’re part of a minority group is to find yourself in the wider world. Where are the other people like me? How can I see my own life? Who will tell my stories? And these women have given us that, and that’s special.
We may disagree about who ranked where and when. We may argue about who should be higher and who should be lower. We may bemoan what kind of women got left off and what kind got let on. But, in the end, it’s just a list. What is important is that women – in all their forms, shapes, colors and ages – are beautiful. They all deserve to be on a list. And we, as women who love women, should feel great about the simple act of acknowledging our attraction and appreciation for them out loud. Sometimes, you’ve just got so say it. Damn, women are fucking hot.