AskMen's "Most Desirable Women of 2014" Puts Miley Cyrus Last & Sends a Horrible Message
Today, AskMen released their list of the "Most Desirable Women of 2014." If you aren't aware, this is news. A bunch of dudes getting together and deciding exactly which famous women are the hottest is An Important Thing.
In fact, this list is so important that it must not be sullied by the name Miley Cyrus. Here's the deal: the pop princess was voted up much higher on the list, but the people over at AskMen take this list very seriously, so they "took the editorial decision to symbolically put her at number 99."
At first glance, the list is pretty unremarkable. It's a mix of kickass ladies (Janelle Monae, Kate Winslet), models, and athletes who you've probably never heard of, and one woman whose claim to fame is the "Most Famous Ass on Instagram." Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke is #1, if you wanted to know. And on some level, it's very easy to understand AskMen's "editorial decision." Cyrus is a controversial figure, and few would describe her as "mature" or "classy." But it's disappointing nonetheless, because she represents a (mostly) positive trend in popular culture: women taking charge (and occasionally being aggressive with) their sexuality.
Just take a look at the top five: if these women show any expressions of sexuality, they're overwhelmingly submissive. There's Emma Watson, the always self-deprecating Jennifer Lawrence, Allison Brie, and perhaps most offensively, Emily Ratajkowski, otherwise known as the topless model from the "Blurred Lines" video. Meanwhile, pop music's most outspoken women can only be found much further down on the list. Rihanna is over at #17, and despite the sheer power of being Beyonce, the pop queen couldn't crack the top ten (she's at #11).
As utterly useless as lists like these are, they still send a message to the men and women who read them. And the decisions made by the AskMen list editors send the message of the thin, thin line women are expected to walk if they want to be loved and desired: they must be funny, but not bawdy; outgoing, but not loud; sexy, but not sexual. Otherwise, they'll be taken down a notch — or 99.
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