Sandra Bullock Is 'People's Oldest "Most Beautiful Person", Which Could Bode Well For Changing Beauty Standards

Gorgeous enough to warrant suspicion that she’s keeping a self-portrait in her attic, it's a no-brainer that Sandra Bullock is People Magazine’s Most Beautiful Person of the Year in 2015. The only thing instantly curious about her designation, in fact, is that she has never won it before in these past 26 years of the publication’s recognition of pop culture’s most attractive women (and, occasionally, men). But Bullock, America's Sweetheart, holds a particular distinction among her fellow honorees. She’s the first person over the age of 50 to receive the superlative.

Bullock will turn 51 in July, making her the oldest person to earn the Most Beautiful Person title so far, and by a wide margin at that. Of course, People isn’t unique in its association of beauty with youth, as the realm of American pop culture has traditionally celebrated and devoted its eye (and wallet) to the young. But maybe we’re all moving toward a more open-minded state of being, one that recognizes due beauty in people a few years older than the average CW star.

A quick look back at the past 26 winners of People’s Most Beautiful might suggest we are indeed heading in said direction. With newest honoree Bullock hitting the aforementioned milestone, plus a gradual shift upward in terms of triumphant ages, People could well be on the right track toward a more accepting idea of beauty.

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Note: The following statistics reflect the ultimate age of the individual within the year she was selected.

First Winner: Michelle Pfeiffer in 1990, the year she turned 32.

First Winner to Breach 40: Mel Gilbson (#7) in 1996, the year he turned 40.

First Female Winner to Breach 40: Michelle Pfeiffer (#10, and one of only two repeat winners) in 1999, the year she turned 41.

Youngest Winners: A tie between Julia Roberts (#2) in 1991 and Leonardo DiCaprio (#9) in 1998 — each turned 24 in his/her respective year of victory. Followed by Cindy Crawford (#4) in the year she turned 27 (1993), Kate Hudson (#19) in the year she turned 29 (2008), and Jodie Foster (#3) in the year she turned 30 (1992).

Oldest Winners: As per the focus of this article, this year’s winner, Sandra Bullock (#26) who turns 51 in July. Followed by Julia Roberts (#21) in the year she turned 43 (2010), Jennifer Lopez (#22) in the year she turned 42 (2011), and a tie of Michelle Pfeiffer (#10) in 1999 and Gwyneth Paltrow (#24) in 2013 — each turned 41 in her respective year of victory.

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Winners in Their 20s: Four: Julia Roberts (the other repeat winner, #2 — 1991, the year she turned 24), Cindy Crawford (#4 — 1993, the year she turned 27), Leonardo DiCaprio (#9 — 1998, the year he turned 24), and Kate Hudson (#19 — 2008, the year she turned 29).

Winners in Their 30s: Sixteen: Michelle Pfeiffer (#1 — 1990, the year she turned 32), Jodie Foster (#3 — 1992, the year she turned 30), Meg Ryan (#5 — 1994, the year she turned 33), Courteney Cox (#6 — 1995, the year she turned 31), Tom Cruise (#8 — 1997, the year he turned 35), Julia Roberts (#11 — 2000, the year she turned 33), Catherine Zeta-Jones (#12 — 2001, the year she turned 32), Nicole Kidman (#13 — 2002, the year she turned 35), Halle Berry (#14 — 2003, the year she turned 37), Jennifer Aniston (#15 — 2004, the year she turned 35), Julia Roberts (#16 — 2005, the year she turned 38), Angelina Jolie (#17 — 2006, the year she turned 31), Drew Barrymore (#18 — 2007, the year she turned 32), Christina Applegate (#20 — 2009, the year she turned 38), Beyonce (#23 — 2012, the year she turned 31), and Lupita Nyong’o (2014 — the year she turned 31).

Winners in Their 40s: Five: Mel Gibson (#7 — 1995, the year he turned 40), Michelle Pfeiffer (#10 — 1999, the year she turned 41), Julia Roberts (#21 — 2010, the year she turned 43), Jennifer Lopez (#22 — 2011, the year she turned 42), and Gwyneth Paltrow (#24 — 2013, the year she turned 41).

Most Frequent Age: 31, with four occurrences: Courteney Cox (#6 in 1995), Angelina Jolie (#17 in 2006), Beyonce (#23 in 2012), and Lupita Nyong’o (#25 in 2014).

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Average Age of Winners Overall: 35 years.

Average Age of Female Winners: 35 years.

Average Age of Winners in the First Ten Years of the Competition: 32 years.

Average Age of Winners in the Last Ten Years of the Competition: 37 years.

Images: Getty