Bradley Cooper, Sexiest Man Alive 2011? I Don’t Think So.

Every year, People magazine announces their Sexiest Man Alive and every year the announcement with near universal criticism. It seems there are always people who feel they chose the wrong person. I usually agree. The tradition started in 1985 although there have been slight variations including ‘Sexiest Couple’ replacing ‘Sexiest Man’ in 1993 and no winner at all announced in 1994. Let’s look back over the complete list before we get to where they went wrong this year.

  • 1985: Mel Gibson
  • 1986: Mark Hamilton
  • 1987: Harry Hamlin
  • 1988: John F. Kennedy Jr.
  • 1989: Sean Connery
  • 1990: Tom Cruise
  • 1991: Patrick Swayze
  • 1992: Nick Nolte
  • 1993: Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford
  • 1995: Brad Pitt
  • 1996: Denzel Washington
  • 1997: George Clooney
  • 1998: Harrison Ford
  • 1999: Richard Gere
  • 2000: Brad Pitt
  • 2001: Pierce Brosnan
  • 2002: Ben Affleck
  • 2003: Johnny Depp
  • 2004: Jude Law
  • 2005: Matthew McConaughey
  • 2006: George Clooney
  • 2007: Matt Damon
  • 2008: Hugh Jackman
  • 2009: Johnny Depp
  • 2010: Ryan Reynolds

In their 2011 Sexiest Man Alive issue, People magazine did make a few wise choices but there are some key changes we would’ve made. For example, Blake Shelton or Brad Paisley in place of Tim McGraw to represent the world of country music and Neil Patrick Harris, Charlie Hunnam or Joseph Morgan in place of, well, pretty much everyone else to represent the world of television. I loved seeing Idris Elba make the cut as that man is just crazy sexy and I was also thrilled to see Dylan McDermott (pictured above) among the hundred or so honorable mentions.


Where People really went wrong though was the top spot – the Sexiest Man Alive honoree himself. I love Bradley Cooper and I know that while I love Joseph Morgan and Charlie Hunnam (who would be my picks for the top spot – article coming soon) I recognize that they may not have the name recognition yet to earn such an honor. However, looking over the list of past nominees, I can’t help but feel like Bradley just doesn’t fit it. Ten names came to mind right away, not just that could’ve taken the top spot this year but that should’ve really held the title by now, even if it should’ve happened years ago. I love Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt and George Clooney but should they really get two turns at the top when these ten sexy men have been denied the opportunity even once? Let’s take a look.


10: Ewan McGregor

Sure he might not be quite a household name but he should be. Ewan is absolutely gorgeous and also happens to be incredibly talented. I’ve never seen him give a bad performance and that has to count for something. Sure Bradley Cooper has pretty eyes but he’s got nothing on Ewan in that department. Beyond being gorgeous and talented, Ewan is also entirely fearless when it comes to his craft, taking on roles few other actors would have the guts to take on. Ewan may not have gotten the title, but he definitely deserves it.


09: Keanu Reeves

Keanu may be mocked endlessly for his less than stellar acting abilities but that’s not what this list is about. This list is about sex appeal and Keanu has it in spades. His cool and relaxed attitude makes him even more appealing. Think back to the days of Speed and The Matrix. The guy was on fire yet was never named the Sexiest Man Alive? I call shenanigans on this one.


08: Robert Downey Jr.

I can’t even explain how very, very much Robert Downey Jr. deserves this title. He persevered in a business that likes to call itself forgiving but can definitely be anything but. He pulled off one of the most miraculous comebacks in movie history and worked hard to rebuild the reputation he destroyed. Beyond all that though, he’s absolutely gorgeous and it’s hard to argue his natural talent and charisma.


07: Leonardo DiCaprio

Before Zac Efron, before Robert Pattinson, there was Leo. He burst onto the scene in Titanicand then worked hard to prove himself as a legitimate actor. He might not be the heartthrob he once was but that hardly matters. The man is still beautiful and more than that, he’s smart. He’s got the balls to speak out about the issues he believes in and to me, that makes him all the more sexy.


06: Colin Farrell

Sure Colin’s had his problems, but he’s also worked hard to straighten himself out. He’s got that cocky, bad boy attitude women love so much (at least this woman, anyway) but he’s also got the legitimate acting chops to be taken seriously in the business. It also just so happens that Colin was featured in two of my all time favorite movies, In Bruges and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.


05: James Franco

Not only is James deliciously handsome and wonderfully talented, he’s also endlessly interesting. The man is always doing something new, different and exciting. James isn’t content to just do what’s expected of him. He’s always finding some new way to surprise us all, taking roles he finds interesting rather than roles that will simply further his career and offering us new projects of his own creation that get people talking. I love this man and he needs – absolutely requires – this title to add to his resume.


04: Robert Pattinson

How has Robert Pattinson not been given this title? It seems a little ridiculous, doesn’t it? He may not be the most attractive man in Hollywood but he is one of the most instantly recognizable and he does have an enormous fan base. I’m not sure why People magazine chose not to hand this title to Robert at the height of Twilight-mania but I’m sure it had something to do with wanting to appear credible. Come on, People. It’s the Sexiest Man Alive title not an Academy Award.


03: Will Smith

Really, People? No Will Smith? It could be argued that Will isn’t really sexy in the traditional sense but you gave the title to freaking Nick Nolte. That man is only the second craziest dude in Hollywood because no one can beat Gary Busey in the bat-poop crazy department. Will Smith oozes sex appeal. He’s funny, charismatic and charming. He also has a huge fan base and tons of talent. I don’t really care for the big budget action movies, but I’ll watch nearly anything with Will in it.


02: Ryan Gosling

This is the part where I admit that Ryan Gosling is on this list for one simple reason – people are really up in arms that Bradley Cooper was chosen over Ryan Gosling this year. I, unlike People magazine, listen to what people say and try to give them what they want. Personally, I don’t think Ryan’s all that attractive in the physical sense but I love him as an actor and Dead Man’s Bonesis possibly one of my favorite bands of all time. Well, maybe not of all time, but they’re really damn good.


01: Jake Gyllenhaal

Okay, this one really pisses me off. How in the name of all things good and holy has Jake Gyllenhaal never been named the Sexiest Man Alive? How? The man has the body of Ryan Reynolds with the face of Jake frigging Gyllenhaal. I was genuinely shocked when I didn’t see Jake’s name on the list of past nominees. There is nothing unattractive about Jake. I mean that. There’s nothing unattractive about Jake. He’s funny, charming and has a smile that can stop hearts in mid-beat. I’m sure Jake doesn’t care that the title has eluded him but I do. It’s a freaking outrage.

Okay, I’ve done my ranting – it’s your turn. Who do you think is the sexiest man alive? Sound off in the comments section below. I’ll be compiling my own list of the sexiest men in the entertainment industry over the coming weeks and I’ll count your comments as votes. Make sure you check back for the list which will be packed full of pictures and all sorts of useful information about the men. Also make sure you check out my Man Candy Monday feature right here on World of Female. Thanks for reading.