I have time left. I have a feeling I could still get a little sexier.
November 16, 2017 4:50 PM   Subscribe

Each year Mallory Ortberg explores the horror of what it takes to be crowned People's Sexiest Man Alive. She began with Adam Levine. Then there was Chris Hemsworth and David Beckham. Now, Blake Shelton has been named Sexiest Man Alive. God have mercy on his soul.
posted by Emily's Fist (110 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 


Blake Shelton is a replacement level chunk of slightly old cheese.
posted by selfnoise at 4:58 PM on November 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


Welp, locks up my very far away Halloween costume for next year. Sexy Blake Shelton.
posted by chainlinkspiral at 5:07 PM on November 16, 2017 [8 favorites]


Note, Ortberg skipped 2016's Yearking (Dwayne Johnson).
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:08 PM on November 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


My favorite response on twitter was that Blake Shelton is not even the sexiest man in this Waffle House.

(source obscure, happy to credit if found)
posted by Cold Lurkey at 5:15 PM on November 16, 2017 [32 favorites]


It's so sad that we live in such a materialistic culture. I mean, a glove compartment? In the old days, the stone knife evanesced out of the fog, subtle and undeniable, already weighting the Yearking's hand in the moment of slaughter, but now it's just like, what sells enough BMWs, you know?
posted by peppercorn at 5:21 PM on November 16, 2017 [11 favorites]


Finally a reasonable explanation for why Idris Elba was passed over.
posted by ckape at 5:22 PM on November 16, 2017 [12 favorites]


In the old days, the stone knife evanesced out of the fog, subtle and undeniable, already weighting the Yearking's hand in the moment of slaughter

That’s what happens when hands aren’t strong enough to hold the tithe for Old Henry and the streets run with milk.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:30 PM on November 16, 2017 [17 favorites]


Over the last two decades that People has given out this 'honor', almost half have been either laughable, eye-rolling or cringreworthy. Shelton seems to be the first to hit the trifecta.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:32 PM on November 16, 2017 [6 favorites]


I'm not a great judge of this, being a heterosexual dude but... no.

There is no definition of "sexiest", "man", or "alive" by which Blake Shelton is the sexiest man alive. In the past I've always been able to see it. The Rock? Sure, why not? Chris Hemsworth or Hugh Jackman? Of course. They are seriously gorgeous lookin' dudes. We can quibble about whether Idris Elba should have been on the list (actually, we can't. He should be. This is not negotiable), but that's a distraction. A worthy distraction, but a distraction.

I realize it's odd for me, a straight dude, to make this pronouncement, but sometimes a straight white guy has to speak up for himself: Blake Shelton is not the sexiest man alive.

That is all.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 5:32 PM on November 16, 2017 [34 favorites]


As I said of this link on twitter, this was exactly the kind of hilarious (and true) take I needed: Blake Shelton Is People's Sexiest Man Alive and I Have So Many Questions
posted by primalux at 5:34 PM on November 16, 2017 [31 favorites]


There is no definition of "sexiest", "man", or "alive" by which Blake Shelton is the sexiest man alive.

Sure there is. The definition by which he steals Gwen Stefani's beauty and then kills the last sexiest man alive. Duh. :)
posted by Emily's Fist at 5:40 PM on November 16, 2017 [4 favorites]


And if you enjoyed R. Eric Thomas talking about supposed-sexy-man Blake Shelton, you'll absolutely love him talking about actual-sexy-man Jason Momoa.
posted by primalux at 5:42 PM on November 16, 2017 [12 favorites]


It’s People. Has anyone here been in a waiting room long enough to flip through an issue of People lately? There’s usually like three people in there, and two of them are Sheryl Crow. It is not a publication of any relevance in 2017.

The most generous interpretation of this announcement is that People is just trolling to remind us it exists. But I suspect the real situation is that the managers and agents of all the many, many, many sexier men alive got that congratulatory call from People and just hung right up because who could give a fuck.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:46 PM on November 16, 2017 [9 favorites]


Deep in the crypts of a ruined temple, somewhere on the edge of the Aral sea, the Goldblum waits.

Waits, and smiles.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:49 PM on November 16, 2017 [33 favorites]


Not to derail, but I'm now really disappointed by the Dean Cain stuff.
posted by kimota at 6:05 PM on November 16, 2017 [3 favorites]


People Magazine: Blake Shelton is this year's Sexiest Man Alive!
The entire internet: No, he isn't, and we've found a few million ways to say so.
Blake Shelton's sloshed publicist to her bartender: What do you do when you're too good at your job and you achieve something you shouldn't and it backfires on you?
posted by orange swan at 6:09 PM on November 16, 2017 [77 favorites]


Luvvie Ajayi: Blake Shelton is People’s Sexiest Man Alive Because Everything Is Stupid

“I know Blake owns so many pairs of cargo pants that unzip at the knees to become cargo shorts. I JUST KNOW IT.”
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:09 PM on November 16, 2017 [22 favorites]


Well, I'm going to give People a pass on this one.

He is a man. And he is alive. Could they have done better? Sure. But two out of three ain't bad. They could have chosen, say, H.R. Haldeman, who is only one of those three. So it could be a lot worse, is all I'm saying.
posted by Naberius at 6:11 PM on November 16, 2017 [22 favorites]


And this is the most I’ve seen the internet talk about People magazine in a long while. Maybe a purposefully bad pick?
posted by bizzyb at 6:26 PM on November 16, 2017 [3 favorites]


when they named him the sexiest man alive i just assumed that all other men on earth had died suddenly
posted by poffin boffin at 6:38 PM on November 16, 2017 [43 favorites]


Assumed, or wished?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:59 PM on November 16, 2017 [33 favorites]


Blake Shelton looks like Michael Madsen after getting bit a second time by the money briefcase mamba in Kill Bill
posted by palindromic at 7:03 PM on November 16, 2017 [12 favorites]


Just came here to say that, contrary to what the Elle link reads, Shelton has zero Jim Hopper vibes. Jim Hopper would have been a reasonable sexiest man alive (if Mr. Elba didn't exist, of course).
posted by Eyeveex at 7:10 PM on November 16, 2017 [19 favorites]


I'm just going to assume Ewan McGregor passed. "No, no -- let someone else have it, brighten their day."

Those eyes. So dreamy.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:35 PM on November 16, 2017 [21 favorites]


Hate the magazine and not the man, yo
posted by boo_radley at 7:38 PM on November 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


Naw, let's go ahead and hate this man.
posted by Tentacle of Trust at 7:42 PM on November 16, 2017 [7 favorites]


He’s a racist, sexist homophobe, yo
posted by Sys Rq at 7:44 PM on November 16, 2017 [19 favorites]


I mean, David Tennant has always been right there.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:05 PM on November 16, 2017 [12 favorites]


Y'all should probably read the linked articles. They are not what you think they are. cw:gore
posted by stet at 8:19 PM on November 16, 2017 [7 favorites]


Oh shit Anthony Oliveira:

(Who is the World's Sexiest Homophobe Alive? It's a tough category bc they always end up looking like they got brundleflyed w a moldy potato)
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:24 PM on November 16, 2017 [5 favorites]


Ever since The Gos reportedly passed up the opportunity, SMA has been meh for me.

I mean they used to pick pop-on up-and-coming hits but now it's a publicity wank.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:45 PM on November 16, 2017


i would pay so many amounts of money to watch a mini-series made by showtime of this, in like 2025, and the mid-season cliffhanger, set in 2020, is where what-was-Adam finally dies at the hand of what-was-the-youngest-Jonas, due to Miley Cyrus tricking him into thinking he could have the title back with the face of the middle Jonas, but still-Idris must decide to save the young Jonas or not. I'm sure the series finale will have an appearance by Dev-once-upon-a-time.
posted by numaner at 9:17 PM on November 16, 2017 [5 favorites]


I don't understand why people don't just set fire to the magazine racks in supermarket checkout lanes. I mean...there are usually packs of lighters right next to them that would make it so easy.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:21 PM on November 16, 2017 [18 favorites]


My favorite response on twitter was that Blake Shelton is not even the sexiest man in this Waffle House.

A girl at work had to look Blake Shelton up on Google Images to figure out what the rest of us were so mad about and I waved at the computer and said "Blake Shelton isn't even the sexiest man alive on this screen full of pictures of Blake Shelton".

I stand by that.
posted by padraigin at 9:27 PM on November 16, 2017 [42 favorites]


Who?
posted by arha at 10:32 PM on November 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


I feel a bit bad for Shelton; assuming he didn't court this honor too assiduously, then maybe he doesn't deserve to get dunked on like a Fisher-Price basketball hoop. Still, if it gets to Mallory continue her saga, it's all for the best.
posted by Iridic at 10:51 PM on November 16, 2017 [5 favorites]


Next you’ll be telling me Pantone has chosen a completely arbitrary color to represent the entire year.
posted by alexlaw at 11:30 PM on November 16, 2017 [14 favorites]


Assumed, or wished?

john boyega has never done anything wrong in his life and i love him
posted by poffin boffin at 11:32 PM on November 16, 2017 [21 favorites]


Actually, GREENERY PANTONE 15-0343, is a sexier man than Blake Shelton.
posted by el io at 12:10 AM on November 17, 2017 [24 favorites]


feel a bit bad for Shelton; assuming he didn't court this honor too assiduously, then maybe he doesn't deserve to get dunked on like a Fisher-Price basketball hoop. 

The SMA is absolutely not surprised by it. He has to agree to it, and the accompanying interview/photo shoot/publicity stuff that goes along with it.
posted by pseudonymph at 12:15 AM on November 17, 2017 [2 favorites]


If People really wanted to stir up public discourse they should have put in a reflective mirror on the cover like when Time did that one time.
posted by like_neon at 2:21 AM on November 17, 2017 [10 favorites]


The more I think about it, that would have been more clever than Time's execution. Very zeitgeisty to talk about 1) cultural and subjective definitions of attractiveness, not to mention the trend for Ugly Pretty (ie Let us ask ourselves, what exactly is 'sexiest'?) 2) Gender identity and fluidity (What is 'man'?) and 3) existentialism (ie What is 'alive'?)
posted by like_neon at 2:27 AM on November 17, 2017 [4 favorites]


I'd certainly love to read Mallory's interpretation of what it means once we've all been declared Sexiest Man Alive. The horror.
posted by Emily's Fist at 2:52 AM on November 17, 2017 [6 favorites]


So my first reaction was, "Blake Shelton" sounds exactly like a county singer's name and, hey, I was right.

I'm guessing that People is going for the demographic of Americans who still buy magazines in supermarkets.
posted by octothorpe at 3:56 AM on November 17, 2017 [5 favorites]


We all know that the sexiest man alive is
╔╦╗╦ ╦╔═╗  ╦ ╦╦ ╦╔═╗╔╗╔╔═╗╔╦╗╔═╗╔═╗╔╦╗
 ║ ╠═╣║╣   ╠═╣╚╦╝╠═╝║║║║ ║ ║ ║ ║╠═╣ ║║
 ╩ ╩ ╩╚═╝  ╩ ╩ ╩ ╩  ╝╚╝╚═╝ ╩ ╚═╝╩ ╩═╩╝
                                                                            
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 4:27 AM on November 17, 2017 [13 favorites]


I kinda don't get what all the fuss is - or, well, re racism, homophobia, sexism, that's all bad and valid reasons to object to the guy being celebrated in any context. But all the kvetching about his appearance? He looks... fine. Same as every other supposedly sexy man. I don't get it.
posted by Dysk at 4:34 AM on November 17, 2017


Seems like a waste of the Wishin' Boot's powers.
posted by doctornecessiter at 4:41 AM on November 17, 2017 [2 favorites]


Sebastian Stan, Jason Momoa, I am so sorry. This guy is just so... *pedestrian*.
posted by HypotheticalWoman at 5:21 AM on November 17, 2017 [3 favorites]


I'm guessing that People is going for the demographic of Americans who still buy magazines in supermarkets.

But the point everyone is making is that even restricting it to "Sexiest Man Alive Who Could Plausibly Host The CMAs", this choice is batshit.
posted by PMdixon at 5:57 AM on November 17, 2017 [5 favorites]


. But all the kvetching about his appearance? He looks... fine. Same as every other supposedly sexy man. I don't get it.

That's . . . kinda the point? I think? That he's generically good-looking, like a menswear catalog model, whereas everyone else in Ortberg's series (plus all the suggestions in this thread) are actually pretty unique-looking, where even if you don't pay attention to whatever it is that makes them famous you're at least likely to recognize them the second time you see them and go, "Hey, it's That Guy from That Thing."
posted by soundguy99 at 6:04 AM on November 17, 2017 [4 favorites]


Who?

When I first heard about this I thought of the guy from Big Bang Theory. (His name is Sheldon, right?) It makes about the same amount of sense to me.
posted by Foosnark at 6:05 AM on November 17, 2017 [4 favorites]


I bet when Blake Shelton makes a hard left in his car, a bunch of stuff slides around.


credit John Mulaney
posted by lazaruslong at 6:14 AM on November 17, 2017 [6 favorites]


My wife, who is barely attracted to men in the first place, had been obsessed with how terrible this choice was. Yesterday she just asked out of the blue "did they think no one would notice?" Today, she proposed that CERN broke reality and now low probability events like this were happening with greater frequency.

Between this and her increasingly obsessive need to understand the appeal of "Bodak Yellow," our relationship has taken a turn for the weird.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:46 AM on November 17, 2017 [29 favorites]


What’s she hosting that on? What’s tinyletter.com? It looks like a mashup of medium and mailchimp.
posted by notyou at 6:59 AM on November 17, 2017


It's for newsletters. You too can sign up for The Shatner Chatner by Mallory Ortberg to come directly to your email address of choice.
posted by Squeak Attack at 7:18 AM on November 17, 2017 [3 favorites]


I think that we can find-and-replace just about all of the non-GoT-specific Euron Greyjoy things.

Also, I'm guessing that Ortberg left Dwayne Johnson out of the series because of her respect for his amazing cod-annihilating powers.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:19 AM on November 17, 2017 [4 favorites]


Some of the men who have been declared sexiest are, in fact, sexy.
posted by theora55 at 7:24 AM on November 17, 2017


This tweet* sums up exactly how I feel honestly.


*image description: a tweet that says "popular vote vs electoral college" above 2 pictures, the one on the left is mahershala ali wearing a red shirt and white pants, a wide smile and sitting on a pristine beach, the one on the right is a candid photo of blake shelton laughing at something.
posted by FirstMateKate at 7:49 AM on November 17, 2017 [8 favorites]


Today, she proposed that CERN broke reality and now low probability events like this were happening with greater frequency.

This choice is some weird all-restaurants-only-serve-clam-chowder Bad Place gaslighting shit. I'm feelin' your wife's theory.
posted by zjacreman at 7:51 AM on November 17, 2017 [15 favorites]


Who's Blake Shelton?

I really have no idea who this guy is. Am I supposed too?

Speaking as someone not very into social media, all I can say is, I've always at least recognized the name of whomever they park on the cover of People or whatever. But this guy?
posted by Armed Only With Hubris at 8:23 AM on November 17, 2017


James Van Der Beek was robbed, again.
posted by signal at 8:26 AM on November 17, 2017


I went to theora55's link and the very first photo is Mel Gibson presumably posing for "sexyish serial killer if you're into the 90s" so I guess my disagreement with People's analysis goes way back.

I always love People's "Most Beautiful Person American or Occasionally Australian Actress Who Would Talk to Us for This Issue".

Once when I was a kid there was a close up pic of Brad Pitt on the cover of something and I thought it was a photo of my aunt. I assume she was flattered.
posted by Emmy Rae at 8:35 AM on November 17, 2017 [6 favorites]


Who's Blake Shelton?

No one cares enough to find out.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:47 AM on November 17, 2017


he looks like a loud chewer
posted by poffin boffin at 8:51 AM on November 17, 2017 [9 favorites]


The best responses I've seen to this travesty:

1). Blake Shelton described as looking like a "half-regurgitated scone" by someone in Awesomely Luvvie's comments

2). Someone started a Kickstarter for money towards an eye exam for her friend who actually thought Blake Shelton was sexy.
posted by TwoStride at 8:51 AM on November 17, 2017 [8 favorites]


he looks like an expired gas station ham sandwich that was left out in the sun on the dashboard of a pickup proudly emblazoned with HEMI in multiple locations
posted by poffin boffin at 8:52 AM on November 17, 2017 [2 favorites]


He's not even the sexiest brush in my cat supplies box.
posted by Emmy Rae at 9:00 AM on November 17, 2017 [3 favorites]


It’s People. Has anyone here been in a waiting room long enough to flip through an issue of People lately? There’s usually like three people in there, and two of them are Sheryl Crow. It is not a publication of any relevance in 2017.

They're struggling to maintain subscriptions and ad revenue -- as is every other older publication in the industry, but People (in all of it's incarnations) still has a significantly-sized audience for a consumer mag.

- Paid circulation of the magazine's print and online versions, including paid digital subscriptions through their apps: 3.4-3.5 million per issue.
- Estimated actual audience (paid and unpaid, all platforms): 42 - 46 million per issue. The media kit lists that number at 42.6 million.
posted by zarq at 9:09 AM on November 17, 2017


That number is laughably absurd. I can only assume they’re including every person whose eye-line happens to catch the cover at the grocery store checkout.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:35 AM on November 17, 2017


That number is laughably absurd

Nah, the numbers are quite believable to anyone who works in the industry.

Anyway, they're owned by a publicly held company, Time Inc. Financial data related to the corporation are audited by Ernst & Young, then reported to stockholders and the SEC.
posted by zarq at 10:07 AM on November 17, 2017 [2 favorites]


We actually get People delivered to our house although we're not sure why. We've never paid for it so it must have been a free add-on from something we bought online. They go straight to recycling.
posted by octothorpe at 10:12 AM on November 17, 2017 [2 favorites]


I like how you've accepted that trying to get them to stop sending it is a wholly futile act.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:47 AM on November 17, 2017 [9 favorites]


- Paid circulation of the magazine's print and online versions, including paid digital subscriptions through their apps: 3.4-3.5 million per issue.

Ok, there are about 200,000 dentists in the US, and a million-ish doctors. Even if they all had their own private practices with offices, they'd each have to get three subscriptions. Who am I forgetting? There can't be more than a few thousand tire shops. Maybe 100,000 hair salons?
posted by hades at 10:58 AM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]


> "Who's Blake Shelton?"

From context, what I've gathered is that he's Gwen Stefani's husband.
posted by kyrademon at 10:59 AM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]


my 89 year old basic-ass grandmother subscribes to People, if that tells you anything about their audience, and even she said a quiet "...really?" when opening her mailbox.

But honestly, it makes perfect sense. Over at Lainey Gossip they've been talking about how he's basically the dream hunk for the Minivan Majority (y'all, please read this piece by Anne Helen Petersen that drills down into how People came to exist and how it grew into its current form, it's legit fascinating) -- for a certain type of woman (i.e., the 53% of white women who voted for Trump), Blake Shelton is hot shit. He's on TV, which makes him cool, but he's not so cool that he makes them feel uncool. He's rich, he's attractive in a bland and accessible way that reminds them of their high school/college crushes or maybe he's a better looking version of their ex-husband. He dates Gwen Stefani and is quoted in the People article as saying her sons were "easy to fall in love with", another key to winning the hearts of the Minivan Majority -- in order to be a dream hunk, women have to be able to fantasize that he'd accept their children should they have the opportunity to date him, so... there's that box checked. And he's a down-home good ol' boy who's got a reputation for saying racist, sexist, dumbass shit, checking the "celebs: they're just like us!" box as well as making the target demographic feel safe and accepted.
posted by palomar at 11:05 AM on November 17, 2017 [12 favorites]


I feel like everyone in the "Minivan Majority" gets their memory re-set each year (the lucky ducks), because I'm barely aware of Blake Shelton and even I remember tabloid headlines about his ill-starred marriage to another country singer a few years ago. Suffice to say, he was not cast in a flattering, crush-inducing light.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:25 AM on November 17, 2017 [3 favorites]


Well... if I remember correctly, a lot of the tabloid coverage accused his ex of cheating on him, and then People gave him a nice soft landing with articles like this one right here, in which he praises his current girlfriend Gwen Stefani for "literally" saving his life.

There's another checked box on the Minivan Majority Hunk Characteristics list: was he broken by a conniving woman, and then redeemed and healed by another woman (who herself was broken by a conniving mate, goes the storyline)? Because a man being saved by the love of a good woman is, like, the height of romance for the 53%.
posted by palomar at 11:32 AM on November 17, 2017 [4 favorites]


Oh, twists in the story arc after my eyeballs wandered off to greener pastures! Did he save Ms. Stefani right back?
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:38 AM on November 17, 2017


Well, she tweeted as much last month, so.
posted by palomar at 11:42 AM on November 17, 2017


yes, what every woman wants is a racist sexist homophobe to carry her off to tishomingo
posted by poffin boffin at 1:38 PM on November 17, 2017 [2 favorites]


Ok, there are about 200,000 dentists in the US, and a million-ish doctors. Even if they all had their own private practices with offices, they'd each have to get three subscriptions. Who am I forgetting? There can't be more than a few thousand tire shops. Maybe 100,000 hair salons?

At least a million people, possibly 2 million, have personal subscriptions to the magazine. Probably closer to 3. Lots of doctors' offices receive complimentary copies. They wouldn't be considered paid subscriptions.

You don't have to take my word for it. Do a search for "people magazine media kit" and open the PDF then look at the descriptions /statistics of their subscribers. They break down who subscribes by many demographic segments for advertisers. Every magazine does this. It's standard throughout the industry. Advertisers plan campaigns accordingly.
--
As is par for the course on Metafilter, some vocal people predictably tend to make condescending assumptions about mainstream America and pop culture. Your favorite band sucks, etc, etc. It would take y'all like half a minute of googling to learn some basic facts about who actually pays attention to this publication and what their print ad revenues are and how they've changed since 2010/2011 through the advent of digital/online subscriptions. Just a handful of years ago, People Magazine was pulling in almost a billion dollars in ad revenue annually. That number has dropped (as have nearly every other print publication's,) but they're still one of (if not the) biggest player in the celeb/gossip mag segment.
posted by zarq at 1:55 PM on November 17, 2017 [7 favorites]


I like how you've accepted that trying to get them to stop sending it is a wholly futile act.

It didn't really occur to me until you said that.
posted by octothorpe at 2:15 PM on November 17, 2017 [2 favorites]


I really need you people to avoid referring to Miranda Lambert as 'another country singer'.
posted by signal at 3:26 PM on November 17, 2017 [8 favorites]


As is par for the course on Metafilter, some vocal people predictably tend to make condescending assumptions about mainstream America and pop culture.

This thread is purest metafilter to me. I thought I was just posting a funny YA dystopian novel parody and have been wildly entertained by the resulting discussion, especially the "I don't own a TV nor do I care to RTFA" comments opining on how knowing who Blake Sheldon is makes you a Trump-supporting rube. I laughed, I cried, I learned something about magazine distribution. A+ experience.
posted by Emily's Fist at 3:47 PM on November 17, 2017 [18 favorites]


I'm guessing the thing about calling people Trump supporting rubes and being snotty about owning a television is directed at me, since I'm the only person who even mentioned the name Trump, but... you know what, I was going to call that an unfair accusation, but fuck it. If acknowledging that the largest share of People's target demographic is in fact the very same people who voted Trump into office makes me whatever it is that you're pussyfooting around about calling me, that's cool. I'll own it. I am exactly that terrible.
posted by palomar at 4:31 PM on November 17, 2017 [3 favorites]


well hey it’s other shit friday end-capping another shit week as prelude to turkey and bad shopping week so let’s all hold hands while while we simultaneously shit on blake shelton, middle america, and each other weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
posted by Doleful Creature at 5:37 PM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]




I like how you've accepted that trying to get them to stop sending it is a wholly futile act.

OMG I've tried! Everytime I stop one, two more appear in it's place. (Although I kinda like Architectural Digest. Did you know Jeremy Irons had a castle? .. speaking of sexy...)
posted by DarthDuckie at 7:42 PM on November 17, 2017




Something feels weird about a bandwagon put-down of Blake Shelton's physical attractiveness. He's still a human being. And if Sexiest Woman Alive was awarded to a perfectly-fine-looking-but-not-incredibly-attractive* woman it would feel different to say "she looks like a potato". Like a lot of people, I hadn't heard of Blake Shelton, is he already widely hated?

*=this would of course be incredibly difficult to find as women in the media are required to be ridiculously beautiful at all times.
posted by askmeaboutboardgames at 8:18 PM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]


My wife and I just asked Google Home to play “TV Theme songs” and stood around staring waiting for the Hill Street Blues song to come on. There’s been a lot of TV culture since we were kids or kid adjacent. A lot!

Which is to say, James Garner was past his prime, even then.
posted by notyou at 8:23 PM on November 17, 2017



Something feels weird about a bandwagon put-down of Blake Shelton's physical attractiveness


Well, it is called Sexiest Man Alive, so that implies some kind of high standard as opposed to just every other month when it's like "Attractive Celebrities We Love!"

And part of the backlash is that, as the Fug Girls and I'm sure others have pointed out, somehow in 32 years of doing this People has managed to find only TWO nonwhite men to be sexy. Two. In 2017 that's just ludicrous to contemplate.
posted by TwoStride at 9:48 PM on November 17, 2017 [4 favorites]


Like a lot of people, I hadn't heard of Blake Shelton, is he already widely hated?

Most of these comments are people focusing on his looks, myself included, which are basically "average white dude" but there's also uh....a lot to hate otherwise. His response of "well you know I love comedy so I make hateful jokes but I'm not actually hateful!" is just the icing on top of the hate-for-Blake-Shelton cake.
posted by primalux at 11:21 PM on November 17, 2017


They didn’t even test his sperm count or testosterone levels. How can we be assured that he is in fact objectively the sexiest?
posted by Burhanistan at 4:11 AM on November 18, 2017 [1 favorite]


he's attractive in a bland and accessible way

Not bland. Well, bland as well, but... ordinary, is how I would characterize it. Give him 30 pounds and a lawnmower and maybe a beer and he'd look a whole lot like a lot of people's husbands. Yawn, welp.

As for People subcriptions, yes, waiting rooms get them for free. I know this from working somewhere that was constantly flooded with complimentary thises and thats. People, Entertainment, Glamour... they would just pile up and I'd bicker with a co-worker who didn't want to throw any of them away. I'd take piles and recycle them when he wasn't working.
posted by Armed Only With Hubris at 8:27 AM on November 18, 2017


You don't have to take my word for it. Do a search for "people magazine media kit" and open the PDF then look at the descriptions /statistics of their subscribers. They break down who subscribes by many demographic segments for advertisers. Every magazine does this. It's standard throughout the industry. Advertisers plan campaigns accordingly.

Yeah. That’s exactly why they’d be lying. They get more money that way.

Are those ludicrous numbers verified by any outside source, or is one expected to simply take the publisher’s word for it?

Seems like an audit might be in order.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:10 AM on November 18, 2017


Over at Lainey Gossip they've been talking about how he's basically the dream hunk for the Minivan Majority

Yes! Just to add to that perspective: Lainey Gossip's writers did this really interesting odds handicapping for SMA, where they looked at the arguments for and against the following men being chosen:

Prince Harry
Drake
Chris Evans
Chris Pine
Jason Momoa
Justin Timberlake
Alex Rodriguez
Idris Elba
Tom Brady
Jake Gyllenhaal
Chadwick Boseman
Will Smith
Matt Bomer
Mark Wahlberg
Sterling K Brown & Milo Ventimiglia

yay another lainey gossip reader!!! I love their distaste for justin timberlake so much.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 1:18 PM on November 18, 2017 [2 favorites]


I feel kind of dense, because until I read "and have really painted myself into a number of worldbuilding corners" I really hadn't thought of these as belonging to the same universe. I just kind of thought of them as one-offs about individual experiences.
posted by Tentacle of Trust at 3:41 PM on November 18, 2017


way back when one of my favorite comment about Robert Pattinson, for no reason other than pure pettiness, around the time Twilight was at its peak, was that his face looks like a foot. I still could not tell you why it makes me chuckle every time I think about that image.

Now I've been mentally making that same comment about Blake Shelton, and it also cracks me up inexplicably.
posted by numaner at 12:38 AM on November 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


Are those ludicrous numbers verified by any outside source, or is one expected to simply take the publisher’s word for it?

There are a couple of dozen independent organizations devoted to auditing circulation figures of printed media. The most well known are probably the AAM (Alliance for Audited Media), BPA Worldwide and the VAC. The AAM has been around since the turn of the 20th century. People is a member of the AAM and the magazine's circulation figures are are reported on an issue-by-issue basis in the organization's Publisher's statements.

As I mentioned above, media owned by publicly held companies are subject to slightly higher scrutiny, as their parent corporations are audited financially for stockholders and the SEC. People Magazine and all of its various incarnations (People en Espanol, etc) are part of Time Inc., which is a public company.

Advertisers pay tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars to advertise in magazines like People. A full page ad averages over $250,000. Their base rate is $370,000, but most advertisers pay less by buying several ads at once or negotiating terms. Advertising agencies have been discussing return on investment numbers and statistics with their clients regarding where ads can most effectively be placed for decades. The demographic and circulation numbers numbers are obsessively analyzed and publishers live and die on them because the life blood of almost every magazine is ad dollars. Also, most magazines face stiff competition from competitors that produce a similar product.

Of course their circulation numbers are audited. They're audited internally and externally. By attached and independent services. Through a variety of methods.
posted by zarq at 6:30 AM on November 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


People's 2017 media kit. (PDF)
posted by zarq at 6:47 AM on November 19, 2017


After watching a medically unsafe number of The Voice highlights on Youtube this week, I have a half-baked theory. Blake and Adam have developed a traditional husband-wife dynamic, with Blake as the husband. Since Adam won Sexiest Man Alive a few years ago, then clearly his husband must be even manlier and sexier.

It's bad logic, but I'm willing to bet that it's the logic in play.
posted by clawsoon at 10:12 AM on November 19, 2017


Of course their circulation numbers are audited. They're audited internally and externally. By attached and independent services. Through a variety of methods.

Your lack of cynicism is disturbing.

Who audits the auditors? It’s a xillion-dollar industry, and there’s like three non-profits making sure everyone stays in line? Sure. That’s realistic. No one on the take there. Totally not a gauzy façade of legitimacy to bolster the grift, no siree.

To say nothing of the potential of laundering money through unpaid subscriptions and calling them paid. Money, say, from some bloated jerk who wants to be Sexiest Man Alive?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:52 AM on November 19, 2017


And, I mean, alliances of advertisers and publishers making sure the numbers are all in order? Seriously? That’s not evidence of legitimacy; it’s evidence of collusion. Advertisers have as much of a vested interest in those numbers being hyperinflated as publishers, in order to extract as much money as possible from clients.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:06 AM on November 19, 2017


The ins and outs of advertising, publishing and media is a complexly layered, interesting subject. Especially since there have been so many technological changes over the last 10 years. In a very short period of time (relatively speaking,) virtually everything has been upended. Business models that were in place for decades no longer apply.

I've worked in an adjacent industry for over 20 years. So I have a bit of an insider's and an outsider's perspective on some of those developments. Everyone is scrambling and struggling to reinvent themselves. It's been fascinating to watch and a challenge to deal with.

Silly conspiracy theories about publishing industry "money laundering" and the rest don't hold my interest, personally. And to be perfectly honest, I find endless cynicism and deliberate ignorance tiresome.

I don't have the patience for it.
posted by zarq at 12:15 PM on November 19, 2017 [4 favorites]


It would take y'all like half a minute of googling to learn some basic facts about who actually pays attention to this publication

That would require me to not be sent into a spiral of despair by learning that there are over three million real human people so invested in celebrity gossip that they're willing to pay money to have it delivered to them on a weekly basis, rather than (or in addition to) just stumbling across it at the grocery checkout or getting it for free online. I'm barely holding on to my faith in humanity as it is; I'd rather preserve my illusion that it's a publication mainly for waiting rooms, thanks. I mean, obviously I can't maintain that illusion for real, but I'm not going to go looking for reasons to stop being able to even pretend.

Your favorite band sucks, etc, etc.

I'd also like to believe that there's nobody who buys albums by 101 Strings or The Original Artists for their personal unironic listening pleasure, but I'm sure I'm wrong about that, too.
posted by hades at 4:07 PM on November 20, 2017


Y'all are getting way analytical about a concept that's basically the gender-flipped version of your average Miss West Idaho pageant.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:00 PM on November 21, 2017


I'm surprised you think that Metafilter would fail to overanalyze the Miss West Idaho pageant.
posted by clawsoon at 4:33 PM on November 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm barely holding on to my faith in humanity as it is;

Watch a few hours of Bravo television to eliminate it entirely.
posted by zarq at 5:20 PM on November 21, 2017


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