The Huddle: The Most Beautiful Woman

Every year People magazine names someone as The Most Beautiful Woman. This year, that woman is Gwyneth Paltrow.

Gwyneth has never been on the AfterEllen Hot 100, so it’s probably safe to say that most of us probably wouldn’t have chosen her for the title of Most Beautiful. Instead, we have many other choices, and we’re sure you do, too.

Marcie Bianco: Tig. Tig. And Tig.

Ali Davis: OK, my first choice is Christina Hendricks, because come on. My second choice over Goop would be almost anyone who doesn’t advocate “living simply” on a diet that costs an estimated $300 a day.

Grace Chu: Reese Witherspoon!

Dana Piccoli: (Don’t say Lindsey Shaw, don’t say Lindsey Shaw.) Lindsey Shaw? And also Zoie Palmer for the sheer transcendence of her hair porn.

Dorothy Snarker: Tilda Swinton because I’m pretty sure she is an alien sent from another universe to remind us of the strange beauty of our tiny human lives.

Elaine Atwell: So there’s a voice in my head that sounds like all my old professors and it’s shouting “Why couldn’t they pick someone who actually challenges our idea of beauty? Like an old woman or an large woman or a transwoman? Or fuck, why is there so much pressure for women to be beautiful in the first place? Pick a tree or a polar bear or a fucking rainbow.”

But then there is another voice that only says “Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence.” Because she is the prettiest one.

Bridget McManus: How about Jennifer Lawrence? That chick is adorable and seems like a hot mess of awesome-ness.

Karman Kregloe: I’m going with the woman who took the title last year, Beyoncé. She can do everything, and she looks amazing while doing it. Remember when her overwhelming hotness broke the Super Bowl?

Dara Nai: Sorry People magazine, but Olivia Wilde makes Gwyneth Paltrow look like a rejected heirloom tomato from one of her neurotic recipes. Proud-to-play-bi Olivia Wilde is the child of journalists and related to an inordinate number of other writers, so clearly, she not only inherited the cheekbone gene, the eyebrow gene and the flawless skin gene, she also has the smartypants gene. Done and done.

Punky Starshine: My pick would be Olivia Wilde. Only because I think I’ve answered “Shay Mitchell” for every other huddle.

Lucy Hallowell: Charlize Theron because my jaw actually fell off my damn face when I saw her rocking the aviators with her new short hair. Oh you thought I was pretty with my glorious long blond tresses? That’s funny because check my shit out without all that hair distracting you from my perfect face. Holy hell woman.

Heather Hogan: My answer really is Rachel Maddow. At the risk of sounding like that naive interloper from Mean Girls talking about baking rainbows into cupcakes, there is something incandescently beautiful to me about a woman who can look the darkest, dirtiest, most complicated social and political issues in the face and come away still believing that goodness and mercy can triumph over ignorance and hate. She moves me the way she allows herself to be moved and she makes me laugh the way she giggles at the nerdiest shit. And I think her collarbone is sexy as hell in those blazers she wears on the air and when she’s not on the air I lust after her specs and her shoes and her sunlight of a smile. I think she’s just the beautiful-est and I’m not sorry.

Emily Hartl: After much debate and deliberation, I choose Ellen Page. That’s my final answer.

Trish Bendix: Kerry Washington is such a gorgeous, gracious, classy babe and it makes me so happy that Scandal is successful. I had the chance to interview her in person once and she was nothing short of amazing — funny, smart and huge into her lesbian fanbase. I couldn’t ask for more from someone considered to be the most beautiful.

Sarah Terez Rosenblum: Alexis Bledel. Rory Gilmore grew up real nice.

Jill Guccini: Janelle Monae. I know I’ve used her in other huddles before but I’ll use her in every huddle I can. We are all aware that she released a new song with ERYKAH FREAKING BADU this week, right? And Slate mused on whether it addresses her potential queerness (or, probably more accurately, refusal to fit into categories), quoting these lyrics from the song:

“Hey brother, can you save my soul from the devil? Say, is it weird to like the way she wear her tights?” and, “Am I a freak because I love watching Mary? Hey sister, am I good enough for your heaven? Say will your God accept me in my black and white? Will he approve the way I’m made, or should I reprogram the programming?”

There’s also a reference to “civil rights being made illegal,” which is soon followed by, “Categorize me, I defy every label.” The more I listen to it, actually, the more of an anthem it is for defying what people think you’re supposed to, ie., queerness. Basically she is perfect.

Who would you name Most Beautiful?