As Sarah noted in last week’s Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever., she has decided to share the joy of writing this column with Karman, Scribe Grrrl and me. I’m penning this week’s roundup, and next week you can look forward to Scribe Grrrl’s take on lesbian pop culture. Without further ado, here we go!
This week we put together our first AfterEllen.com Hot 100 List — compiled from thousands of your votes — and the results were, well, deleishous! It may not come as a surprise that an out lesbian actress topped the list at No. 1, but that doesn’t mean we’re anything less than pleased to give the crown to Leisha Hailey. (Read her response to topping the list here.) Let’s take another look at her, just because we can. Here she is in an adorable photo from the second season premiere of The L Word in New York back in 2005:
Thanks to all of you who voted on the AfterEllen.com Hot 100 List, thus forcing Scribe Grrrl to create some kind of mysterious Excel script to tabulate your picks for the hottest women in showbiz. Though Sarah, Karman, Scribe and I may have become a bit bleary-eyed (OK, a lot bleary-eyed) by staying up till all hours laboriously shuffling through hundreds and hundreds of glossy photos to choose the hottest ones we could find to best represent our favorite ladies (a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it), we truly appreciated your votes, which made this list possible.
Reaction across the web has been interesting, to say the least. Many men have picked up on the list as a sort of secret guide to what women want. A 28-year-old Texan male who calls himself Funky Bunch on MySpace wrote: "I think the conclusion is while women are experience driven, men are fantasy driven. We need pin thin, slightly naughty girls to fuel our imagination. Where women are looking for confident sexy women who might provide that dreamy experience women long for."
A straight male reader wrote in to tell us: "I think that the
women on your list are much, much more attractive than the FHM or Maxim
lists. The lists say more about the preferences of the people who vote for
that sort of thing rather than the sexes as a whole (Guys who read FHM are
generally young, under-educated and likely to find intelligent women
intimidating. Whereas gay women on the internet are [I'm assuming here] more
intelligent, perhaps older on average, and just a *little* more feminist,
I’m certainly not the only one who thinks this."
On the other hand, our choices of older actresses such as Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep generated some predictable responses from men. TheMostBoringBlogInTheWorld wrote about Mirren at No. 31: "That’s not sexy, that’s a fetish!! Once you look at the lists in total, the lezzy one starts to get kinda weird in some areas, really really weird at least from a dude’s perspective."
Luckily, I’m betting most of us don’t really care about a dude’s perspective, but if you want to read more about what straight men are saying about our list, read Sarah’s roundup on the blog).
AfterEllen.com reader conceptualleap commented: "just have to say that a list like this, compiled of women voted for by women who find them attractive, makes me so proud of us and so pleased to be part of this community of individuals who have found love and beauty and attraction in places other than those most people would consider. A woman is a wondrous thing."
TELL US WHERE TO STICK IT
AfterEllen.com readers are nothing if not opinionated (that’s why we love you!), and you didn’t hesitate to
demand a recount voice your concerns about some women missing from the list, including Laurel Holloman, Mandana Jones, Missy Peregrym and Alexandra Hedison. I pinned down Scribe Grrrl and forced her to reveal the truth about why my favorite fake gymnast (Missy of Stick It fame) wasn’t on the list, and after some bribing (OK, I showed her pics of Simone Lahbib), she told me that all four of those women were only a couple of votes shy of making the list.
"With the exception of the top 10, the votes were very very close, just one vote apart and lots of 5-, 6- and 7-way ties," Scribe said breathlessly as I threatened to take away the photo of Simone. "I don’t know if that will comfort anyone though!"
It is cold comfort, Scribe, but I feel the pain of all those readers whose favorite future ex-wife never made it to the list. Thankfully, we’ve decided that this list was so much
hellacious work fun that we’re going to do it again next year! So make note of all the omissions, mistakes and egregious oversights and be sure to come back next summer when we compile the AfterEllen.com Hot 100 List version 2.0.
Meanwhile, just to take the edge off, here’s a smokin’ hot photo of Missy:
Our list also raised a number of enigmatic questions that I am not quite sure how to answer. For instance: Why did Lindsay Lohan (No. 79) make it onto the list at all? McKenzie wrote: I do not understand the appeal of Ms. Lohan. Her behavior is appalling, which, IMHO, says volumes about her character."
Why weren’t there more women of color on the list? JenJen wrote: "There just should be more women of color, I thought lesbians were a lot more diverse than this."
But the biggest mystery of them all: BrownEyedGirl asks: "buffy beats willow. HOW COME?!!?!?"
As AfterEllen.com reader sonia vader noted, "Democracy is a bitch sometimes." Ah, sonia vader, you sure know how to stick it.