This year in our sixth annual Hot 100 reader poll, over 170,000 votes were cast by our readers for over 1,700 different women. We tallied the votes and ranked the top 100 vote-getters.
What’s so interesting every year is how perceived hotness fluctuates. TV actresses always make a strong showing, so much that they even stick around when their show goes off the air. But where The L Word and Skins actresses used to reign, now Glee, Lip Service, Lost Girl and even the women of web series cut in to give them some stiff competition.
The movie star types and out lesbian/bisexual women we love are fairly consistent. It’s hard to imagine a year when some of them wouldn’t make the list, especially those that have taken the top honor in a previous year. About one quarter of the this year’s list are out women and, interestingly, all of the musicians who made the list are part of that stat. Most of the actors, however, have played a lesbian or bisexual role at some point in their career, with a few notable exceptions. (You guys don’t discriminate! And there’s always hope.)
There’s only one athlete that cracked the Hot 100 this year, one political pundit and one former reality TV star. International stars didn’t make too poor a showing, either, with a handful of women whose shows are seen on TVs across the ocean — or on YouTube with subtitles.
Overall, the commonality seems to be women with an edge. There are no cookie-cutter types on our list. Sure, some might have girl-next-door looks, but they aren’t interested in taking the easy way, whatever their paths might be. Whether it’s just living life as an out celebrity or taking roles that challenge the status quo, AfterEllen.com readers celebrate women who are more than just aesthetically pleasing. We hope even if your top pick didn’t make it this year, you can at least be proud to be part of something that is more substantive than Maxim‘s Hot 100, which is why this whole thing began in the first place. We wanted something more; you wanted something more. And here is 2012′s Hot 100, according to you.
Will last year’s winner Naya Rivera pull off a repeat? What up and coming hot celebrities made the cut for the first time? All will be revealed in the galleries below. Click on the magnifying glass to enter the full-size lightbox to scroll through the results.
Next page: 50-1 of the Hot 100