People’s announcement of the World’s Most Beautiful is raising some ugly questions about the strategy behind who makes the list. Turns out beauty may be more than skin deep.
Grammy Award-winning artist, actress, fashion designer and new mom Beyonce Knowles can add yet another accolade to her ever-growing list. People magazine just named the singer the “World’s Most Beautiful Woman,” ahead of 99 others on its annual list.
But some are questioning whether the entertainment weekly is making the call based on outer beauty, or whether its selection is determined by who offers the most beautiful business partnership.
Marketing experts and media analysts say of course there’s a strategy behind People’s pick. Beyonce is trending, shall we say, right now, thanks to motherhood, an upcoming tour, and releasing a new fragrance.
Bottom line is, this can be viewed as good strategy for both the new mom and the magazine. It gives her the most flattering of publicity, while helping People sell, sell, sell.
But this doesn’t just apply to Beyonce. The timing of past “Most Beautiful” titles could have some strategic undertones as well.
In 2011, Jennifer Lopez was tops on People’s list, just months after joining the “American Idol” judging panel and releasing a new album. Actress Julia Roberts notched her fourth overall “Most Beautiful” title in 2010, ahead of her starring role in and the release of Eat, Pray, Love. Christina Applegate was People’s choice in 2009, somewhat coinciding with her return to television after successfully having battled breast cancer the previous year.
That’s not to say that any of these women aren’t truly beautiful or deserving. They are. But in such an airbrushed and calculating world—especially when it comes to celebrity—it’s worth questioning at least the timing of the titles People is bestowing.
Then again, the magazine’s annual list notwithstanding, does it really come as a surprise that the entertainment world would celebrate both beauty and branding?
There was a time when an actress was just an actress and a singer was just a singer. But somewhere along the way, lines of clothing, handbags, shoes and signature fragrances have come with it. And that’s where that marketing strategy comes in.
But lest we get too cynical, some photogenic celebs took their place on the list in stride, opting to face the cameras sans makeup, a la Zooey Deschanel. Maybe giving us some hope that not all the beautiful people aren’t as contrived as we may think. And that is truly beautiful.