People Magazine announced this years “most beautiful person” and not surprisingly, it was a mediocre white person, that they’ve already given the award to. Four other times. Julia Roberts was given the award, her fifth time as winner, and setting records for the forty-nine year old actress.
People Magazine seems to have decided that Julia Roberts should win every five years or so, giving it to her in 1991, 2000, 2005, 2010 and now 2017. The magazine started running “most beautiful person” in 1990, so it seems really strange that out of all of those years, one woman would win 5 times.
“I am very flattered,” Julia Roberts told People Magazine about winning the fifth time.
It is however not strange, as mediocre whiteness is usually supported, and uplifted, and while People could have used their platform to uplift lesser known stars, or even stars that hadn’t been on the cover five times, they decided to reprint basically the same issue, five years over.
The 28th Annual edition hits news stands at the end of the week, and it’s hard to imagine that it’s going to be a big seller. With Julia Roberts already covering so many times, and the ‘contest’ only running for 28 years, it seems more like the ‘every half decade Julia Roberts cameo show’, then an actual contest about ‘most beautiful person’.
This isn’t even an attack specifically on Julia Roberts, more on the institution that felt the need to choose her so many times, refusing to have any kind of change, or progression. It is however noticeable that she has not spoke up, or maybe suggested that the award go to someone else for a change. However, it seems that if she’s given free publicity, it’s well within her right to take it.
Since 1990, the award has gone to mostly white people, with Beyonce, J-Lo, Halle Berry and Lupita N’yongo winning, but all after 2000. It’s a shame to see such a stunning lack of diversity, especially when they’re busy handing out the title five times over to the same person. Jennifer Aniston has also won more than once. Representation is what keeps things relevant, and selling, and the People Magazine cover is bored and tired.
Representation is important, and awarding the same white person, one that’s not even particularly beautiful, reinforces euro-centric beauty standards, and stops other people from relating to different winners. If there were different, diverse, people each year, it would be a beautiful thing, showcasing many different forms of beauty, and providing representation for so many people.
Currently, People falls into the same tired tracks it’s done before, boring readers with the same old story, mentioning Erin Brokovitch, over and over, like new relevant movies aren’t shaping pop culture, and actresses from those movies don’t deserve a chance in the spotlight.