People magazine just revealed its selection World’s Most Beautiful Woman of 2017, and it’s a very familiar face: Julia Roberts. This is the fifth time the veteran actress has snagged the honour. Roberts is a legend, and certainly beautiful, but this feels like a missed opportunity for the magazine.
While it’s great that People is acknowledging that women over 40 are beautiful, the magazine appears to demonstrated how out of step it is. With its doe-eyed tunnel vision on Roberts, the publication missed an opportunity to uplift women in entertainment who are doing more. They wow us in their current roles. Meryl Streep would even have been a better choice if the magazine just had to name a white woman in the top spot.
And there is the fact that women of colour have been traditionally underrepresented by People in this arena. With the notable exceptions of stars like Halle Berry, Lupita Nyong'o, and Jennifer Lopez, People has traditionally reserved its “most beautiful” title for white people. There were so many options this time around, and we’ve taken the privilege of rounding them up.