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The Deppths of Sexy

The Sexiest Man Alive? Probably!
Really, People magazine? Really?

Today People magazine proclaimed that Johnny Depp is the sexiest man alive (here), prompting many other people to wonder if People has seen a recent photograph of the 46-year old actor, who is reportedly hiding from America in the French countryside. Long gone is the baby face with totally cool guileless eyes that seemed to gently rout through every nook and cranny of a woman’s mind, body and soul. Let’s face it, the man’s face is becoming discernably saggy, his facial hair scraggy, and his eyes baggy.

This is Depp’s second time at the helm of living sexy men, having also won in 2003. Depp joins the pantheon of fellow double winners Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Richard Gere. (Who wants to bet that Brad Pitt will go for a third time? How about a fourth time? How about posthumously?)

People magazine touted Depp as “the king of cool with the killer cheekbones” and “Hollywood’s most irresistible iconoclast,” which confirms the aphorism that attractiveness is only half of what P/people consider when assessing male sexiness. A quick scan of other recent winners — Matt Damon, Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Pierce Brosnan — reveal intangible qualities beyond mere physicality: maturity, sophistication, integrity, a certain ruggedness. More notable is how each man was arguably past his physical prime by the time he is anointed (except Ben Affleck, who never quite reached his prime).

Old ladies like me will remember the first time they ever swooned over Johnny Depp, way back when he was the hunk of 21 Jump Street. (His character’s name was Tom Hanson, which surprised me, for I honestly thought his character’s name was Johnny Depp.) Then Richard Grieco joined the show as Booker, challenging but never surpassing Johnny’s hearthrob supremacy. Wasn’t there some episode when the two faced-off, ostensibly about some detective thing, but we all knew that they were fighting for wall space on the bedrooms of every adolescent female in America? (For the record, I was a sickie who favored Peter DeLuise, but only because nobody else liked him and I figured my “chances” were better. I employed this strategy a surprising number of times, including Donnie as my favored NKOTB, William as my favored Baldwin brother, and Duff as my favored Guns N Roses member.)
So, is Johnny Depp really the sexiest man alive? Of course not. It seems Hollywood is running out of plausible candidates worthy of universal sex appeal. PerhapsPeople magazine should look to other arenas, like sports (Tom Brady!), letters (Po Bronson!), and of course politics (Barack Obama!) instead of recycling aging actors who inspire more nostalgia than passion.

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