Don't F*CK This Up People Magazine
Updated: Oct 24, 2018
When I went to see Black Panther last February, I was witnessing a cultural shift. Finally we had a movie with an all-black cast, a black director, showing authentic representations of black life, breaking box office records and with it everyone's misconception of the power of storytelling through a marginal lens. The movie made me contemplate many things including what it means to be a lost child of Africa, the liberation of black people, and the isolationist agenda occurring all around the world. It also offered a plethora of eye candy on the big screen which also oddly got me thinking about People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive."
Representation was the buzzword that surrounded the promotion of Black Panther. In the years following #OscarsSoWhite, we still struggle to represent people of color authentically and in abundance in the movies and this translates to other avenues of the entertainment industry including who you see on magazine covers. Last year People Magazine named the whitest of white men, Blake Shelton, "Sexiest Man Alive." In the last 32 years that People Magazine has been bestowing the title of "Sexiest Man", only two men of color have been awarded the honor. In 1996 Denzel Washington was the first and 20 years later Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson became the second male of color to grace the cover. This year Black Panther offered up at least four fine ass men of color who can vie for the title; People Magazine can't fuck this one up this year. And if they need a little assistance selecting a candidate, I have one name; Michael B. Jordan.
Jordan should be People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" for 2018, PERIOD. Jordan is fine AF for multiple reasons; first being the physical. There's a special place in hell for anyone who doesn't think Jordan is physically attractive. First of all, that smile! That smile can make me shed real tears and I’m telling you, not even an episode of This Is Us can do that. Shout outs to the orthodontist that curated that killer watt smile and to the parentals for giving him those dimples!
Now if his smile doesn't sell you; his physique damn well should! The man made me fall in love with shoulders! When have you ever heard anyone say, "Man your shoulders are sexy as hell!" I'm more of a chest and abs girl myself but damn Jordan's shoulders!
Ok, I got a little bit distracted, but let's be real, the man is not only blessed, but the dedication and hard work that goes into Jordan transforming his body time and time again should be commended.
His physique aside; Jordan is having one of the best years of his career. After appearances in shows like The Wire, Parenthood, and Friday Night Lights; Jordan has always been that actor you recognized but could never guess his name. After his turn as Oscar Grant in Fruitvale Station and teaming up with Ryan Coogler for a second time in Creed; Jordan's star was steady rising. Now after the groundbreaking success of Black Panther, you literally would have to have been born yesterday to not know who Jordan is. Not to mention his portrayal of the "anti-hero" Erik Killmonger is all that anyone talked about. Not since Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight has anyone cared more about the villain than the hero. Jordan's performance was raw, cool, honest, and showed audiences what it really means to be a black man in America and an ancestor of slaves. He soon followed up this performance with the HBO original movie Fahrenheit 451 which was produced by his production company, Outlier Society Productions. His company has a number of projects in the works including a series for Netflix and a remake of the classic Thomas Crown Affair which will star Jordan. Not to mention the highly anticipated sequel to Creed, which will be out in November; the man is busy!
So I go back to my plea; People Magazine, please don't fuck this up! People Magazine routinely gets it wrong when they name “Sexiest Man Alive” (hello, ya'll named Ryan Reynolds as "Sexiest Man" in 2010 when you clearly meant to name Ryan Gosling). What we do not need to see is another colonizer on the cover of the “Sexiest Man Alive” issue! When People Magazine named Shelton as "Sexiest Man," I imagined a single black person in the room raising their hand to offer a suggestion only to get passed on for Becky who suggested yet another white man in their parade of white men.
Don't get me wrong, Shelton is an attractive man in the I'll reach for a bud light when there's nothing else to drink sort of way. However, I could name 10 men of color who could have been 2017's “Sexiest Man Alive”:
Daniel Dae Kim
I was able to name 13 without the obvious Morris Chestnut and Michael Ealy's of the world.
Aside from the level of attractiveness these men have, I like to think People Magazine considers the type of year these men have had, meaning, they've considered actors and artists who've had a break through or had a movie that was busting the box office. It’s the body of work that makes them sexy not just the body, right?
If my theory is correct and if I were the singular black person in People Magazine’s office, I would have barked at Becky the same way M'Baku barked at Agent Ross in Black Panther and proceeded to make a case for Donald Glover for 2017's Sexiest Man. Donald Glover had a phenomenal 2017. He wrote, produced, starred, and directed episodes in his critically acclaimed hit show Atlanta; which he also won two Emmy's and a Golden Globe for. Because he has all this spare time on his hands, Glover released an equally acclaimed album, Awaken My Love, and secured roles in Spider Man: Homecoming and Solo: A Star Wars Story. It just goes to show you, the industry will pick a mediocre white man over black excellence any day.
But I pray People Magazine gets it right this year; not only because Jordan can make good use of the remaining ovary that I have, but because he's obvious physique and his dedication to his craft shows that he deserves it. You may think this is a trivial plea; but as much as I want representation in the White House, or court rooms, or in board rooms, I also want to see representation on the covers of magazines too so that one day a black boy could one day proclaim, “I want to be just like Michael B. Jordan.”