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Mindjacked--The Perils of Finding the Most Beautiful Woman in the World
Ok I admit it. Women, I adore you. I love your smile, your hair, the way you walk, the way you laugh and yes, if you are also breathtakingly beautiful, I melt just like every man on the planet. We didn't choose to be this way, it is in our genes--note I did not say jeans. However, if we are not careful, what is essentially an element of the mating ritual can become an obsession bordering on mindjacking.
Mine started out very innocently--I was doing some research for the next installment in my occasional episodes of Murder by Chatroulette. This one about foul play at a prestigious private beauty event put on by dedicated researchers like myself. The difference is, these supporters of scientific progress have billions of dollars to attract the loveliest faces (and bodies) in the planet to the haven of the equally rich and famous. All in the name of scholarly and dedicated tom-foolery.
Naturally I would have to find out who the possible candidates would be to do the episode the justice it deserved. So I began the highest quality of investigation my budget allowed--I Googled. Since my self-serving premise is that the villain in these murders is going after the most searched people, this makes a lot of sense.
If I narrow the search to "the most beautiful woman (or women) in the world," I only get a couple of million sophisticated fellow researchers like myself. If I say "the most beautiful women" I get about 25 million moderately educated males looking and when I reduce it to "beautiful women (or girls)" I get over 100 million adolescent or high school drop-outs to add to the serious researchers like moi.
I know what you're thinking. This is normal article material for HP, how could a seasoned word jockey like Winsome get his intellect stolen? I was going to wait a bit to get into that but, here is how it happens. I was innocently verifying the statistics I quoted in the paragraph above and I noticed that I had not yet followed the thread for "the most beautiful girl" category. Being the obsessive article investigator I am, I took a quick moment to see if I had missed a possible candidate from that angle.
Thirty minutes later I am still scanning the pages. I AM WRITING THE ARTICLE and I still got side tracked. Sure enough, after scouring page after page with quick recognition glances, I catch a face I do not recognize. This post says the woman is the most beautiful girl in the world and after doing a quick search, I find that the writer has fallen for the rookie mistake.
There are two (sometimes one) things that a photographer or model reveals along with the carefully composed face shot to disrupt a male's ability to distinguish true beauty--and the larger these two things are, the more inclined the male is to think that the face is truly gorgeous. You women may pretend you don't know what I'm talking about but inside you are laughing at how easy the use of these and a wonderbra, will open doors for you..
We men have been trying for the last few years to minimize this effect and because of our tireless efforts, models like the ones above have been lining up to hawk Victoria Secret and other equally wholesome sponsors--and I only have this to say, ladies.
It was working.
Formerly Playboy magazine ink-stained hands were looking manicured and eyes were actually lingering no lower than the faces of beautiful women. We were having thoughts of horse drawn carriages, Easter bonnets on Fifth Avenue and top-down convertibles with Grace Kelly riding shotgun. It was working.
And THEN, some casting director hires Christina Hendricks to star in "Mad Men" and starts a retro trend causing the rest of us disciplined men to fall off the wagon like grapefruit on a fruit truck hitting a speed bump at 70 mph.
Filtering through the seemingly beautiful because of the more extra-curricular equipment they display takes time, but I, being the intrepid reporter I am was up for it and as you can see, am back pounding out the letters in my distraction free text bubble.
Did I find the most beautiful woman in the world? Did I exhaust all the possible candidates in the planet? The answer is a resounding maybe. After all, not all the beautiful faces have reached the internet even with the ubiquitous camera phone. I also am still stumbling across a face or two that I have missed and I would have to update this scholarly article on a regular basis to lend truth to the title. What I can say comfortably is that I have narrowed it down to a handful of women who, I guarantee, will each leave you feeling that she could be the one.
One of the maddening things about looking at images is you may stumble across a face that there is absolutely no clue as to her identity. During my prolonged absence from writing articles, hopelessly lost in the search for the holy grail of beauty, I found such a face. Tireless investigation left me no clue and so in one of my few articles/poems during this period--"Anabasis," I posted the mysterious face above the article. RebekahELLE asked me how I got the inspiration for the poem and while it is true what I told her, the idea of a face in the world appearing and then lost, certainly contributed to the motivation.
I will tell you who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world and why I think so, but first I will simply present them to you in no particular ranking order and tell you why they of all the women in the world were chosen. I have included some photos that may not have sources apparent, but I have listed those that do. For my own sense of neatness I am putting them into categories.
Most models and actresses endure hours of make-up and coiffure (hair styling) and anyone with a makeover type of head shot can, with the right lighting and makeup, look beautiful. Trust the investigatorial integrity of this reporter to have chosen only those with lovely bodies to match--and who can look beautiful in all sorts of light or angles, with or without lots of makeup. To illustrate this, my first MBWITW (Most Beautiful Woman in the World) candidate is:
Unlike any paparazzi shot you have ever seen, here she is just out shopping in her regular clothes.
I have looked at several photos of Ashley because almost all models and actresses have their good sides or angles and their bad ones. I have yet to find a bad angle for her and to top it off, she is one of those people whose body looks good in everything. Whether or not she is the MBWITW or not, she has my vote for all round flawlessly photogenic.
There are women who are so comfortable in their skin and their own inner sense of beauty, that photographers love them. Every shot exudes femininity and sexy sophistication. My favorite example of this category is:
Marion easily plays an Italian bombshell in "A Good Year" and the muse of several famous writers in "Midnight in Paris." If she were not so attractively feminine and able to project emotion with either vulnerability or passion so well, she might not even make the top ten. But being the woman she is, there are less than a handful who can come close to her beauty.
Known for her practical jokes, this Adelaide, Australian born actress was discovered working in a mall and hit the road running non-stop. Her films include Drunge2, Bedtime Stories, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and Take Me Home Tonight. Her name is:
Teresa can portray a stripper, a debutant or a Bonnie and Clyde type criminal with ease. There is more than natural beauty here. She uses her personality and smile to dazzle you.
Similar to the skill of an actress like Marion or Ashley, some beautiful women have mastered the art of maximizing their graces in front of a camera or audience to promote the ultimate in perfume, jewelry or fashion. Those who do it effortlessly and are blessed with natural beauty are given the title of supermodel. Several of my picks for the top ten have been Victoria's Secret Angels. One of these, from the Netherlands, is:
Doutzen's face and figure have graced the covers of Time, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Seventeen, Elle, Marie Claire, Glamour, W, Avantgarde, and Numéro. She is featured in the campaigns of Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger, Versace, Valentino, Blumarine and Calvin Klein's 'White' label and the fragrance 'Eternity.'
The first Victoria's Secret Angel that caught my eye was Ana Beatriz Barros. From Portuguese, Spanish and Italian ancestry, Ana has a stunning figure, bewitching smile, and flawless Brazilian sun-tanned skin. Ever since she was discovered on the beach in Rio, she has become astoundingly successful, but as far as I can tell, she is completely immune to it. She describes herself as a nerd in school and after her travel and shoots are over she goes home to a normal life. Check out the video to see how disarming and natural she is.
A candidate who consistently ranks at the top of men's surveys of sexy and beautiful womenis:
Her Victoria's Secret supermodel ad during Super Bowl XLII was the most watched ad with 103 million scholarly researchers like myself taking notes. She impresses me not only with her humility and quick smile, but also for her work with an orphanage in her hometown of Salvador, Bahia. She helps with construction to expand the orphanage as well as buying clothes and supplies.
I have intentionally left Angelina Jolie out of this list. It's not that she isn't beautiful, she is. She has the body, the face and the famous pouty lips. Maybe too many grocery line photos and articles has jaded me, but I think the model below, even though she dated Gaddafi's son, is a better candidate:
She has the lips, the figure, the eyes and a better choice of wardrobe than most.
Philanthropy and Beauty
Once in a while a beautiful woman achieves blinding stardom and fashion fame and still retains her own personality, depth and generosity of spirit. One of my favorites in this category was discovered during the time she was selling fruit on the streets in Russia to help her mother and two sisters, one with cerebral palsy, survive. When she heard she had to learn English to become a model, she mastered it in three months. She has since been on countless covers and headed scores of exclusive campaigns as well as a Victoria's Secret "Angel."
Natalia was inspired to found the charity, Naked Heart Foundation, after visiting Russia with her son Lucas and finding there were no suitable places for children to play.The organisation built its first play park in 2006 in Nizhny Novgorod, Natalia's home town and has since built nearly 38 more.
Natalia supports a number of philanthropic causes, such as the (Bugaboo)RED campaign, an initiative to help eliminate AIDS in Africa, Hear the World, a global campaign that seeks to raise awareness of the topic of hearing and hearing loss and she is also a spokeperson for the Tiger Trade Campaign, an alliance of 38 organisations united under the common aim "to bring back wild tigers by stopping trade in tiger parts and products from all sources." In an interview supporting the campaign, Vodianova said: "I'm proud that Russia, my country, is home to the most magnicifent of animals, the wild Siberian tiger. Today it is up to us to protect the tiger and its home, fewer than 350 Siberian tigers remain in the wild and no more than 3,400 tigers survive anywhere in the world. Unless we act now we will see the extinction of the wild tiger within our lifetime.".
Most supermodels get their exercise on some of the most prestigious runways in the world. One of the busiest is:
Edita was born on New Year's Day of 1989, in Kaunas, Lithuania. She has walked runways for Balenciaga, Chanel, Dries van Noten, Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton as well as Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. In the Spring and Summer of 2009 alone she walked over 35 runways for some of the world's top designers, such as Chanel, Stella McCartney, Givenchy, Zac Posen, and Dolce & Gabbana.
Candice was born in the small South African farming village of Mooi River. She was spotted in a Durban flea market at age 15 and was on the runway by age 16. In 2007 she was the first South African model to walk in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and has since been on the covers for Vogue (Greece), ELLE (Germany), GQ, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan (South Afriaca) and Ocean Drive (U.S.) and advertisements for Agua Bendita, Apriori, Diesel, Fornarina, Guess, Kensie, Nike, Spezzato, Stimorol, Tommy Hilfiger, Versus eyewear, Victoria’s Secret and Topshop.
She has walked the runway for Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce and Gabbana, Sass and Bide, Betsey Johnson, Diane von Fürstenberg and numerous other designers.
Rosie Alice Huntington-Whiteley was born in Plymouth, Devon, England. She has been modeling since 2003 and is one of Victoria's Secret "Angels" as well as the female lead in the 3rd Transformer movie.
Once in a while there comes along a kind of woman who embodies nearly all the qualities that make for female physical attractiveness. Marilyn Monroe had the physical attributes, but she added much more by her walk, her smoldering poses and the way she talked or gestured. When you look closely at Marilyn's photos, her face does not equal many of the ones on this list, but the overall effect has made her an icon of our time.
Someone who has eclipsed that effect in many ways is:
From close-ups to sitting in an alley, from simple interviews to Vogue covers, Scarlett disarms and melts you with her flawless skin, her clear blue eyes, the pose of her mouth and a body reminiscent of GI pin-ups and renaissance paintings. In interviews, she has humor and wit and although her acting may not be Meryl Streep quality, her beauty and the smiling twinkle in her eyes make you want to watch Lost in Translation a few hundred more times.
I don't really know the appropriate word for women who feel at home in Magazines like Maxim, FHM and Playboy, but there are a number of beautiful women who seem to like being eye candy for the world. They sometimes model or star in B movies, but their primary client they model for is the sports bar crowd. One of these is:
This South African model has hit all the man magazines and starred in her own Bollywood "Bond girl" role in the movie Aazaan.
Because their acting talents are not as noticeable as their looks, I include in the Simply Hot category:
Megan Fox and Jennifer Lopez
Far Eastern Beauty
I had fun finding some great candidates from Asia, particularly China, Korea and Japan. If you have someone you consider better, please include her in your comments. In my limited research, my favorite choices for MBWITW from Asia are:
Zhang Ziyi, Zhao Wei, Song Hye Kyo,& Ai Otsuka
I don't know why, but female singers are often very beautiful. I think that their talent for projecting feelings and creative themes must give them an added level of attractiveness. I confess that women who are little more than desirable objects hold no attraction for me--ok, a little bit, and those women who can write their own music are more desirable still. Some who I think are worthy of the MBWITW title, at least for runners-up, are:
Beyonce Knowles, Avril Lavigne and Faith Hill.
Many times a beautiful woman will rise to stardom after winning a beauty competition. The first to win Miss Universe from Angola is:
Just when you think you have a handle on all the stunningly beautiful women in the world, a face from nowhere takes you by surprise. It is amazing how many of these are from the Eastern Block or Russia. Here are just a smattering:
There were naturally many more who could have been included (Halle Berry, Katie Holmes, Frieda Pinto, Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron, Catherine Zeta Jones to name just a few,) and I picked the ones who were current and fit my personal criteria of beauty. The following are several who were considered, just not featured. When all is said and done, it is still true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
If I were pinned down, I would say that Natalia Vodianova, Doutzen Kroes, Ana Beatriz Barros, Ashley Greene, Vanessa Hessler, Scarlett Johansson and Teresa Palmer are my favorites for MBWITW based on overall splendidness and personality. I really can't decide between Natalia, Scarlett and Doutzen for the top position. I think I will let you decide.