Every year, Esquire’s “Sexiest Woman Alive” cover story garners a lot of attention. This year the magazine crowned Rihanna with the title, offering up the pop singer naked on the cover, with only a couple leaves to hide her nether regions. When I saw the issue arrive in my mailbox, the cover — although it certainly caught my eye — may not have pulled me in with the most fitting photograph. Doesn’t the sexiest woman alive also have, in addition to her beautiful body, a beautiful face? The Esquire cover features Rihanna’s glistening body but most of her face gets lost behind her hair. Perhaps they covered a lot of her face up so you’d spend more time looking at her curves, but if I’m supposed to be reading about why Rihanna’s the “Sexiest Woman Alive,” I want to see the whole package. Also, once inside, the feature photo that accompanies the story looks too similar to the cover image. A little variety and a little more facial visibility wouldn’t hurt. Nonetheless, this month’s Esquire deserves a round of applause for putting Rihanna on the cover. She’s a symbol for not only sex and beauty but also for female empowerment, given how well she’s come back from her physical abuse scandal with ex-boyfriend Chris Brown.
Time Out New York‘s most recent issue, The Sex Issue, makes me question whether people still turn to magazines to identify a city’s top singles. Sure, getting on the list gives you bragging rights, but does anyone actually care anymore? In this era of unconventional matchmaking, with numerous sites like eHarmony and televisions shows like The Millionaire Matchmaker glorifying the business, where do magazines come into play? TONY does a good job of highlighting singles from various backgrounds and for every sexual orientation, yet we don’t know what criteria the magazine uses to select this supposed lot of hot bachelors and bachelorettes. Perhaps more transparency would give the magazine’s annual roundup of singles greater importance. Still, I’d argue city magazines augment their Top Singles issues for something that’s actually useful, something hands-on. Well, I’m really pulling from what The Washington Post Magazine does each week, since its clever — and popular — Date Lab page follows two singles on a date that the magazine editors set up. That way, rather than point wishful singles in the right direction, the magazine actually plays matchmaker and documents what happens.