By now you may have heard the rumors that Adam Levine will be named People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive for 2013. The news won’t be officially announced until tomorrow, which gives us a little time to suggest some better choices. Not just better choices, but braver choices. The Sexiest Man Alive has been pretty cookie-cutter over the years. For instance, there’s only been one non-white man (Denzel Washington), no openly gay men, and only one non-actor (John F. Kennedy, Jr.), not to mention that they’ve all been conventionally attractive and incredibly famous, often with something to promote.
It’s nice that People is branching out and finally recognizing that musicians are attractive, but they could definitely do more to give the title some more variety. I mean, it’s been around for almost 30 years. Let’s try something a bit more refreshing. For instance, any of these twelve lovely gentlemen. They’re brave choices for various reasons, whether they have interesting looks, are more up-and-coming, or (gasp) aren’t white. What they do all have in common is that they’re all sexy, they’ve all had great years and they all have promising careers ahead of them.
1. Benedict Cumberbatch
This has been an amazing year for Benedict Cumberbatch. He’s turned in great performances in movies like Star Trek Into Darkness, The Fifth Estate and 12 Years a Slave, and he’s still got The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug coming up next month, not to mention the next series of Sherlock. Despite having a loyal fan base, Benedict is one of the most unconventionally attractive men in Hollywood. His looks are extremely divisive, so I don’t see People choosing him for a long time, if ever, but it would definitely make a statement if they did.
2. Idris Elba
I think you’d be hard up to find any woman who doesn’t think Idris Elba is the definition of sexy. He plays a tough British detective on Luther, but Americans probably know him from blockbusters like Thor, Prometheus and Pacific Rim, not to mention the upcoming Nelson Mandela biopic. Alas, he’s not as big a movie star as Brad Pitt or George Clooney, plus he’s got that whole non-white person thing that People seems afraid of, so he would be a bold choice.
3. Tom Hiddleston
Light of my life! Tom’s most famous to mainstream audiences for his role as Loki in the Thor and Avengers franchises. The fact that he made a villain into a beloved character women everywhere would choose to date over the hero means he’s used to being the underdog. He also seems to be a genuinely lovely person, which is always nice to see rewarded.
4. Matt Bomer
You don’t become one of the most popular fan choices to play Christian Grey without being a very sexy man. Matt’s made a name for himself as a TV star, although he did take it off for Magic Mike. He’s also openly gay and has three sons with his partner. I know it might seem strange to People, but gay men can be sexy — to both men and women.
5. Javier Bardem
Despite seeming to sign a “weird hair” contract for every movie he stars in, Javier is one handsome man and a great actor. He’s also a family man; he and Penelope Cruz have been married since 2010 and have two children. Unfortunately it seems that People has some kind of strict “no Latin men” policy, so Javier might not have a chance.
6. Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender has been enjoying a successful couple of years. He’s starred in critically acclaimed films like Shame and 12 Years a Slave. He also co-starred with Javier Bardem’s hair in The Counselor. He would be a very bold choice. What would be even bolder is if the magazine just gave it to his legendary penis. Never has a penis won the title on its own. Come on, People, open your minds.