Sandra Bullock's 'Most Beautiful' Title Challenges Our Obsession With Youth

Sandra Bullock's 'Most Beautiful' Title Challenges Our Obsession With Youth

While Hollywood might shy away from casting women over 40 for starring roles on the silver screen, People has no problem acknowledging the seemingly ageless beauty of an older star.

At 50, Sandra Bullock is the oldest person—man or woman—to snag the title of World's Most Beautiful Person from the entertainment magazine.

Typically the outlet names a woman as the top beauty in its compilation of either 50 or 100 celebrities. A few men have won the honor in the list's 25-year history, including Mel Gibson at 40 in 1996, Tom Cruise at 34 in 1997, and a 23-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio in 1998.

People made the announcement on its website Wednesday, with the print version set to be released later in the week. While the magazine isn’t focusing on the age of its newest cover model, she’s a full eight years older than the next oldest starlet to take the title: Julia Roberts graced the cover at 42 in 2010.

Bullock admits to being surprised, telling People that she didn’t share the news of her win with her friends and thought to herself, “That’s ridiculous.” Bullock got gussied up for her photo spread and feature story, but she sees true beauty as a reflection of being a good person instead of simply physical appearance.  

"Real beauty is quiet. Especially in this town, it's just so hard not to say, 'Oh, I need to look like that,'" Bullock told People. "No, be a good person, be a good mom, do a good job with the lunch, let someone cut in front of you who looks like they're in a bigger hurry. The people I find most beautiful are the ones who aren't trying."

As Bullock challenges the narrow definition of beauty, so too do those who crowned her. Whatever statement the entertainment outlet was trying to make, one message comes across loud and clear: Youth and beauty are not intrinsically linked.

While Bullock might be the oldest person featured on the "Most Beautiful Person" list, it’s worth noting that the other list People is most famous for—“Sexiest Man Alive”—has long featured actors well over the age of 50, from Harrison Ford at 55 in 1998 to Sean Connery at 60 in 1989. 

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Original article from TakePart