March Madness: Esquire Brackets Its Sexiest Women Alive

The compromise of men's magazines as described by George Lois — balancing the serious magazine its editors mostly want with the "girlie" shots they need to sell it — is alive and well. And the web helps the juxtaposition thrive.

Case in point: Esquire's annual Sexiest Woman Alive franchise, newly democratized like NCAA brackets, designed to draw traffic to the Esquire website by having readers vote on match-ups. It's sex as sport. They get some points for racial and ethnic diversity (including Freida Pinto, Zoe Saldana, Joy Bryant, Eva Mendes, Emmanuelle Chriqui) if not much of any other kind. And there is a certain insouciance in some of the writeups of the pairings:

Pre-surgery Heidi Montag vs. post-surgery Montag. They both dated Spencer Pratt. Tough call.

Or this one:

MEGYN KELLY, 39 /// We're almost as blind to her journalistic bias as she is.

Zeitgeisty! There are also some women known almost exclusively by their marriages to athletes:

(7) Matt Stafford's Girlfriend
(10) Scott Podsednik's Wife

Further perusal indicates that their names are Kelly Hall and Lisa Dergan. But you know, whatever. I was more interested in this particular index of Sexy:

JESSICA ALBA, 28 /// Bulletproof body. Bounced back weeks after giving birth.
JENNIFER ANISTON, 41 /// Bulletproof

Um yeah, Jessica Alba "bounced back" after the birth of her baby — by working out until she cried and wearing a girdle. Now that's sexy.

Sexiest Woman Alive: Bracket Tournament [Esquire]

Earlier: Selling Sex And Ax Murderesses: George Lois On His Esquire Lady Covers