Ryan Gosling should never be People's "Sexiest Man Alive." And, no, it's not because he isn't sexy. He is indeed sexy. Please, people, just look at the way the man wears a suit. No, Ryan Gosling, should never be the "Sexiest Man Alive" because it would ruin all the Internet fun we've been having with him.
This morning it was announced that Magic Mike's perennially shirtless hunk Channing Tatum received People's title. As soon as the news broke the Gosling protest started. BuzzFeed, for one, changed their Twitter icon to a picture of Gosling and encouraged people to tweet using #teamryan:
The site was at the front lines of the fight for Gosling last year when he was overtaken by Bradley Cooper, writing posts including "63 Reasons Why Bradley Cooper Definitely Isn't The Sexiest Man Alive" and "10 Scientific Reasons Why Ryan Gosling Is Sexier Than Bradley Cooper." This year they've fired back with "Why People Magazine Is Blind, Ignorant, And Dumb."
Visually, they make good points. Gosling is pretty sexy. But Gosling, in his memedom, is too much of an underdog hero to become People's "sexiest man." While Gosling actually seems kind of bland in real life save for his put-upon Brando accent and his nobility on the streets of New York, on the Internet he's a feminist, a lawyer, even a typographer. While we all love Gosling, we most love Gosling when he's reaffirming our fascination with a niche world beyond the trappings of normal Hollywood celebrity. Last year's protest in Gosling's favor even took on the form of an "Occupy" movement, further affirming Gosling's outsider status.
Though we might have suspected nearly a year ago that we have reached "peak" Gosling, the Gosling craze is clearly far from over. It works because we can make Gosling whoever we want him to be. If he's the "sexiest man alive" then he's been labeled by the proverbial "man" of celebrity news coverage. He'll probably giggle and make a humble statement, and the Internet will feel a fleeting moment of joy, but that will fade. His star may even fade. Let's let the fun continue. The protest can live on, but Gosling must never be the "sexiest man alive."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.