MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATE) What do Carla Bruni, Natalie Portman, Queen Rania, Rihanna, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Maria Ressa have in common?
They all made it to this year's list of Sexiest Women Alive put together by Esquire.com.
Actress Minka Kelly is at the top of the heap as the Sexiest Woman Alive, and was made Esquire's cover girl for its November 2010 issue.
A total of 195 women were singled out by editors of Esquire's 17 international editions. They were picked for representing "something different, something beautiful, something that reveals a little bit more about who we are."
There were some beauty queens on the list, as well as politicians, actresses, singers, and models.
Among the popular ones on the list are actresses Diane Kruger and Rachel Hunter, model Gisele Bundchen, Miss Universe 2008 Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela, model Daisy Fuentes, and musician Andrea Corr.
|Journalist Maria Ressa makes it to 'Sexiest Women Alive' list. Screenshot from esquire.com
But what got Filipinos excited was seeing journalist Maria Ressa, head of ABS-CBN's News and Current Affairs Division, in the list, representing the Philippines.
Esquire.com said the reason they chose was Ressa was this: "Despite her size, fearless enough to write an eyewitness account of Al-Qaeda."
Ressa responded via a tweet: "Thank you to Esquire for an unorthodox choice. Brave new world."
Smart is the new sexy
The Esquire list titillated netizens who immediately turned to the social networking sites to voice their opinions.
A number of netizens were happy over Esquire's choice for the country's sexiest woman alive.
On Twitter, user angelicumoda wrote: "Maria Ressa, one of the sexiest according to Esquire. Now that going out of the freaking box! iLove!"
User irenepavy tweeted, "This is so cool, and really surprising! Maria Ressa is chosen by Esquire as the sexiest woman in the Philippines!"
"Maria Ressa, sexy? Yes, if you think brains and guts are sexy. So I agree. Hehe," wrote biancaconsunji.
"Maria Ressa is a smart woman, whom Esquire chose as the sexiest woman in the Philippines! Indeed, SMART is SEXY!!!," tweeted MargaritaHeart.
Others, on the other hand, expressed disgust and shock.
"Di ko pa din mawari ito. Ibang klase," tweeted katroni.
"Hey @Esquiremag! Why the hell is Maria Ressa the sexiest woman alive from the Philippines?!" wrote kevinyapjoco.
"Can someone please explain how Maria Ressa is sexy?" tweeted ___Shaun.
And user nikkisantiago wrote, "Esquire, fo' real? I like Maria Ressa but she just doesn't equate to sexy-at least my definition of sexy."
"Carla Bruni, Natalie Portman, Queen Rania, Rihanna, Maria Ressa... alin, alin, alin ang naiba?" tweeted marcmarasigan.
And user jiritajackson wrote, "Saan daw lilipat si maria ressa? Baka sa FHM."
Haters were met by supporters of Ressa online. Not a few defended Esquire's choice.
"To all the Maria Ressa Esquire haters out there: Arrogance is definitely 'not sexy'. =)" wrote honeyhingco.
"Why are people questioning Maria Ressa for making it on Esquire's sexiest woman? her smart ass is hot! love herr!" defended DouxRebelle.
"It's like Venus Raj all over again. True, it's unusual for Maria Ressa to be part of that list, but come on haters... CHILL," advised iyassantos.
The Pope disqualified
The list was presented by country. The small island nation of Dominica had no "sexiest woman" and Esquire.com said it is open to suggestions for naming one.
For Vatican City, on the other hand, Pope Benedict XVI's photo was flashed on screen but so were these words: "Disqualified. The Pope declined to offer a statement, apology, or penalty for this completely sexless act of snubbing."