HOT 100 2009

The Sexiest Women According To Women

We introduced the first annual Hot 100 in 2007 to give women a way to express what, or who, we find attractive, since our voice is largely missing from mainstream, heterocentric pop culture.

We made it into an annual event because it was so popular — and because it's fun, something we need a little of in-between fighting for our civil rights or searching in vain for decent lesbian/bi visibility in TV shows and movies.

Here are a few of the comments from past Hot 100 winners:

Leisha Hailey [on being No. 1 in 2007]: "I have to say this really makes up for the time I was on the Homecoming Court in High school with my boyfriend (yes I had one) and he won and I didn't. So thanks to everyone. I'll try and keep up my hottness."

Tina Fey [on being No. 1 in 2008]: "[making] the AfterEllen [list] is flattering. I think those girls take more of a 3-D picture before they decide they like somebody."

Sara Ramirez [on being No. 8 in 2008]: "That's really flattering!"

Sarah Shahi [on being No. 5 in 2008]: "I did not know that. I thank [lesbian/bi women] for staying so loyal to me and for coming with me on the ride of The L Word, and I hope they continue on with me."

Olivia Wilde [on moving up from No. 53 in 2007 to No. 30 in 2008]: "That's awesome!"

Lena Headey [on falling from No. 4 in 2007 to No. 10 in 2008]: "My God, I have to go to the gym! I've fallen six. That hurts...Vote for me! Vote for me, I'll change the world! [laughs]"

Over 150,000 votes were cast this year, and as usual, most of the women who made the list are actors, and many have played lesbians on TV or film. But we also have several musicians (and actor-musicians), as well as a professional athlete and a president's wife (yes, Michelle Obama made the list).

You voted for more women of color this year (24 vs. 18), and of these women, eight have never appeared on the Hot 100 before. Slightly fewer openly gay or bisexual women made the list this year (19 vs. 21), but five of the top 10 women are openly gay or bisexual (in 2007 only two of the top 10 were out, and in 2008, it was three). Five of these are also first-timers (note: staff are excluded from the list, but freelance vloggers and writers are not). 13 women over 40 made it onto this year's Hot 100.

About a quarter of the women on the list are completely new, including out political commentator Rachel Maddow, actors Lisa Ray, Anna Torv, and Kristen Stewart, and actor/supermodel Laura Sanchez. Jackie Warner, Jennifer Garner, and Angie Harmon are among the women missing from this year's list who have made the list both years prior.

Although the majority of women on the list are American, about 25% of the list hails from other countries, with Canadians leading the international pack, then Brits and Australians. Three come from Spain; and there are also women from India, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, and South Africa.
We decided to create additional, supplementary lists for the Hot 100 this year, with the goal to give a little extra exposure to those women who tend not to get as much coverage from the mainstream media: women of color, out lesbian/bi women, and women over 40. After counting the votes, we realized listing the 10 Hottest in each category would duplicate the women already named on the Hot 100, which wouldn't accomplish our goal of highlighting more women in those categories.

So we've revised these lists slightly to include those women in that category who made the Hot 100, but to also feature the next 10 women in these categories — women who didn't quite make the Hot 100 but were next in line, vote-wise. You'll find links to these lists at the end of this one, or you can go directly to them here: Out Women, Women of Color, Women Over 40.

We've provided descriptions for each of the women who landed in the top twenty of the list. We've also put asterisks next to the names of all openly gay/bi women, noted their previous rank if they've made the list before, and added a "new" badge next to the names of those women who have never appeared on the Hot 100.

When you're done looking at this year's hottest women, you can peruse the 2008 Hot 100 and the 2007 Hot 100, or check out The 2009 Hot 100 to see who the gay men voted for this year!

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