That’s right, Roberts has been named “Most Beautiful” more times than anyone else, surpassing Jennifer Aniston and Michelle Pfeiffer. She first appeared on the issue in 1991 at the age of 23, fresh from her role in “Pretty Woman.”
“I am very flattered,” the Oscar-winning actress said of the recent accolade, later adding, “I think I’m currently peaking.”
Now, yes, Roberts is beautiful, but if we’re being honest, so is everyone else in Hollywood. We can’t help but think of a slew of other stars who could have earned the title for the first time, let alone a fifth. (Taraji P. Henson, anyone?)
People’s Editorial Director Jess Cagle explained the magazine’s choice in his editor’s letter:
When it came time to choose a cover for the 2017 World’s Most Beautiful issue, it seemed that the time was right for Julia Roberts. At 49, Julia has never looked better. Her beauty also lies in her self-assurance and smarts and good humor. It lies in her ability to evolve while retaining the best parts of herself. It lies in her talent for creating characters and telling stories that take us to new places. And it lies in her family-first ethos: Despite all the delights, distractions and temptations of an impossibly privileged existence, nothing ignites her famous smile more than game nights with her kids.
It will be interesting to see who else People decided to include in the issue. As we know, the list tends to favor conventionally beautiful, straight, white women ― so we’re hoping this year there’s some diversity in the mix. Since 1990, there have only been four women of color to receive the title ― Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé and Lupita Nyong’o.
We do know, however, that Henson, Viola Davis and Alicia Keys are also featured in the current issue, which is a step in the right direction.
People’s “Most Beautiful” issue hits newsstands Friday.