Monday, October 2, 2017

Rankings: the Celebrity Crushes of My Life

You love lists and Look to the Cookie doesn't do enough of them. Often, I say that I don't have celebrity crushes. But when I thought about it more seriously, there have been many women of TV, movie, and music fame that made me want to dump my girlfriend and move to Hollywood. Here, I rank my undying love for those women.

The two scores listed are: 1) how I felt about them initially; and 2) how I feel about that same version of them today. It's a gauge that portrays how my standards or interests have changed with time. Each score is out of 10. A perfect score equals 20. This is not a "most beautiful" list.

Similar to my other lists, what started as a fun and innocuous exercise became a study in race. I almost didn't publish this list for fear of being labeled a . . . something. But I realized long ago that the women that attracted me in life rarely looked like those that attracted me on screen. For example, as a teenager, I LOVED really dark-skinned black women, with ample bottoms. When I think of the shows and movies of that time period, none of them featured a woman that matched my desires. And though I was attracted to many many women of color on the telly and at the cinema, they were background and guest stars. They were not celebrities.

I wouldn't feel comfortable listing the dancer who was dressed as Pocahontas in The Best Man here (Liris Crosse). Otherwise, we know and debate all the names--Beyonce, Halle Berry, two Evas, EnVogue (has to be the finest group ever), Jessica Alba, Tyra Banks, Kerry Washington, TLC? IRL I love Asian women too, but can't think of anyone from all of television history except Sun (Lost) and Colleen Wing (Marvel). I'm an out-of-the-box celebrity lover, and we colored folk just don't have enough out-of-the-box options. 

I digress. Now, on to the list.

You live and you learn

#36) Serena Williams - Then: 7 Now: 2 (9) When she was a teenager (I was a boy), I thought, "perfection." Plus, I knew she'd be the greatest tennis player of all-time.

#35) Drew Barrymore - Then: 8 Now: 2 (10) I don't know what sexy movie Ms. Barrymore did when I was like three, but it stuck with me. Finally, in college, I was like, "wait, why am I so attracted to her?" I love her with Adam Sandler though.

#34) Lark Voorhies - Then: 7 Now: 3.7 (10.7) She was one of the first. I knew she was special because a nerdy white dude liked her . . . and she didn't care . . . at all. She was rich and written to be white (Jewish?). Of course, I'm talking about Lisa Turtle--the original.

#33) Michelle Rodriguez - Then: 8 Now: 3 (11) I've always been attracted to women that might have some issues and could kick my ass. It's been a problem.

#32) Kelly Rowland Then: 7.5 Now: 3.8 (11.3) Always Kelly, never Beyonce . . . until I realized Kelly wasn't exactly the sweet chocolate angel of my dreams. But what we had was real - ish . . . to me. She even wrote a song about how much she thinks of me.

#31) Jennifer Aniston - Then: 7 Now: 5 (12) Everybody loves Rachel. I didn't know as a child that she'd be the woman I'm (un)lucky enough to land as an adult. Also, I'd like to acknowledge her tight 40-something bod in Horrible Bosses and We're the Millers. Keep hope alive!

#30) Emma Watson - Then: 7.7 Now: 5.5 (12.7) Hermione was beautiful; Emma's okay. And I'm okay with that. Beyond beauty, she seems to be pretty darn good at life.

#29) Kaley Cuoco - Then: 8.9 Now: 4 (12.9) I started watching Charmed late, after I realized there was a show about scantily clad, powerful, beautiful women. Okay, maybe they were scantily clad in my dreams, but still. Also, I respect the hell out of her because long before BBT, she dominated every show she appeared on.

#28) Gwen Stefani Then: 9 Now: 3.9 (12.9) In my Music Industry Promotion class, someone unrolled a poster of her. I loudly and uncontrollably whispered, "she's so hot." My girlfriend glared from across the room, with an expression that said "WTF?!?!" Sheeeeeeeit, where was the lie?

#27) Hayley Williams - Then: 9 Now: 4 (13) I used to watch "That's What You Get" on repeat until my girlfriend asked if I liked her. I responded, "NO NO NO." I didn't lie; I loved her.

Flawed, but fine

#26) Lauren Cohan - Then: 7 Now: 6 (13) Some people don't think she's the best part of the show. Those people are stupid.
#25) Kate Upton - Then: 9.9 Now: 4 (13.9) I had no idea who she was, so I decided to watch her do the "Cat Daddy." LAWD. My favorite thing about her? She gains weight, changes size, and is still held as a top beauty. I haven't heard the stupid criticisms or dismissals that idiots leveled at Tyra, Britney, Beyonce et al. Maybe we're growing up.

Kate Upton- Cat Daddy from Terry Richardson on Vimeo.

#24) Paris Hilton - Then: 10 Now: 3.9 (13.9) Yes, I was the person that watched The Simple Life. I could just sit and listen to her say "that's hot," for hours. I did hate the appropriation because we'd been saying that for years, but whatevs . . . .
#23) Ivanka Trump - Then: 9 Now: 5 (14) I'm sorry, but she's the reason I watched The Apprentice. When she got married, a piece of me died. I still refuse to believe that she's actually anything like her father. Plus, she looks so tall. The tall ones get me every time.

#22) Holly Robinson (Peete) Then: 10 Now: 7 (17) Another late edition. I got so angry, when I realized she married a football player, and not me. And, yes, black don't crack--she's still fine at age *deleted*.

#21) Tatyana Ali - Then: 8.3 Now: 6 (14.3) As a child, I imagined my wife would look like her. I dreamed of women who looked like this. My first crush, Tiffany, in first grade, looked like this. Oh, to be a child again
#20) Gina Gershon - Then: 9.5 Now: 5 (14.5) BOUND. I dated someone who looks like a take on Gina Gershon . . . . It'll be a few more years before I can say if it was worth it.

#19) Britney Spears - Then: 9.9 Now: 5 (14.9) At the [hit me, baby, one more] time, I didn't know that every other white girl looked like that. If that video was on, I was watching it. Now, I literally have five friends that look like Britney *shrugs*.

#18) Willa Holland - Then: 9 Now: 6 (15) It warms my heart to think of her earliest appearances on The O.C. My girlfriend would call me just to let me know she was on, so she could hear my reactions. When she re-appeared on Arrow . . . c'mon I have to know someone who knows her right?

#17) Miley Cyrus - Then: 9 Now: 6 (15) I get it. Some people don't, but I do. She's immensely talented and lives her life. Yes, privilege, but we're talking about unattainable celeb crushes.

#16) Angelina Jolie - Then: 10 Now: 5.5 (15.5) This list exists because she exists. But somehow all of those unique facial features that I loved started to creep me out as she/we aged. She's still my all-time favorite actor.

#15) Keira Knightley - Then: 9.5 Now: 6.1 (15.6) Flat chest an' all, she's stunning. And the accent doesn't hurt. It's regal as hell.

#14) Olivia Wilde - Then: 9.8 Now: 6 (15.8) The Black Donnellys. A great show, gone too soon, but I watched weekly because of her. 

#13) Mariah Carey - Then: 9.9 Now: 6 (15.9) "Dreamlover" video Mariah, "good gawd!" 

#12) Denise Richards - Then: 8.9 Now: 7 (15.9) Seeing Denise Richards in Wild Things changed the direction of my young life. I NEVER imagined dating a white girl before I saw her. Powerful stuff. 
#11) Stacey Dash - Then: 9.1 Now: 6.9 (16) If there was an additional category for "soul," she'd have negative points.

If you have a different opinion, meet me outside

#10) Isla Fisher - Then: 9.5 Now: 6.5 (16) I hated that I loved her so much in Wedding Crashers. Her character was a caricature, but I couldn't get enough. I wanted to trade places with Vince Vaughn so badly.

#9) Amy Smart - Then: 9.6 Now: 7.1 (16.7) Varsity Blues. She epitomized "girl next door." And when she started having sex on camera, it was like watching my wife with another man. Oh, and I would NOT be into that *looks around creepily*.

#8) Morena Baccarin - Then: 9.7 Now: 7 (16.7) I first fell in love as one of the two people watching V. Then, I noticed her in every hit show and movie. If there's an awesome white guy, then she's his wife/girlfriend/fiancee. She's as talented as she is neck-y. 

#7) Jennifer Love Hewitt - Then: 9.8 Now: 6.9 (16.7) I write this with a smile. I loved her enough to watch her terrible shows and movies. And when she openly discussed her boobs, I knew we'd eventually meet and fall in love. There's still time.

#6) Deepika Padukone - Then: 9.1 Now: 7.7 (16.8) I don't want to be "Fetish Man," but an Indian woman had to make this list. (Priya Chopra, Fariha "not technically Indian" Roisin) I don't know what's happened to me lately, but music, food, accents, skin, hair, style . . . . It's a thing.

#5) Elisha Cuthbert - Then: 9.8 Now: 7 (16.8) I bought the movie because she was on the cover. It ended up being a good film too. Not feeling that look today, but even today she's still beautiful.

#4) Nicole Kidman - Then: 10 Now: 7 (17) Initially, not only did I not see it, I didn't see her. Thin, pale, and blonde was not a standard I grew up with. After college, I got it, and I became obsessed with her films. She's talented and seems super sweet. 

#3) Alyssa Milano Then: 7.5 Now: 9.5 (17) Alyssa Milano's innate perfection pushed me to create this list, and then I left her off of it. She's the sole person on the list, with a score that increased over time. When I searched young Alyssa Milano, I knew immediately that I had exquisite taste as a child.

#2) Dominque Dawes - Then: 10 Now: 7 (17) Even as a baby, I knew super-fine when I saw it. 
#1) Emily Ratajkowski - Then: 9 Now: 8.6 (17.6) She almost didn't make the list. But when an adult rewinds a movie over and over, like it's a '90s VHS, the star of that scene makes the list. 


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