Julia Roberts has earned the record fifth honor of being dubbed Most Beautiful Woman by People magazine. Roberts surpasses Jennifer Aniston and Michelle Pfeiffer, who both earned the title twice.
Roberts was first dubbed Most Beautiful in 1991 at age 23 after 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.”
Meanwhile on social media, there was a lot of virtual eye-rolling going on with many users calling for more “diversity” and pointing out that five honors was perhaps a few too many.
Perhaps anticipating a social media backlash, editorial director Jess Cagle explained the magazine’s reasoning 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.”
Since 1990, there have been four women of color to receive the title: Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé and Lupita Nyong’o.