'World's Most Beautiful Woman' Sandra Bullock credits motherhood

After being named People's 2015 World's Most Beautiful Woman, Sandra Bullock discusses beauty and what it means to her. Is Hollywood on board with this redefinition?

Richard Shotwell Invision/AP/File
Sandra Bullock was named People's 2015 World's Most Beautiful Woman.

Just named People magazine’s 2015 World’s Most Beautiful Woman, Sandra Bullock has unconventional criteria for who she finds beautiful:

“The people I find most beautiful are the ones who aren't trying.”

The 50-year-old, award-winning actress said she was surprised at being named the most beautiful woman in the world by the magazine, perhaps because it was never a goal. Ms. Bullock took the opportunity to highlight the internal beauty that comes from authentically showing love to the people around you.

This is the first time Bullock has won the award. She told People that she felt the nomination was “ridiculous,” but ultimately shared her views on true beauty. She said she feels the most beautiful as a mother to her five-year-old son Louis, away from the pressures of Hollywood.

“Real beauty is quiet. Especially in this town, it's just so hard not to say, ‘Oh, I need to look like that,’” she told People. “No, be a good person, be a good mom, do a good job with the lunch, let someone cut in front of you who looks like they're in a bigger hurry. The people I find most beautiful are the ones who aren't trying.”

Bullock is the oldest recipient in the award's 25-year history. Previously, three-time recipient Julia Roberts held the title at the age of 42. According to the website Fusion, the average age of People’s “Most Beautiful People” has increased over its quarter-century life. In the 1990s, the average age was 31; in the 2010s, it rose to age 39.

Ageism in Hollywood has made headlines recently as more actresses have become vocal about the declining number of roles for women after the age of 40. Mia Freedman of Mamamia’s Women Network said that it is astounding to see the number of “mothers” featured in advertising who are – in real life – too young to mother the actors who play their children. She writes:

I recognize a lot of models from my years working in magazines and I know roughly how old they are. If the way we see motherhood portrayed in advertising is to be believed, the average age for giving birth is about 12, 14 at the oldest … Think about the subconscious effect that has on how we calibrate what motherhood looks like. And it’s not just advertising. Movies and TV shows do it too – incessantly.

Perhaps the rising age of People's “Most Beautiful Women” represents a changing perception that there is more to beauty than youth. Some supporters took to Twitter to express their feelings at seeing Bullock on the cover of People.

Bullock said she is proud to be a mother, and tells her son that even as she ages, and gets “old and gray and more wrinkly,” she will still be his mother. She said his response was heartwarming, and shows where true beauty comes from:

“[H]e asked why I have wrinkles, and I said, ‘Well, I hope some of them are from laughing so much.’ And he touched my face and said, ‘You're not old, you're just happy.’”

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.