Stuart C. Wilson

This morning, People revealed the cover of its 2015 Most Beautiful People issue, starring Sandra Bullock as the World's Most Beautiful Woman.

This is of note not only because the Oscar-winning actress is indeed very beautiful (truth in advertising!), but also because, at 50 years old, she's the oldest cover star in the annual issue's quarter-century history.

Sandra Bullock is the World's Most Beautiful Woman of 2015. (People)

The second oldest Most Beautiful Person was Julia Roberts, aged 42 for her fourth (!) Most Beautiful People cover appearance in 2010. The last time a celebrity under 30 was chosen to cover the issue was 1998, when Leonardo DiCaprio (then 23, and the youngest Most Beautiful Person in the magazine's history) had the honor. (Beyoncé was on the cover at the age of 30; Lupita Nyong'o at age 31.)

In fact, People's choice of Most Beautiful Person has consistently aged along with the magazine in the years since the issue's 1990 debut.


An optimist would hail Bullock's cover as a milestone, celebrating the all-too-often unappreciated beauty of older women. A pessimist might suggest that, in spotlighting middle-aged celebrities, People has found a clever way to appeal to its readership and sell more magazines. (The median age of's audience is 38.) Either way, we'll take it!

Molly Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Fusion's Pop & Culture section. Her interests include movies about movies, TV shows about TV shows, and movies about TV shows, but not so much TV shows about movies.