Why Maxim’s Thinly Veiled ‘Woke’ Take On A Hot 100 Women List Misses The Mark

Honestly, we never needed to see this.

It’s 2023 and yet today’s news is being dominated by the fact that Margot Robbie has won MAXIM Australia’s annual ‘Hot List’ for the fourth time in a row.

Don’t get us wrong, Margot is the epitome of success – with the culture-defining success of the Barbie movie, her production company LuckyChap and gin brand Papa Salt – what an absolute powerhouse she is. But four times in a row?

The magazine, which is the sister of the original American publication, has released their hot list every year since 2012, aiming to rebrand it away from being about ‘sexiness’ and towards the substance of the women on the list.

Margot Robbie won for a fourth year in a row. (Credit: Image: Getty)

These days it’s described as a “definitive list of Australia’s most influential, successful, powerful, newsworthy, talented and beautiful women this year.”

The magazine’s editor-in-chief Santi Pintado said in a statement that they chose the list by the “aptitude, intellect, humour, headlines, sassiness, and overall incredible talents” of these women.

However, while the list goes under a new-age ‘woke’ guise, there’s no denying that the ranking of Australia’s successful women against each other leaves a bitter taste.

Robbie is followed by Matildas star Sam Kerr in second place, and singer and Netflix actress Delta Goodrem in third.

The list continues with the likes of Sophie Monk, G Flip, Jessica Mauboy, Kaylee McKeown, Ariane Titmus, Abbie Chatfield and MAFS’ Evelyn Ellis all making the top 10.

The fact that most of the women in the top 10 are thin-framed or sporty is not lost on us.

While MAXIM Australia says that the list is focused on the ladies’ achievements, we can’t help but feel that there is a thinly veiled focus on looks.

Grace Tame at marie claire’s Women Of The Year Awards. (Credit: Image: Getty)

The inclusion of the likes of Grace Tame (at number 26) is jarring. Her achievements are profound — hell, marie claire Australia named her one of our 2021 Women of the Year. But there’s no getting around the fact that Maxim is better known for pin-ups and salaciousness. Is it really appropriate to put a sexual abuse survivor and tireless campaigner on their hot list?

Adding female politicians like Foreign Minister Penny Wong (number 96) and Queenland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (number 99) to the list is equally jarring. Women in politics have spent decades trying to get both the country and their male colleagues to take them seriously. Are we really putting them in a “hot” list?

While it’s clear that MAXIM Australia is aiming to steer the list away from being a hot-and-heavy ranking of women based on looks, the ranking of women in this way is still an unnecessary perpetuation of competition between women. It’s even more obvious in a year when we have shown exactly how we lift each other up: Barbie, the Matildas, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, to name a few cultural phenomena.

Celebrating the women on this list isn’t about asking ‘who did it best’ and ranking them in a magazine read mostly by men. It’s about celebrating that women are dominating the cultural zeitgeist, together.

Our take? Lists like this are so 2012.

Penny Wong was placed on the list. (Credit: Image: Getty)

The Full Maxim 100 ‘Hot List’ For 2023:

  1. Margot Robbie
  2. Sam Kerr
  3. Delta Goodrem
  4. Sophie Monk
  5. G Flip
  6. Jessica Mauboy
  7. Kaylee McKeown
  8. Ariarne Titmus
  9. Abbie Chatfield
  10. Evelyn Ellis
  11. Mackenzie Arnold
  12. Caitlin Foord
  13. Mary Fowler
  14. Hayley Raso
  15. Ellie Carpenter
  16. Cortnee Vine
  17. Paris Raine
  18. Bianca Censori
  19. Costeen Hatzi
  20. Narelle Maree
  21. Mollie O’Callaghan
  22. Sarah Snook
  23. Elizabeth Debicki
  24. Casey Boonstra
  25. Ellie Cole
  26. Grace Tame
  27. Jess Fox & Noemie Fox
  28. Ellyse Perry
  29. Minjee Lee
  30. Moraya Wilson
  31. Olivia Frazer
  32. Gabby Epstein
  33. Harriet Dyer
  34. Rose Byrne
  35. Rebel Wilson
  36. Sonia Kruger
  37. Amanda Keller
  38. Chrissie Swan
  39. Shiralee Coleman
  40. Miranda Kerr
  41. Jennifer Hawkins
  42. Natalie Roser
  43. Melissa Leong
  44. Anna Torv
  45. Sports Presenters
  46. Alexa Towersey
  47. Celeste Barber
  48. Nicole Kidman
  49. Cate Blanchett
  50. Samara Weaving
  51. Ruby Rose
  52. Amy Shark
  53. Peach PRC
  54. Sarah Magusara
  55. Brooke Satchwell
  56. April Rose Pengilly
  57. Emily Scott
  58. Emily Weir
  59. Kylie Minogue
  60. Jackie O
  61. Ruva Ngwenya
  62. Isla Fisher
  63. Chantelle Otten
  64. Donnell Wallam
  65. Tamika Upton
  66. Erin Phillips
  67. Tess Magden
  68. Molly Picklum
  69. Erin Molan
  70. Kate Ritchie
  71. Carrie Bickmore
  72. Ricki-Lee Coulter
  73. Celia Pacquola
  74. Julia Morris
  75. Jessica Ferguson
  76. Kitty Flanagan
  77. Sandra Sully
  78. Georgie Tunny
  79. Sarah Harris
  80. Allison Langdon
  81. Sarah Abo
  82. Natalie Barr
  83. Melissa Tracina
  84. The Real Housewives of Sydney
  85. Heather McCartney
  86. Kodi Buckley
  87. Jacinta Nampijinpa Price
  88. Linda Burney
  89. Liz Ellis
  90. Jacinta Allan
  91. Vanessa Hudson
  92. Dani Laidley
  93. Jodie Haydon
  94. Michelle Kimberlee
  95. Molly Moyies
  96. Penny Wong
  97. Bec Judd & Kate Twigley
  98. Lidia Thorpe
  99. Annastacia Palaszczuk
  100. Michele Bullock

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