10. Heidi Klum
For awhile there, she might have been called Heidi Samuel but, before her now-kaput marriage to the British singer Seal, she was Heidi Klum, aka “The Body,” aka “The German Goddess,” aka “The Shock from Bergisch Gladbach” (I might have made up those last two.)
Heidi is mostly known from her modeling work for Vogue, Sports Illustrated and Victoria’s Secret catalogs, which we’ve all of course read for their surprisingly in-depth articles. It’s there that she mesmerized audiences worldwide with her deep gaze, strong stature and that wide, almost suspiciously perfect smile. There’s something here about her being the perfect woman but, with her blonde hair and country of origin, it’s best not to mention such things.
9. Yendi Phillips
Phillips first came to the worldwide public’s attention when she became a finalist in every event during the 2007 Miss World competition, as a representative of Jamaica. Out of all those Miss World competitions you watch, can you ever recall any more detail than a parade of half-naked, unrealistic standards of beauty? Well, they actually have categories like Sports, Talent and Swimsuit; in 2007 Phillips dominated them all, proving that there is some serious talent and determination underneath that pretty face, body, hair, posture, legs, smile, eyes… sorry, where was I?
Oh yeah. While not making it to the finals of Miss World or Miss Universe (where she was actually the 1st runner up), Phillips appears in commercials and boasts a Master’s Degree from Brockport State, as if we needed more reasons to be painfully aware that none of us have any chance with her.
8. Natalia Vodianova
Dear, sweet God on a moped…look at those eyes! It’s like the very idea of beauty hugged a million kittens in the burning core of an active Sun. Those eyes are not just horrifyingly beautiful, they are also strong and caring; aptly so, considering Vodianova’s childhood. Growing up in a poor district of a Soviet city (which is like growing up in the seedy part of Hell) she had to work from an early age to help her mother and sisters (one with cerebral palsy) while having to make do with a father who walked out on the family but MAGICALLY managed to find the courage to mend his relationship with Natalia after she became a famous model and actress. A part of me hopes she punched him in the solar plexus during their first meeting, while another part wishes it was more of a roundhouse kick to the jaw.
7. Monica Bellucci
Perhaps best known for that time she showed her breasts in Dracula (I will give you a moment to Google that…finished? Great) Monica Bellucci has topped many “Sexiest Woman” lists in her life and is today considered the quintessential Italian sex symbol, the proper reaction to which should be the complete opposite of “surprised.”
It’s hard to choose just one thing that makes Bellucci so attractive. Is it her perfectly proportioned face? Her killer body? That whole “healthier Morticia Addams” thing she has going on for her? Whatever it is, she has it in spades and looks great in everything she does, even if it’s posing naked while pregnant (Again, I’ll give you a minute to go Google that.)
6. Elizabeth Hurley
From: The UK
Hurley’s first claim to real fame was the fact that she got to touch Hugh Grant’s junk and wasn’t paid for the privilege (believe it or not, at one point in history Hugh Grant actually mattered). Luckily, she later found something you actually would be proud to put on a plaque as she went on to become a very successful actress. You probably remember her from Austin Powers where she played Mike Myers’s bombshell partner Vanessa Kensington, but if you want to see her a) really stretch those acting chops, and b) in a couple of fetish costumes, then you absolutely must watch Bedazzled where she plays the Devil him…er, herself, making “evil” look sexier than it has ever been.
5. Aishwarya Rai
Aishwarya Rai has really accomplished a lot in her life. She was Miss World 1994, nowadays works as a philanthropist and Goodwill Ambassador, and has starred in over 40 movies in Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu and Bengali, while I’m not entirely sure I’m even pronouncing the names of those languages correctly.
Oh, and let’s not forget: she’s absolutely dazzling, mixing both Western and Indian standards of beauty in one mesmerizing package which should be admired with all proper respect. Plus she kind of looks like an Indian Mila Kunis, so there’s that too.
4. Liya Kebede
When I say that Liya Kebede looks “fierce”, I don’t mean anything racist by it. It’s just that, looking at that stern expressions she has in every…Single…PICTURE of her out there, I’m pretty sure this woman could snap me in half with her bare hands if she wanted to.
But I guess a strong will and determination are things you’d expect from someone who has dedicated her life to helping mothers and children across Africa as a WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. Kebede might be beautiful (understatement of the week) but she also comes off as sincerely empathetic to the suffering of people less fortunate than her (which frankly is almost everyone, as Forbes named her the 11th highest-paid model in 2007).
She might not smile a lot, but her grace, style and kind heart make her an easy pick for one of the top international beauties ever.
3. Anna Kournikova
The professional tennis player Kournikova might not have actually won any WTA singles titles during her entire career but she has won something far more important: the Internet. How do you win the Internet, you ask? Well it just so happens that she was the number one sports query on Google in 2001, and one of the top searches in the “women” category in the same year. True, most people were just looking for naked or upskirt photos of her, but you know what they say “Google searches for naked pictures of you are the highest form of flattery.”
2. Zhang Ziyi
Zhang Ziyi is a pure kickass machine wrapped in a beautiful, deceitfully delicate package, like a scorpion hiding inside a teddy bear. Take a look at her – yes, she has the looks and that star presence, but would you ever guess that she actually went toe-to-toe with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? OK, fine, that might have been in a movie she supplied the voice for, but that’s the thing about Zhang – she refuses to present herself as a helpless, delicate flower. She is gorgeous, but her most attractive traits are her character and her refusal to play weak females who have to be rescued by men. She’ll do her own rescuing, thank you very much, and you have to respect that, if you know what’s good for you.
1. Marion Cotillard
Is Marion Cottilard the greatest international beauty? Well, that’s not really for me to decide but… oh wait, yes it is. So…I’m going to go with “yeah.” It’s not just her amazing looks, the way she handles herself and that goddamn sexy smile—all of which bring to mind the great sex symbols of the last century like Brigitte Bardot—it’s also the fact that, out of everyone on this list, she starred in the overall better movies, including Taxi, Nine, Inception and Contagion. You know how intelligence or a sense of humor can make a person appear more attractive? Well, considering that Cottilard was a bombshell to begin with, her having a role in the newest Batman movie is enough to make her the top international beauty in the whole world, as far as I’m concerned. But be sure to share your top picks in the comments section where they will be promptly reviewed and ignored as ramblings of a bunch of know-nothing loons.