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The Anatomy of the "Sexiest Man Alive"

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Enough chatter about Levi and his hockey stick on the imaginary cover of Playgirl. Child's play! We all know the sexy grown-ups are on the cover of People -- at least once a year, when the magazine names its Sexiest Man Alive. Yesterday Johnny Depp reprised his 2003 victory, taking the title for 2009. So what's it take to win the distinction? Hint: Levi's gonna need a few more years under his belt and, um, at least a few blockbuster movies -- or some such career -- before he's eligible.

In an attempt to discern the magic sexy formula, Slate analyzed a sampling of quotes from People editors explaining how honorees from years past earned the distinction. ("He can wear gold teeth and still look good," was cited among the considerations for Depp's previous crowning.) Suffice it to say, you might be competitive if you've got a "a hard body with a soft center," a "down-to-earth Aussie vibe," an "elegant, but down to earth" air, "a twinkle in the eye," or are just "wonderfully ordinary." You're still gonna need decent bone structure though. And a really good publicist.

Previously >Stripping Down With the Men of New Moon

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