The modern world is full of distractions. And as the parents of two young children, it can be easy to forget that our greatest responsibility is maintaining an up-to-date list of world leaders ranked by hotness.
The embarrassing truth is that it has been more than a year since we updated this list. Global opinion polling shows that America’s reputation has fallen dramatically over that period in nearly every country except Russia, and we can’t help but feel partially responsible. How is a citizen of Bulgaria supposed to feel when they check our site to see where we’ve ranked their new PM, only to find that instead of updating the list, we are shilling for our dumb book yet again.
Well, our kids are back in school, and we’ve given their schools fake contact info. We have unpacked approximately half of the boxes following our recent move and agreed to treat the others as serendipitous time capsules to be opened at a later date, by our estate’s executor. And this finally gave us enough free time to buy a goat and use its entrails to divine the one true ranking of world leader hotness.
Here are some of the highlights:
We moved Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, to the top spot, dethroning Canada’s Justin Trudeau. It pained us to do this, because we are Canadphiles to a weird and off-putting extent. (And also because we sell a lot of Justin Trudeau candles.) But facts are facts, and Sánchez is hotter, and if Canadians want to regain the top spot they need to elect…I dunno, maybe that woman who is in both Arctic Air and When Calls the Heart.
There were a number of leaders we did not put in first place, despite impassioned and/or threatening pleas from their subjects. This includes, most recently, Pakistan’s Imran Khan. And regarding Imran Khan, we will say this: he is a very handsome 65-year-old man. But that doesn’t get the job done when you’re up against a world full of very handsome 45-year-old men. If Pakistan’s security establishment wanted Pakistan to rank higher on our list, they should have backed a younger man to be be Prime Minister.
There were a few leaders that, on second glance, we thought we’d given short shrift to, and moved them up. This includes Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, Sebastián Piñera of Chile, and Allen Chastanet of St. Lucia. Congratulations, guys!
Speaking of Taiwan, did you know that China is on a weird global campaign to pressure foreign companies to stop referring to “Taiwan” as Taiwan, but instead as a province of China, which it is not? I cannot say our criteria for deciding what counts as a country for the purposes of this list are totally consistent, or even that they exist. But we will be keeping Taiwan on the list, because it is obviously a real country. This whole thing reminds us of someone demanding that you de-friend their ex on social media. Just let it go, China! You’ve got a lot of things going for you!
(P.S. Our criteria, such as they are, are basically “UN member and observer states, plus Taiwan and Kosovo.” This means we include some political entities whose existence as an actual state is arguable, such as Belgium. But please stop emailing us saying that Belgium is rightfully just a province of the Spanish Netherlands.)
We really wrestled (not literally) with some of Europe’s crop of young populist leaders who head far-right nationalist governments. How do we rank a guy like Austria’s Sebastian Kurz? He is not bad-looking, in an “airbrushed serial killer” way. But he also rode to power on a message about how letting refugees into Europe threatens the “fabric” of European society. And even if he means literal fabric and not race or religion, that’s pretty bad! We don’t want to turn this list into “we rank politicians based on their conformity to our preferred political views,” but on the other hand…I dunno, maybe we do!
Along those lines, we moved Aung San Suu Kyi down, because hotness is subjective and we think presiding over ethnic cleansing makes you less hot. We’d take away her Nobel Peace Prize if we could, but we probably can’t (to be fair, we haven’t checked). So instead we bumped her down a few spots.
We also think Maduro is doing a terrible job running Venezuela. But at the same time we think he’s probably hotter than we’d originally given him credit for. But I don’t want to say we’ve “increased” his ranking. Instead, let’s just say we’ve “hyperinflated” it.
We did our best to remove leaders who are no longer in office. Keep in mind that if we wrote profiles for these folks, you can find all our profiles for ex-leaders here.
Finally, as always, remember that if you are a world leader and you acknowledge this website in public, we will bump you 75% of the way to the top of our list. It happened to former New Zealand prime minister John Key and it can happen to you.