Julia Roberts had her people working full-time to land the honor of being named People's Most Beautiful, but I think the death of her half-sister and the publicity that came out of her death sullied Julia's chances. Not that she deserved it, but it just goes to show you that this award is primarily PR driven. Instead of getting the full cover, Julia has to be a moon to the amazing Lupita Nyong'o, who becomes the first African American woman, and only the second woman of color to be featured.
I'm actually proud of People for not just giving in and making some publicist happy. Sure, Lancome probably put in a huge ad buy, but I think most people were probably expecting Lupita to just be an also ran while we all were told how beautiful some star is that we know isn't all that great.
I think People needed to redeem itself after last year's debacle when Gwyneth Paltrow won as Most Beautiful Woman. They tweaked the category slightly which allows them to include men and also maybe count other things besides beauty in their equation if they are considering beautiful to also mean the person, rather than just their looks.
I'm really happy for Lupita and caps an amazing twelve months for her.