What do Liu Wen, Aki Hoshino, Eunice Olsen, Aishwarya Rai, Shin Min Ah, Nadine Ann Thomas, Sonia Sui, Jessica Cambensy, Dominique Agisca Diyose, Aung San Suu Kyi and Cherman Ploy Boonyasak have in common?
They are all listed in Esquire magazine’s “atlas” of sexiest women alive 2010.
US actress Minka Kelly is at the top of the heap as the Sexiest Woman Alive, and was made Esquire’s cover girl for its November 2010 issue.
A total of 195 women were singled out by editors of Esquire’s 17 international editions. They were picked for representing “something different, something beautiful, something that reveals a little bit more about who we are.”
There were some beauty queens on the list, as well as politicians, actresses, singers, and models. Among the popular ones on the list are actresses Diane Kruger and Rachel Hunter, model Gisele Bundchen, Miss Universe 2008 Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela, model Daisy Fuentes, and musician Andrea Corr. Political figures, such as Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, were not left out.
The magazine, which picked one woman per country for its Sexiest Woman Alive Atlas, has included stars like Barbados-born Rihanna, Iceland’s Bjork and India’s Aishwarya Rai in its atlas of 195 women.
Here are the Esquire’s sexiest women alive from 25 Asian countries, listed in alphabetical order.
Afghanistan – Malalai Joya
Malalai Joya, born April 25 1978, is an Afghan politician who has been called “the bravest woman in Afghanistan.”
TIME magazine named Malalai Joya to the 2010 TIME 100, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Foreign Policy Magazine listed Malalai Joya in its annual list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers. Her most memorable quote is: “I don’t fear death, I fear remaining silent in the face of injustice.”
She was chosen because she won’t be silenced. Because she takes the grand ideals of Afghanistan’s fledgling democracy at face value. And because her condemnations before parliament of warlords, drug lords, the Taliban, and the Karzai government are as courageous as any battlefield heroics, earning her worldwide admiration — and a few assassination attempts.
Bangladesh – Anika Kabir Shokh
Anika Kabir Shokh, born in Dhaka in 1983, is the hottest and sexiest Bangladeshi model and actress. She makes Bangladeshis drool as the spokeswoman for Nokia.
Bhutan – Tshering Yangzom-Tashigang
Tshering was anointed Best Model at the 2008 Miss Bhutan pageant. The event’s motto: beauty with a cause.
Brunei – Maria
Maria (real name Meria Aires), born February 16 1989, is the most successful female singer in the tiny oil-rich sultanate of Brunei. Maria won the Most Popular Female Artist award at the 2008 Radio Television Brunei awards. She is known for her high-pitched voice and her hit single “Bisik Hati,”
Burma – Aung San Suu Kyi
This is what a rebel does: meets violent suppression from freedom with words (“It is not power that corrupts but fear”), risks her life for democracy, gets elected prime minister only to have Myanmar’s military force her out, wins a Nobel Peace Prize for it, gets imprisoned for twenty years for it, and begins her release fighting for one thing and one thing only: the right to vote.
Cambodia – Somaly Mam
Orphaned as a result of Pol Pot’s reign of terror, left for dead in the Cambodian jungle, and sold into sex slavery, Mam has written a sobering account of her life — The Road of Lost Innocence — and dedicated herself to the fight against sex trafficking. She happens to have a lovely smile.
China – Liu Wen
Chinese supermodel Liu Wen, born January 27 1988, is the first woman of East Asian descent to walk the Victoria’s Secret runway show last year and is the first Asian face for beauty giant Estee Lauder. She is currently ranked 10th on the Top 50 Models Women List by models.com. She was chosen because “She is a top model who started her career in 2005 when she entered the New Silk Road World Model Contest. In 2009, she became the first woman of East Asian descent to walk the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. She is natural and pure, like a clear fountain of water.”
Hong Kong – Jessica Cambensy
Jessica C. is supposedly half-American half-Chinese though in all probability she is American/Filipino. Having worked in Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Japan for such high profile companies as Clinique, L’Oreal, Max Factor and now Brilliage Japan through Satoru Japan Inc, she certainly has what can only be described as ’supermodel’ status. Esquire’s comments on her: “The model world in Hong Kong has never been this excited since Jessica C. burst into the scene with her sweet, goggling eyes. Many before her have taken the same express elevator to stardom but have quickly dissolved into obscurity due to their lack of work ethics.”
India – Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, born 1 November 1973, is an Indian actress and former Miss World. Before starting her acting career, she worked as a model and gained fame after winning the Miss World title in 1994. During her career, Rai has acted in over 40 movies in Hindi, English, Tamil and Bengali, which include a number of international productions. She is often cited by the media as the most beautiful woman in the world.
Indonesia – Dominique Agisca Diyose
Dominique Agisca Diyose, born on August 7 1988, is Indonesia’s Top Model and also an actress. Esquire’s comments on her: “She’s a tough cookie charting her own path, not through increased exposure but by selecting acting roles we will remember. She has magnetic, gorgeous eyes, sexy legs, lovely skin, and a knockout smile.”
Japan – Aki Hoshino
Aki Hoshino, born March 14 1977, is a Japanese bikini idol. She has appeared in various men’s magazines, such as Sabra and television shows. The Pamela Anderson of Japan, she is incredibly popular after releasing dozens of low-budget DVDs and regularly appearing on television doing absurd things like pitching to baffled Japanese baseball players or competing on Japanese game shows. Men in Japan refer her as the “Angel of Japan”.
Laos – Boutsady Soudavong
Boutsady Soudavong is a Laotian martial arts exponent. She was chosen for looking pretty calm about the whole “totally getting jump-kicked” thing.
Malaysia – Nadine Ann Thomas
23 year old Nadine Ann Thomas from Subang Jaya, Malaysia is the Miss Universe Malaysia 2010. Nadine is an event and talent coordinator. She was once a chubby, acne-pocked teen with braces, only to grow up and represent her country at the Miss Universe 2010 pageant.
Mongolia – Gundegmaa Otrya
Gundegmaa Otryad, born May 23, 1978, is a Mongolian pistol shooter who won thr silver medal in the women’s 25-meter sport pistol at the 2008 Olympic Games.
Nepal – Dichen Lachman
Dichen Lachman, born 22 February 1982, is an Australian actress notable for appearing in the Australian soap opera Neighbours as Katya Kinski and the American science fiction thriller Dollhouse as Sierra. She was born in Kathmandu, Nepal, and lived in Nepal until she was eight years old, before her family moved to Adelaide, Australia. Her mother was born in India and is of Tibetan descent, and her father is an Australian
North Korea – Jong Song-ok
Jong Song-ok, born 18 August 1974, is a female long-distance runner from North Korea, who won the world title in the women’s marathon at the 1999 World Championships in Athletics in Seville, Spain, beating a top field that included Olympic and World Champions, to bring North Korea its first ever medal at a major sporting event.
Pakistan – Meera
Meera was born in Lahore to Syed Mohammad Server Shah and Syeda Shafqat Zahra Bukhari. Meera’s mother is a former educationist and has also been a teacher, and her father was an architect. During her career, Meera has acted in over two hundred films including Urdu, Punjabi and Hindi. Meera has won the Best Actress award ten times and she has established herself as one of the leading contemporary actresses in the Pakistani film industry.She has received death threats after filming a kissing scene in Nazar.
Philippines – Maria Ressa
Maria Ressa is a journalist, head of ABS-CBN’s News and Current Affairs Division.
Esquire.com said the reason they chose was Ressa was this: “Despite her size, fearless enough to write an eyewitness account of Al-Qaeda.”
Singapore – Eunice Olsen
Singaporean actress and TV host Eunice Elizabeth Olsen, born 24 October 1977, is a former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) from Singapore. She is well known for having been the winner of the Miss Singapore Universe contest in 2000 and went on to compete in the Miss Universe pageant in Cyprus where she did not place in the semi finals. Olsen was included “because she went from Miss Universe contestant to (becoming) the youngest Member of Parliament in four years”, the American magazine wrote on its website in October.
South Korea – Shin Min Ah
Shin Min Ah, born April 5 1984, is a South Korean model and actress. She debuted as a model for KiKi Magazine and has since appeared in many CF (commercial film) advertisements, becoming one of the most in-demand CF endorsers in South Korea. Aside from acting in films and TV dramas, she has also appeared in numerous K-Pop music videos, notably for G.O.D. She was picked for being a “fashion icon”. “She’s starred in many TV shows and films. She’s considered one of Korea’s hottest fashion icons. Korea is under Shin Min-Ah’s spell right now.”
Sri Lanka – Ishanka Madurasinghe
Ishanka Madurasinghe is Miss Universe Sri Lanka 2010. The 23 year old History student at Kelaniya University has this to say: “My Ultimate goal is to represent Sri Lanka internationally at the Miss Universe pageant and I’m sure the experience I have gained during past pageants as well as in the field of academics will help me better represent my country.”
Taiwan – Sonia Sui
Sonia Sui (real name Sui Tang) is a model and actress in Taiwan. She is best known for her role as a fashion model under the management of Catwalk Modeling Agency. “She models, acts, and even contributes to Esquire Taiwan. She’s genuine and witty. Her smile is attractive.”
Thailand – Cherman ‘Ploy’ Boonyasak
Cherman Boonyasak ( also known as Lila Boonyasak), nicknamed Ploy, is a popular Thai actress who has been appearing in films as far back as the year 2000 with an appearance in a little known film called Satang where she is credited as Laila Boonyasak. Esquire’s comments about her reads “She can be very sexy without any ‘sexy’ pose or doing anything. She can be very sexy reading a phone book. That’s Ploy.”
Timor-Leste – Lúcia Maria Brandão Freitas Lobato
Lúcia Maria Brandão Freitas Lobato, born 7 November 1965 is an East Timorese politician, currently serving as Minister of Justice. She is a member of the National Parliament, representing the Social Democratic Party.
Vietnam – Veronica Ngô Thanh Vân
Veronica Ngô Thanh Vân, born on 26th February 1979, is a Vietnamese dancer, singer, actress, and model. She is also known as Veronica Ngo and by her initials NTV. She is reputedly better known than MTV in parts of the Far East.