2013 NCLR ALMA Awards - Winner's WalkIt looks like the team at Maxim decided to start 2014 with a bang–they’ve already gone ahead and named Eva Longoria as 2014’s Woman of the Year. They announced their pick on their January/February cover, featuring Longoria in a very PG-13 pose. I guess we can all go home now.

Refinery 29 lists Longoria’s accolades making her Woman of the Year-worthy:

Besides being ridiculously hot, the 38-year-old Texan has other qualifications to recommend her. She’s a successful producer and philanthropist, and she just earned her master’s degree in Chicano studies from California State University.

That’s all pretty awesome. Longoria is also an outspoken advocate for migrant laborer’s rights, and produced a documentary in 2010 called The Harvest/La Cosecha, about child labor in America’s agriculture industry.

eva longoria maxim

I don’t want to fall into the same back-patting trap that I wrote about not an hour ago, but Longoria’s age makes this pick somewhat fascinating. Longoria is 38, which flies in the face of conventional wisdom when it comes to women and desirability. We all know that women become washed up hags after they turn 29, and their sex appeal plummets. Longoria, however, has seemed to escape any backlash about her age. Why is that?

I have to think it has a lot to do with the fact that Longoria has aged exactly zero, physically-speaking. She looks like she’s 25, and has maintained the conventionally beautiful standards that we have in place for women. I don’t want to go off on a tangent here or vilify Longoria, because whether she ages slowly due to great genes or a crazy diet or bizarre supplements is her damn business. It’s just an interesting idea that you can beat the age death trap if you don’t look the part. In this case, Maxim isn’t really even worthy of vapid, congratulatory back patting over putting someone over 30 on their cover, because this challenges exactly nothing. Nobody would even know that Longoria was almost 40 unless they checked her Wikipedia page.

Longoria is an excellent choice for any award, because she has really committed herself to important advocacy work instead of just pretending to care for PR points. It would be super awesome, however, if a person who didn’t look like Longoria but simply worked tirelessly to better the world would be a recipient of a magazine like Maxim’s adoration, but that would mean Maxim would have to credit its readers to like a woman for more than her sex parts. What a funny world that would be!

Photo: Getty Images, Maxim