Maxim Magazine, known for its annual “Hottest 100 Women” list, has stirred controversy with its inclusion of a trans-identifying individual, Danielle Laidley, on its 2023 list. Laidley, a biological male and a former Australian rules football player, secured the 92nd spot on the prestigious roster, which traditionally celebrates the physical allure of women. The decision to feature Laidley has sparked a significant backlash from critics who question the magazine’s criteria and the controversial background of the honoree.
Danielle Laidley, previously known as Dean, made a name for himself in the Australian Football League (AFL) as both a player and coach. However, what has generated considerable controversy is Laidley’s inclusion on Maxim’s “Hot List,” alongside renowned actress Margot Robbie, who was named the hottest woman for the fourth time. Critics argue that the presence of a biological male on a list celebrating women’s physical attractiveness is not only confusing but undermines the authenticity of the list itself.
Adding to the controversy, Laidley’s past legal issues have further fueled the criticism. In 2020, Laidley pleaded guilty to stalking after engaging in a series of disturbing activities, which included making repeated calls and sending text messages to a woman. He was also found guilty of sitting outside her home, watching, and photographing her. Such a criminal record has led to questions regarding the appropriateness of honoring an individual with such a background on a list like Maxim’s “Hottest 100 Women.”
The decision has not only incited public outrage but also drawn strong reactions from various individuals, including prominent journalist Megyn Kelly and women’s sports advocate Riley Gaines. Megyn Kelly took to social media to express her disbelief, rhetorically asking, “We ran out of women?” Riley Gaines, known for her advocacy for female athletes, voiced concerns about how institutions and publications can make such choices without fearing potential backlash.
We ran out of women? https://t.co/wh0lEMw9QE
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) October 19, 2023
#92 of top 100 hottest ‘women’ in the world according to Maxim magazine in Australia
How did we get to a point where companies/institutions/publications can do this with no fear of backlash? pic.twitter.com/GBhJAIzzLY
— Riley Gaines (@Riley_Gaines_) October 19, 2023
The controversy surrounding Laidley’s inclusion in Maxim’s list is amplified by the fact that he publicly announced his transition after being arrested for stalking in 2020. The combination of Laidley’s criminal history and the choice to include him on a list celebrating women’s physical attractiveness has brought the decision under intense scrutiny.
Transgender former football star Dean “Danielle” Laidley, has been included in Maxim Australia’s Hot 100 list of successful & beautiful WOMEN.
He announced his transition after being arrested for stalking a woman in 2020….he was found guilty.
— Adam Brooks AKA EssexPR 🇬🇧 (@EssexPR) October 19, 2023
As of the time of this report, Maxim Magazine has yet to respond to the mounting criticism.