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Sandra Bullock has made history in the most depressing way.

A 50-year-old woman has been anointed People magazine’s “Most Beautiful Woman” for 2015.

Sandra Bullock joins a line of entirely gorgeous women who have won the title over its 25-year history, including Lupita Nyong’o, Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Roberts (four times over).

Bullock is the oldest woman ever to win the title, though admittedly, she’s a 50-year-old who looks more like a 30-year-old.

Sandra Bullock’s People magazine cover.

She remains characteristically unfazed by the win, calling the whole thing “ridiculous” and saying her real life is all about being a mother to her five-year-old son Louis.

“Real beauty is quiet. Especially in this town, it’s just so hard not to say, ‘Oh, I need to look like that,'” she told People.

“No, be a good person; be a good mom; do a good job with the lunch; let someone cut in front of you who looks like they’re in a bigger hurry. The people I find most beautiful are the ones who aren’t trying.”

Past “Most Beautiful” winners have something in common, apart from being really, really, ridiculously good-looking. They’ve often got a film coming out, or they’re trying to attract some positive PR after some bad press (see: post-Brad-and-Jen Angelina Jolie).

sandra bullock 911 call
America’s sweetheart and now Most Beautiful person, Sandra Bullock. Image via Getty

Last year’s winner, Lupita Nyong’o, 31, seemed a logical choice. She was a breakout star who swept award season while wearing the most stunning frocks, becoming a fashion favourite and an Oscar winner.

So what’s behind Bullock’s win?

It would be unremarkable if, say, George Clooney or Johnny Depp was named the magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive”. They’re 53 and 51, respectively, but we all know men are ALLOWED to be sexy in their 50s.

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Richard Gere was Sexiest Man Alive in 1999 when he was 50; six years earlier, he and a 27-year-old Cindy Crawford were named Sexiest Couple Alive.

Previous winners of the “Sexiest Man” title include Sean Connery, who was 59 at the time, Nick Nolte at 51, and Harrison Ford at 56.

But women are not generally allowed to be sexy past a certain age in Hollywood. Bullock’s at an age at which many actresses find themselves relegated to sexless mother-figures, desperate cougar types or bitter crones (see: Sex and the City 2‘s depiction of a menopausal Samantha Jones, Cinderella, Mirror, Mirror, every fairytale remake ever).

Tina Fey poked fun at the proclivity of leading men to date younger women, both on and off camera, when she was co-host of the Golden Globes with Amy Poehler last year.

Gravity [starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock] is nominated for best film,” she quipped. “It’s the story of how George Clooney would rather float away into space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age.”

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George Clooney and Sandra Bullock promoting their film Gravity. Image via Getty

She also wrote in her memoir, Bossypants, about being an ageing woman in Hollywood.

“I have a suspicion — and hear me out, because this is a rough one — that the definition of ‘crazy’ in show business is a woman who keeps talking even after no one wants to fuck her any more,” she wrote.

Read more: This is why women in Hollywood are so misrepresented

Let’s hope women like Bullock, and Meryl Streep, who is funding a screenwriting lab specifically for women over 40, keep talking, even after they’re told no one wants to fuck them any more.

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