Po-tay-to, po-tah-to. Though world leaders like Lukashenko, Ahmadinejad, and Sarkozy may come off as quarrelsome, garrulous, or suffering from short person syndrome, they actually share a common trait: hotness. Admit it; there’s something about wielding the power of a nation that’s just so… dreamy. Enter Hottest Heads of State, a blog offering a “scientific and unbiased ranking of world leaders in order of hotness.” Will the absolute power of these rankings corrupt absolutely? Only time will tell, but in the interim, we chatted with site co-founder Derek Dobson about world “politics” and Ukrainian hate mail.
The TIME-endorsed website, run by brothers J.D. and Derek Dobson plus J.D.’s wife Kate, combines an impressively vast knowledge of global government [Editor's note: See below for some enlightening literacy stats] with a witty assessment of public image. For example, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd: “Exactly the kind of person you would like to meet in a darkened alley. Because you’d mug him.” In summation, Hottest Heads of State is worth a read, as are the Dobsons’ compelling reasons for starting a blog about government chiefs.
Flavorpill: How did you cook up the idea for Hottest Heads of State?
Derek Dobson: My friends and I were sitting around talking about how attractive I was, when the question was raised: what if I was not only really hot, but also like, President or something? It was decided that I would obviously be the hottest world leader, and we began to wonder who keeps track of these things.
Turns out that no one did. So now we do.
FP: You’ve mentioned you get a lot of hate mail. (Sample: “The photo is more informative than this article. Derek’s brain (if it exists?) is diseased obviously.”) What nation has directed the most ire towards you? How would you make it up to them?
DD: I believe Ukrainians feel the most aggrieved. This is ironic, because their representative on the list is #1. I assume that many of them hear that their leader won, and they’re really excited because you know… finally Ukraine won something, won one solitary thing in their entire history as a country. And then they go to the site and some jerk-off (me) is cracking wise about them not being able to read.
They should calm down, because Tymoshenko is actually head of government, and not head of state. Their actual head of state is uglier. They could easily be a lot farther down in the list. People actually get upset about this distinction a lot as well, but eh.
But in order to assuage the Ukrainians’ anger I will extend this opportunity. Fly me and a guest to your country so we can marvel at your extensive libraries and tributes to things you have won. Afterwords, I will consider re-writing the post.
FP: What country should get a better-looking leader? Perhaps you could send along some helpful makeover tips.
DD: To be an attractive world leader it’s important to have an aura of authority and seriousness. A well-placed scar is good. It helps to have a look that says “I could wipe out your village with a single thought.”
Sometimes nations make the mistake of picking their leaders based on heredity. Don’t get me wrong; this can work out great (hello Bhutan). Unfortunately, it usually doesn’t work out so well. Saudi Arabia, for example, needs to take a good hard look (hmm maybe not too hard) at King Abdullah. Is this unfortunate looking man really who they want to have as the face of their country? A little genetic diversity goes a long way.
FP: What head(s) of state especially float(s) your boat(s)?
DD: I know he has a lot of haters, but I’m a big Ahmadinejad guy. Dude shows a lot of pluck. Many lesser “leaders” might have stepped down due to fraudulent elections and police brutality blah blah. Ahmadinejad is in it to win it.
Also Rajoelina of Madagascar. Seems to have a lot of potential. Came into power the right way: by working his way up the Madascaran (Madascarese?) DJ circuit.
FP: Does power make someone more attractive?
DD: Well let me ask you this. Say Pope Benedict was stripped of all his popeliness and was plain old Jo Ratzinger, just some old German man. Now say that this old ex-Nazi was trying to hit on you at a bar. Would you ever sleep with him, let alone talk to him? I would not. I would, however, have sex with the pope, although maybe just to say I could. So the answer is yes. Power makes you more attractive, always.
FP: What’s the literacy rate in the Ukraine?
DD: Actually Ukraine’s literacy rate is 99.4 percent Tied for 11th, and .4 percent higher than the US. My understanding though, is that this is a measurement of how well they can speak Ukrainese, and not American. So I’m not sure what that literacy rate is worth really.
FP: Is it hard being famous?
DD: It’s hard because not everyone realizes how famous I am, so I find myself constantly having to explain it to people. That can get a little tedious.
In conclusion I would also like to repeat what Kate told me earlier (Kate is in charge). “[I am] speaking for [myself] and not for the whole website.” So I am just speaking for part of the website. Not (necessarily) the Kate and JD part. My understanding is that Kate and JD have a deep and profound appreciation of Ukrainian literature. And are generally full of love for any and all. I am also under the impression that they are in the market for a Thanksgiving ham, so if any heads of state out there are looking to move up in the rankings…