The REAL Hot 100! Chicago, Represent!

Are you familiar with the “REAL Hot 100?” No?

How’s this for a manifesto:
“We’re tired of the media telling young women how to be “hot”! Maxim Magazine’s annual “Hot 100” list exemplifies how young women are viewed in popular culture. The women featured in this leading men’s magazine are chosen solely for their appearance.

The REAL hot 100 shows that young women are “hot” for reasons beyond their ability to look cute in a magazine.

REALLY hot women are smart. REALLY hot women work for change. REALLY hot women aren’t afraid to speak their minds. And while some REALLY hot women might look awesome in a bikini, they know that’s not all they have to offer.”

Plus, they plan on printing a magazine featuring the winners which will be timed to coincide with the release of the annual Maxim magazine “Hot 100.”

Well, it should come as no surprise that Chicago and its environs are heavily represented on this year’s list…the following is from the REAL Hot 100 website– drop by and get to know the other extraodrinary women that are being honored.

Who is she? Yas(min) Ahmed, 25, Chicago, IL
What makes her REALLY hot? Yas is the Director of Sisters Empowering Sisters (the girls program of Girl’s Best Friend Foundation). Yas defines her role in Sisters Empowering Sisters (SES) as adult ally to the dozen Sisters (ages 14-18) who’ve joined the program to make feminist social change, as grantmakers and as youth leaders. One of the projects she helped create was an investigation of the impact of images of women in popular music videos on young women and young men. Their findings are captured in a video they made last year with Beyondmedia Education. The engaging video, Respect Me, Don’t Media Me ( has been shown to enthusiastic crowds in Chicago and at media festivals. In the spring, three Sisters and Yas together wrote a chapter about SES for an anthology about gender and philanthropy that will be published by Palgrave/McMillan in 2006. Always ready to cause a ruckus, this REALLY hot woman considers herself a radical queer girl whose love of writing and politics parallels only that of pizza. Her current projects are learning to carry a spoon on her nose…and undermining the oppressive systems that divide us.

Who is she? Alison Bock, 40, Lombard, IL
What makes her REALLY hot? There are approximately 80 million landmines in 80 different countries throughout the world; a person is maimed or killed by a landmine every 22 minutes. Alison Bock recognized the need to teach young Americans about a direct threat to the lives and livelihoods of their peers around the world, so she founded Landmines Blow, a grass roots, non-governmental organization that is dedicated to raising awareness of the global landmine crisis, the education and engagement of youth, and raising funds to build wells in mine-affected communities. In addition to her organization, Alison–who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis last year–aims to inspire people with MS to realize that they can still make a positive difference in the world.

Who is she? Cinnamon Cooper, 34, Chicago, IL
What makes her REALLY hot? Cinnamon runs where she makes purses–not just any purse, but snazzy and hip purses that help to change the world. Many of her purses are linked to non-profits so when you purchase a new purse, a portion of that price goes to worthy causes such as Planned Parenthood, UNICEF’s tsunami fund, or the Chicago Meals on Wheels Program. A peek at her online store is not just a trip into purse heaven, but also a list of some fabulous non-profits. She makes all the purses by hand in her home and the pursing is done in her spare time- this is a woman who has a day job! According to the friend who nominated her, Cinnamon is not just cute, but smart, caring, and a wonderful friend–and certainly REALLY hot.

Who is she? Searah Deysach, 32, Chicago, IL
What makes her REALLY hot? Searah is making a difference for women in Chicago – and men too. In 2001 Searah opened the first woman-owned, woman-friendly sex toy store in Chicago. Her mission is to provide a welcoming environment where women can shop for sex toys in a pleasant atmosphere and and where they can have their questions answered by knowledgeable staff. Searah is very committed to her community and has a special outreach to the Lesbian community. She supports the Lesbian Community Cancer Project and many local and national organizations that promote and support women’s health and sexual well-being. Early To Bed offers workshops on a wide variety of topics for both women and men, straight and gay, and offers its space as a meeting place for community organizations. Searah is a sought-after speaker in Chicago and the Midwest, and writes an advice column for Punk Planet and has been the subject of articles in the Chicago Tribune, The Reader, the Northwestern Daily, and the Chicago Sun-Times.

Who is she? Anne Elizabeth Moore, 35, Chicago, IL
What makes her REALLY hot? Anne publishes the independent magazine Punk Planet and has writeen a book called “Hey Kidz, Buy This Book: A Radical Primer on Corporate and Governmental Propaganda and Artistic Activism for Short People” (Soft Skull Press, 2004) and another called “Stop Reading This: A Manifesto for Radical Literacy” (Seattle Research Institute, 2004). Anne is one of those rare activists who is as focused on making change as she is on having fun while she does it–and that’s REALLY hot! In 2004 she took her book, Hey Kidz, on a workshopping tour called the Radical Education Roadshow, in which she taught groups of kids throughout the country the basics of self-publishing. She now works in Chicago with Independents’ Day Media and is a contributor to the radio program 848 on WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR affiliate station.

Who is she? Jenni Grover Prokopy, 33, Chicago, IL
What makes her REALLY hot? At the age of 25, Jenni was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, asthma, and Raynaud’s phenomenon. Frustrated at being unable to find the sort of support community that fit her needs–there were plenty of places for older people to meet and talk about their challenges, but not much for women under 50–Jenni launched her website The site works as a way to reach other young women and encourage them to find what works for them – how to be a “babe” in spite of their daily difficulties. Jenni wants to help others create an atmosphere in which these women feel safe, supported, and sexy! Jenni might have chronic illnesses, but that doesn’t stop this REAL hot woman from living a full and productive life and encouraging others to do the same.

Who is she? Erin Stafford, 27, Chicago, IL
What makes her REALLY hot? Erin is an exceptional young woman, community leader, and one REAL hot change agent. She works in the Education Department of the Museum of Science and Industry, evaluating their programs and exhibits to ensure the highest educational quality for the millions of visitors the museum hosts each year and is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Education at DePaul University. Her extracurricular activities include volunteering as a mentor in the Howard Brown Queer Youth Mentoring program, active leadership on the Youth Committee for Creating Safe Schools in Illinois, and she is a newly elected member of the Ultimate Chicago Frisbee Board, where she intends to focus her energies on diversifying the sports’ participants and making the sport more accessible to women and the diverse youth in the city.

Who is she? Carmelita Tiu, 30, Chicago, IL
What makes her REALLY hot? Carmelita lists social justice and creativity as two of her strongest motivators–and her REALLY hot work both in and outside of law school definitely proves it! A JD candidate at DePaul University College of Law, Carmelita realized that there was a dearth of formalized community service and volunteering programs for law students. In response, she started the Public Interest Law Program Community Service Initiative in the summer of 2005. This REALLY hot woman also puts her ideas into action, volunteering as an ESL teacher dealing specifically with immigrant workers and interning at the Lawyers for the Creative Arts in Chicago, a nonprofit that seeks to connect artists with legal assistance that they otherwise could not afford.

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