updated 05/24/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/24/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Since choosing the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World (PEOPLE, May 3) involves excluding a few billion others, we expect criticism—and we're big enough to take it. This year we got scalded for ignoring would-be Top 50s including Kevin Costner, Jason Priestley, model Niki Taylor and While House Communications Director George Stephanopoulos—who, by the way, would have made our list if he hadn't refused to have his picture taken. Naysayers broke our achybreaky chops over the inclusion of Billy Ray Cyrus. The big winner this year was actor Eric Schweig; women readers liked what they saw, and 39 of them wrote in to tell us.

You were so right-on with Eric Schweig in your Top 50 list. I'm a thirtysomething domestic goddess with four small children, and I'm married to a handsome physician. Eric, when is your poster due out?
CANDY SCHULTZ, Franklin, Wisc.

I was happy to see that actor Tom Skerritt was one of the 50 Most Beautiful. I'm 28 years old, and he's old enough to be my father, but that's definitely not what I have in mind....
SHERRIE PALMER, Freanklin, Ind.

Tom Skerritt is the definitive Robert Kincaid for the film version of Bridges of Madison County.
JAN WITSOE, Clinton, Wash.

Be still my heart! Billy Kay Cyrus, Joe Lando, Mel Gibson and Thomas Hampson all in one issue. All I ask is, what happened to Fabio?

I heard it was going to happen—I couldn't wait. Well, I got my issue of PEOPLE today, turned straight to page 73 and there he was—perfect, gorgeous Troy Aikman. Excellent choice!
CRISTI J. TEDFORD, Mesquite, Tex.

What a ray of sunshine in an otherwise rainy Northwest day to see our own Clyde Drexler on your list of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World. In a society where superstars often carry the burden of being role models, few live up to those high expectations. Clyde is one individual who really can be looked up to, in more ways than one.
MICHAEL E. SPENCE, Portland, Oreg.

The 50 Most Beautiful People in the World? A more fitting name would have been "50 Nice-Looking Stars." I have better-looking neighbors than some of your choices.
TRACEY BEALE, Richmond, Va.

Do we really need yet another magazine with yet another cover of Cindy Crawford?
KAREN MURPHY, Newburgh, N.Y.

You have got to be kidding! Who chooses the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World—the three blind mice? Where is Kevin Costner? Hopefully next year your judges will have 20/20 vision or at least purchase strong glasses.
SHERRY KRAMER, Chestnut Ridge, N.Y.

How could you have possibly overlooked model Niki Taylor? Can millions of readers and Ralph Lauren be wrong?

I'm sending back this photo of Billy Ray Cyrus. It was accidentally put in my issue of the 50 Most Beautiful People.
JOANN WELLS, Mission Viejo, Calif.

Tom...sigh! Mel...ohh! Gregory...ahh! Billy Ray...whaaat? To put these four in the same sentence, let alone in the same 50 Most Beautiful issue, is like bingeing and then purging. Billy Ray claims his eyes are the window to his soul. If this is the case, we hope he keeps his curtains drawn. His manager says his butt and his ponytail are his main attractions. Our question: Which is which?
JESSIE McCORMACK, Brown University, Providence

Once again you have bypassed Garth Brooks! You're shameless!
MICHELLE MAHS, Kennesaw, Ga.

I was about to complain that evidently in order to be a "most beautiful male" in your magazine, you should be under 30 and most definitely shirtless. Then suddenly Gregory Peck, a sophisticated, mature male appears—and dressed! There's hope for your magazine yet.
RAY DE BENEDICTIS, Brodheadsville, Pa.

Jean-Claude Van Damme's comment that "looks are very important for women, but men don't have to be too good-looking" proves that the beauty of this man must be only skin-deep. Maybe he should spend a little less time in the gym clenching his bull and more time in the real world. I think I speak for all women when I say I'd gladly give him a swift kick in his "swank rear end" anytime. Beautiful? Try bogus.

So Katie Couric and Kathie Lee Gifford got Outstanding Mother awards. Tell me, what award did their nannies get?

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