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Letter from the Editor

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"Hot" is a word that gets tossed around a lot these days. In Memphis, it's used to describe most days between May and September, often with an additional descriptor or two, as in, "It's really frickin' hot out there!" It's also used as indicator of spiciness, as in hot sauce.

Hot really gets a workout in the media, where it's often used as a synonym for "popular" — as in a hot new "app" or a hot band. And, of course, hot is another way to say someone is sexy or good-looking. As in, "Justin Bieber is really hot." As in "hotties."

A few years back, we were looking for a theme for the Flyer's Valentines Day edition. Senior editor Mary Cashiola, who now works at city hall, came up with the idea of doing a "Hotties" issue, wherein we'd profile a bunch of good-looking, er, hot Memphians. We all sort of scoffed initially and made noises about how it was kind of shallow, but then we thought, Why not? We can't be all serious all the time. Let's have some fun with it.

It's since become something of an annual guilty pleasure and one of our most popular issues. We start getting unsolicited "nominees" in the fall, and once we begin asking for suggestions via social media in January, we are inundated with photos of, well, hot-looking people.

This year has been no different in that respect, but we are doing something in 2011 that we think will elevate the Hotties issue to something more meaningful. The Flyer is partnering with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Memphis to raise money for that fine organization via a Hotties contest.

Here's how it works: From February 9th through the 16th, you will be able to vote (as often as you like) for your favorite Memphis Hotties at hotties.memphisflyer.com. Each vote costs $5 and all proceeds go to Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

Then, on February 16th, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., we'll be hosting a Hotties party at Minglewood, where the winners will be announced. We'll have free food, special drink deals, and music, and the $10 cover charge will also go entirely to Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

We hope you enjoy the issue, and we hope you'll help us make our annual "guilty pleasure" a little less guilt-inducing by joining with us to support a great cause. See you at Minglewood.

Bruce VanWyngarden

brucev@memphisflyer.com

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