"Hotness is not about looking good," said a diminutive goateed man named Jeff Greenfield. "It's about taking care of business. Moms are overwhelmed." Greenfield spoke with the authority; he is the executive producer of the inaugural Hottest Mom in America contest, which was holding its New York tryout Saturday in a warren of studios on Eighth Avenue. At 8 a.m., there had been a throng of 1,000 women — or perhaps 2,000; the line stretched down and around the block, according to Greenfield — hoping to have their shot at Hottest (Which Does Not Mean Most Attractive, Really) Mom. By 2 p.m., it was down to 30 contenders, and from there, the field will be culled to five finalists, who this week will compete to be named the New York winner.
The finalists were sequestered on folding chairs in a room on the second floor of the midtown building. Despite Greenfield's assertions, they were, to a one, objectively hot. The majority of the white women were bottle blondes; one busty brown-haired woman was wearing roller skates and a clingy lavender sweater. An impossibly tall, thin woman named Tiffany Crafton was wearing a tight yellow dress and what appeared to be five-inch gold stilettos. Crafton, a stay-at-home mom who lives in Harlem, explained that her 11-year-old daughter had been reading the newspaper when she came across an ad for the contest, which asked, "Do you turn heads in the supermarket?" and so on. "Mom, that's you!" Crafton said her daughter exclaimed. She was also attracted by the grand prize, which offers, among other things, $25,000 in college tuition for the winner's children.
Greenfield hopes to turn the contest into a reality-TV show. "Normally, the networks have to spend millions of dollars on a show before it airs," he explained. "But we're being totally sponsored by Restylane. It's the number one dermal filler in America." A bevy of women buzzed about the building wearing black T-shirts with "Restylane" spelled out in crystals across the chest. "We're going to put together a trailer, and this show is going to be handed to [the networks] — it'll cost them nothing. We've already been approached by two networks, and the two largest German TV networks are interested in licensing the concept."
As the women sat, waiting, they traded photos of their children and laughed loudly. One could be forgiven for assuming they were auditioning for a spot on The View or were perhaps rushing some sort of sorority for older women. "This guy from this radio station asked if I was a MILF, and I was like, 'What the heck is that?'" one mom commented to the others. She seemed to be genuine in her ignorance. Many of the other women, it seems, were not.
— Doree Shafrir