The Top 45 Sexiest First Ladies
in U.S. History

In honor of President’s Day, we rank the free world’s better half.

This week last year, we ranked the Top 43 Sexiest U.S. Presidents. This year, it seemed only natural to follow up with a ranking of their beautiful wives.
 

45. Martha Jefferson (died before presidency)

Martha was Thomas’ cousin. Apparently, a Jefferson family-reunion is a piss-poor place to meet women.

44. Anna Harrison (1841 - 1841)

Anna never even made it to the White House — she was too ill to make the trip from their Ohio home. With that up-do, though, it’s probably for the best.

43. Eliza McCardle Johnson (1865 – 1869)

Once, during a state dinner, Mrs. Johnson ate a can of spinach and then beat the shit out of everyone in the room. On her way out, she played a tune on her tobacco pipe. Okay, not really.

42. Ida Saxton McKinley (1897 - 1901)

Ida looks like a part-time serial killer. Those eyes really burn deep into your soul, no?

41. Mary Anne Todd Lincoln (1861 - 1865)

Poor Mary had to deal with the death of her husband and children. And now shes just a punchline in a Geico commercial. A punchline with a big butt.

40. Bess Truman (1945 - 1953)

This first lady never held a single press conference because she “wanted to keep a low profile.” Yeah, okay, that was it.

39. Margaret “Peggy” Taylor (1849 -1850)

If this is a successful and important woman, what did crazy cat ladies look like back then?

38. Eleanor Roosevelt (1933 - 1945)

Politician, social activist, educator; one of the most accomplished First Ladies of all time. And god-awful looking. Still, we’ll bump her up a few spots for personality.

37. Jane Means Appleton Pierce (1853 - 1857)

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s pet name for this First Lady was “Death’s head.” That would be like Sarah Palin calling you uninformed.

Commentarium (94 Comments)

Feb 15 11 - 1:20am
rd

That's right. All that matters about women is thir sex appeal. I forgot.

Feb 15 11 - 1:24am
tmp

That's also all that matters about men.

Feb 15 11 - 1:35am
erm

in a list about attractiveness, yes.

Feb 15 11 - 9:59am
Freddy

Get a sense of humor, that's the point of THIS list.

Feb 15 11 - 4:19pm
Vagor

rd forgot to get an intellectual sn as well, apparently .

Feb 20 11 - 11:53pm
Grace

Yeah, but this list isn't funny. It's fucking retarded. Next.

Aug 26 12 - 1:01am
Madeline

@rd

So why is it that you're not complaining about Nerve's list of the top 43 sexiest presidents? I guess than that all that matters is a man's sex appeal? Lighten up--this is funny.

Feb 15 11 - 2:34am
ik

Why do #15 & #33 look the same??

Feb 15 11 - 4:28am
just saying

23. Barbara Bush <<<<<<<<<<(1989 - 1993)>>>>>>>>>>>

Feb 15 11 - 5:10am
IG

I know this is a list about attractiveness, but it's still disheartening to me that we have so little information about first ladies and then nerve decides to make a list making fun of some of them for being ugly (based on a single painting or picture?) So, basically this is like an historical hot or not. I appreciate the novelty of including first ladies on a sex and culture website, but I'd appreciate it more if what was made was more than just a ranking of their physical appearance (sexuality is much more than physical appearance anyway as Nerve knows.)

how about first ladies and sexual progression? charisma? daring? those are sexy things.

Feb 15 11 - 5:28pm
LT

Total.y agree with you.

Feb 15 11 - 5:29pm
LT

Sorry, I mean "totally" agree with you!

Feb 15 11 - 5:37pm
Me

Yeah, but a lot of them were really boring. This is more fun.

Feb 19 11 - 10:02pm
Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama is easily the ugliest first lady. Not only is her face ugly, but so is her body and her disposition. Who ever developed this list must have been blind or a liberal Democrat who, for reasons that are obvious, would have voted for any black women simply because she was black. If Michelle looked like Halle Barry she would have been a good selection for the number one spot on this list. Getting back to why Michelle Obama made this list: this woman doesn't have a clue about what it takes to be a "First Lady". She doesn't dress well. In fact she sometimes dresses like she is still in the hood.

Feb 19 11 - 10:08pm
Michelle Obama

If Whoopie Goldberg was married to Barack Obama, she would have placed higher on the first lady list as far as looks are concerned. Besides that, she would've had a better sense of humor.

Feb 19 11 - 10:22pm
Michelle Obama

Whoopie would have known the history of the kind of conduct the first lady is required to have and acted accordingly. Halle Berry, I agree, would have been prettier than Jackie Kennedy but would've been hard pressed to have Jackie's class. Which brings up another thing that is sorely missing from this list. We could call it the Class List in regards to the first lady: The first lady would've had to love doing the job expected of her. Hillary Clinton would not have made the top forty in class. She might not have even made the top 48 or 50 or 100o. Michelle would have have been "black listed"! Does that sound racist? It wasn't meant to be. She just doesn't have any class at all, that was what I meant when I placed her on the "black list".

Feb 09 12 - 11:59pm
allen

Obama's a Harvard grad......what the hell are you guys talking bout! guess you prob like um' kinda stupid!

Mar 12 12 - 7:01pm
marie Lowrance

Obama was and is and will remain a no body, from no where, doing nothing, married to a one of the homeliest women on the planet, they are both smart,conniving, insecure, but above all they are possessed by EVIL ENTITIES, with one plan in mind, to destroy the USA from within.. All part of a plan set in motion thousands of years ago. Just 2 bodies taken over by the Anti Christ to do his evil work...To bodies to be discarded when they wear out, and the search will go for other bodies to possess until THE ONE TRUE GOD, puts and end to this war with Satan!

Jul 21 12 - 11:28pm
kk

Marie, the US wasn't around thousands of years ago, you inbred backwoods redneck with an 8th grade education(if that). You're a religious nut that makes radical Muslims look sane!.

Feb 15 11 - 6:41am
hm?

Curiously Nb45-42 look like men in drag ... just saying. Anyway, I'm not a fan of ranking women according to attractiveness either. Beauty pageants, (A)NTM... it gets old and is a very subjective business informed by mainstream cultural norms.

Feb 15 11 - 8:22am
Andrew

Rachel Jackson was better woman than you'll ever know and her position is an abomination. Bigamy? Slander. If I ever hunt you down I will take your life for your disrespect.

Feb 17 11 - 7:16pm
Beware

...the Keyboard Avenger!!! lol retard

Feb 17 11 - 11:22pm
Uhhh

It's clearly a joke. The dude put his name as Andrew, as in Andrew Jackson, the husband of Rachel Jackson. Retard.

Feb 15 11 - 11:19am
thinkywritey

I'm...oddly disappointed in this, too. I was ready for it to be funny; I guess that's the problem. It was just "she so ugly" over and over.

Feb 15 11 - 11:27am
mikey

For a site that's supposed to be thoughtful and open-minded, I thought this was really tasteless. Most of it involved calling women ugly. (P.S. So many of these women looked alike that the ranking system was pretty arbitrary, anyway). It's one thing to poke fun at a movie with reason. It's another to go on and on about why different people are ugly.

Feb 15 11 - 5:29pm
LT

Well said, Mikey.

Feb 15 11 - 12:48pm
jd

Yeah, this was dumb as hell. On the other hand, I looked at every image, so traffic-wise, it probably looks like a win to the editors. How many features that are four pages or more do you click on each one? And also, Angelica van Buren wuz ROBBED.

Feb 15 11 - 11:10pm
huh

Angelica was totally robbed. She looks young and pretty and probably has most of her own teeth. Top 20 at least.

Apr 06 12 - 9:10am
Yup

I agree, there are a few that are much more attractive than this "blackstone wanna-be" who authored this article is willing to give them credit... and since when is being self-reliant a bad thing, several got downgrades for being strong willed and strong bodied, yet hillary and michelle, get props for it, despite their obvious feature flaws

Jun 14 12 - 2:57pm
KW

I agree that Angelica should have been in the top 10. She wasn't even the president's wife, but his son's. Since he wasn't married during his term in office, she was credited as first lady.

Feb 15 11 - 2:27pm
Wow

Really in bad taste, and not even funny!
No way can it be taken as anywhere near accurate with Hillary in the top 10!
Nerve- I think it is time to move on to something that you can do better

Feb 15 11 - 4:52pm
youmustadmit

you're saying it's in bad taste. And then you're calling Hillary Clinton ugly. "Mr. Kettle? I've got a pot for you on line one." "Kettle: Hello?" "Pot: You're black."

Feb 15 11 - 5:46pm
Wow

What are more upset about, the fact that this is in bad taste or that I don't think Hillary belongs in the top 10? your condescension betrays your bias

Feb 15 11 - 10:52pm
Carrie

You are super uptight if you seriously think this is in bad taste. I loved it. Although that pot-kettle dialogue is the funniest thing I've read in awhile

Feb 16 11 - 10:48am
@youmustadmit

Win.

Feb 17 11 - 12:18pm
Wow

I know catty women enjoy talking down on other women due to their own insecurities, hence your enjoyment of the above, but at least you can"win" a back and forth on the internet. You must be smart!

Feb 15 11 - 2:30pm
Vinegar Bend

I think you need to explain a little bit about #14, and how she not really the wife of a president but was just Buchanan's "hostess."
Florence Harding's photo (how did you rate her even THAT high) kind of goes a long way to explain Warren's philandering.
You were kinder to Pat Nixon than most people have been, which is just fine.

Feb 15 11 - 3:05pm
s

Snarky, in bad taste and not funny.

I thought this was supposed to be a literary site? This looks like a junior high slam book.

Feb 15 11 - 3:19pm
hmm

it's interesting how people think this is tasteless but didn't complain at all about ranking the presidents by sexiness.

Feb 15 11 - 4:22pm
RK

Here's the difference as I see it, hmm -- in recent history, it's never really mattered how good looking a male public figure (who isn't an actor) is; it's about the quality of their character, their business savvy, their record, etc. Sure, it's been *noted* when someone is very attractive (like JFK), and maybe it's becoming more common now, but it was never the be all, end all. So ranking the presidents by sexiness inverted that notion and was kind of like shooting spitballs against tanks -- what does LBJ care where he ranks, he helped pass the damn Civil Rights Act.

However, this is a list of people who were often denied the chance to be something more than a wife and mother, whose contributions to history are often ignored, and even now (when one of them is Secretary of State) get put down for having last decade's hair. Not to mention the fact that women have always been judged by their looks with disregard to their abilities. So really, there's not much new or interesting here. To me, it mostly comes off as cruel. (And odd -- what's with the vendetta against up-dos?)

All that being said, Eleanor Roosevelt was married to a president *and* had girlfriends on the side. She should be way higher.

Feb 15 11 - 6:24pm
nope

except that's not true, at all. people went on and on about how ugly Nixon was, how ugly Kerry was, etc. since the TV elections have always factored in prettiness. the only difference is that you are more apt to rush to the defense of the women on this list, because it's somehow more damaging to them to be ranked by attractiveness than it is for men. defending women from things with are a-ok for men to deal with, as if they're innocent, childlike and unable to face the world themselves? how noble of you.

also, if no one should give a shit where LBJ ranks because he's a bad ass motherfucker, no one should give a shit where Eleanor ranks because she was one of the most empowered first ladies the world's ever seen. but no, it's not enough for them to validate her as awesome, they also have to validate her attractiveness. she was ugly, deal with it.

Feb 15 11 - 4:53pm
ugh

Most of these just seem to say the same thing: Boy, was she ugly. My real complaint here is that this is just so DUMB. Couldn't you have at least aimed to be funny while being sexist? Humor trumps almost everything, but now you're left with unfunny and not very nice to boot.

Feb 15 11 - 10:50pm
wendy

Nothing sexist about this at all, you are waay too PC

Feb 16 11 - 10:19am
ugh

I see you don't argue with my contention that it was not funny.

Feb 15 11 - 6:36pm
Oh come on!

Her hair is in business for itself. And business is terrible. -- I thought this was funny. (and I am a first lady) .

Feb 15 11 - 7:54pm
mikey

To the question asking why people haven't complained about the list of U.S. Presidents. I can only speak for myself, but I haven't looked at it. Not sure if I care to. Kind of a bad Nerve day.

Feb 15 11 - 10:49pm
Referee

Couldn't disagree more. This is hilarious and a clever way to wade through history. I'm glad Nerve doesn't take itself as seriously as some of it's readers take themselves.

Feb 16 11 - 10:20am
toot

you are so a nerve editor.

Feb 15 11 - 8:53pm
Christina

Uhhh, Nerve....

The picture you have up #45 is Martha Jefferson Randolf, Jefferson's daughter, not Martha Wayles Jefferson, his wife.

Feb 16 11 - 6:17pm
Andrew Kim

Apparently, no picture of Jefferson's wife's face exists today, only a black and white silhouette. People have made up what she looked like, based on her daughter's appearance.

Feb 16 11 - 7:44pm
Christina

Right, but she is said to resemble her daughter Maria, not Martha, who is pictured above. Why is never even trying to insinuate that Martha Jefferson was the ugliest first lady if there is no available image of her? Shoddy research if you ask me.

Feb 15 11 - 11:06pm
IG

As for presidents, they are very powerful and though their looks are commented on and people may call them ugly, they have so, so much more to draw on. They are usually respected (by many), and we know a lot about them besides the way they look. Historically first ladies (and women in general) are judged ONLY on how they look, and expected to stay silent. That's why it's not a big a deal to judge president's looks. A president's self worth and power does not come from how he looks (or very little of it does) I think to women reading this list it feels like kicking a dog when it's down (pardon the metaphor!)

I guarantee you that when women have as much power as men and are not judged only on our looks much of the time, we wont care as much about being called ugly.

Feb 15 11 - 11:49pm
S

Do some of you commentators write to TV shows you don't like too? Honestly, lighten up.
I like this list because it's a good reminder that there's more to a first lady, and because it's good to make fun of ugliness. It's really not that important, and it's something visual and easily talked about. It also doesn't stop ugly people from getting into positions that frequent these lists...

Feb 16 11 - 12:33am
julian.

Internet Commenting: changing minds, changing the world.

Feb 16 11 - 1:12pm
dinosaurs

my only complaint is that they judge sexiness from a single painting of someone, for the most part. nobody thinks power is sexy????

Feb 16 11 - 1:20pm
A-Cake

What people consider attractive has probably changed over 200 years. Maybe those oil paintings were like the hustler of the time.

Feb 17 11 - 3:40pm
dinosaurs

this is what I was saying earlier. the problem is, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. or, as it were, the hand of the painter. I could draw a smokin hot chick and tell you it was martha jefferson, except you would believe me if I had done it in 1876. it's not like they knew what she looked like either.

Feb 16 11 - 11:43pm
allen

how can abigail adams be ranked so low on a list of "sexiness?" Have you read the woman's letters to her husband while he was away from her for years at a time? The letters are passionate, loving, beautifully-written, and are light years ahead of their time for their insistence on respect for women and gender equality. I fall in love with the woman every time i read these letters, and she's been dead for 200-some-odd years! I put her at number 1 myself. Anyone who has actually read her letters would rank her in the top 5, at least.

Feb 17 11 - 11:53am
HighStandards

Michelle is number 2? Well, maybe in the vernacular but on this list? You've got to be kidding.

Feb 17 11 - 3:34pm
Obamanation

I have to agree this cow doesn't deserve to even be on this list. Looks like she fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. My horses ass has a better face than her. Simply can't wait till 2012 when the horror of that HUGE american mistake is rectified. Hope everybody who voted the clown into office enjoyed the "CHANGE" that they got

Jul 21 12 - 11:35pm
kk

Obamanation-get used to it-Obama's gettin 4 more years guaranteed! and YES we do like the change-the repeal of Don't ask Dont tell, repeal of ban on stem cell research, the auto industry saved, the killing of bin Laden, the end of Bush's Iraq debacle, 2 more women on the Supreme Court...I'd name more but I'm getting tired. IT IS AN OBAMA NATION, Thank God.

Feb 17 11 - 4:16pm
Goofy

Okay, this list is a joke! Hillary Clinton better looking than Laura Bush? Michele Obama #2? Her mouth looks , and is as big, as a horses mouth and her ass, well. I won't even go there. Whomever ranked these ladies should be checked on what they're smoking.

Feb 17 11 - 7:20pm
Michelle Obama??

Seriously???!? Now we know the race of the person who wrote this list...!

Feb 17 11 - 8:49pm
nn

And now we know you're racist!

Feb 17 11 - 8:51pm
nn

I mean no, I don't think Michelle Obama is the best looking woman ever, but I know she's in great shape. Jackie's head looks like a square. I don't think any of these woman could be super models, and I'm a-okay with that because it's not their job.

Feb 21 11 - 12:08am
Grace

Yeah, to like black people, you have to be black yourself. Definitely. Because, well, black people are gross. sarcasm off/

Feb 17 11 - 8:46pm
nn

Someone removed my post which pointed out that this seems to have been written by an amateur. I hit close to home, perhaps?

Feb 18 11 - 1:05am
wtf?

Michele Obama...2.... fucking seriously? Not even being racist she looks like a dinosaur and belongs nowhere near the top ten

Feb 18 11 - 1:14am
Leonisnt

Sexy alright. Gives gerontophilia a visual aid

Feb 18 11 - 1:50am
CrazySht

What the hell are you smoking. I would not do Michele with Bill Clinton's member

Feb 18 11 - 9:38pm
Jen

Interesting list!

Feb 20 11 - 2:41pm
Zzz

Sexiest First Ladies? Seriously? This list is sort of like Sexiest Cafeteria Lady From Middle School! And makes about as much sense. You are trying to give a property to something that does not appply. Now, listing Hef''s sexiest 45, that makes sense. This is a list that really should not exist...not to mention the order of the non-list.
Funny, what no one has mentioned is that we are on our 44th president - and this list automatically would make all of them included on the list sexy or not as they are not.
Nerve editors; please get some professional help.

Feb 21 11 - 4:30am
DG

Everybody - lighten the fuck up. It's a fluff list on a fluff website. People who can't laugh at themselves should never be taken seriously.

And Michelle Obama is fucking hot. Take your heads out of your asses.

But I'm probably not allowed to have opinions because I'm a girl and I can't think black women are hot cuz I'm straight. And white.

Feb 21 11 - 1:16pm
Reality check

Where is Laura Bush???????????????? Hillary Clinto and Rosalyn Carter made it!!! What a shining example of our liberal, Obama ass kissing media at its finest. What a joke!!!

Feb 21 11 - 5:38pm
Jake A

Well, I tell ya, the one I'd least like to meet in a dark alley...or a dark bedroom...is Florence Harding.

Feb 21 11 - 5:43pm
Samuel J Tilden

I know this is all pretty much a matter of opinion, but Lordy, for you to put Lucy Hayes at #11 and call her "eye candy," I gotta think you need new bifocals.

Feb 22 11 - 12:11am
CE

You might have mentioned that Barbara Bush is the meanest, most caustic, withering harridan ever to darken the White House.

Feb 23 11 - 12:24pm
Thom

Poorly researched, even for humor. And I'm afraid you let your liberal slant show. It's well known that Martha Washington was considered a very beautiful woman and highly sought after, even if this painting of her in her senior years doesn't demonstrate that. Barbara Bush was also quite a looker in her younger years, which you would have known had you done your research. Then there's your comment about Laura Bush, who not only doesn't resemble her husband, but is quite beautiful and is aging beautifully. She has more class in her pinky finger than Michelle Obama could ever aspire to. I'm sorry but MO is a BEAST. She might have big arms, but her face looks pained and stretched, and her figure is... well, let's just say she shouldn't be giving nutrition or fitness advice to anyone.

Feb 23 11 - 9:40pm
jill

I was reading a book about Eleanor Roosevelt to my 8 year old daughter and she said, "She reminds me of you."
"Oh, really?" I said, fishing for a compliment about my activism or something.
"You look like her."
Wha-wah.
jill
http://inbedwithmarriedwomen.blogspot.com

Feb 24 11 - 12:09am
Rena

Michelle Obama??? WTF!!! She looks like Aunt Ester. I guess Nerve is afraid if they dont rank her high, they'll be seen as racist. pathetic.

Feb 24 11 - 8:20pm
Sutinegozaku

TEST MESSAGE. DON'T OBLITERATE PLZ)

Feb 25 11 - 5:19am
Iohuwuweoijy

Please help me to create pool

Feb 25 11 - 11:24am
praisteneptaf

PROOF MESSAGE. DON'T OBLITERATE PLZ)

Feb 25 11 - 8:14pm
Gannatieque

Please help me to create pool

Feb 27 11 - 9:05pm
Thurgymug

Satisfy help me to invent pool

Mar 02 11 - 10:25am
NJtoTX

Where is Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur? She had modern style.

May 01 11 - 8:00am
Randor

The commenter who said Michelle Obama is the ugliest First Lady -- is an ignorant redneck who should be ashamed to show his blatant racism in public. Go hide somewhere and do the world a big favor.

Sep 01 11 - 7:31pm
Al Gore

Michelle Obama has a great personality,but pretty she isn't.She presents herself well,and is a goood mother and wife,or gives the appearance as such.But pretty? Come on,even ManBearPig is hotter.

Credentials:Carbon Billionaire,Noble Peace prize winner,Inventor of Internet.

Oct 14 11 - 7:45pm
Andy

Michelle Obama is a stunner. Great skin, great smile, great eyes, fit bod. She has flavor and feminine swagger, and oh boy, brains and confidence. Obama is a lucky guy.

Feb 26 12 - 9:41am
marky

Michele Obama good looking? What a joke, She is unattractive, In fact most people I know think she is plain ugly

Dec 16 11 - 10:37pm
gaetano

Hillary always was a nerd and will always be. Michelle Obama was the ugly duckling that got UGLIER.

Jan 07 12 - 11:00pm
R U 4 Real

Obama? No. 2? LOL your have got to be kidding me. She is not the ugliest on the list, but she sure as hell is not in the top 10. She should be on the first page.

Jan 27 12 - 7:56am
What The...

Before reading this list, I knew there would be a liberal slant, but had no idea how bad it would be. To cite the obvious first, Hilary Clinton is notoriously known for being U-G-L-Y. Not just unattractive, but vomit-inducing ugly. I met her when she was running for Senate (of course post-makeover), and let me tell you, OUCH! Met Bill too, and he was actually surprisingly sexy. Something about him... And Michelle Obama? Seriously? She looks like a linebacker (AND makes her hubby look anorexic) crossbred with a horse. Not to mention how un-sexy her personality makes her.

Jun 01 12 - 7:26pm
momof3

What is unsexy or unclassy about flotus's personality? What has she said or done that proves your Fox Noise..I mean Fox News non sense? As far as her comment about for the first time in her life she is proud of her country; I totally understand what she said. Now my sister who did not grow up in Mississippi did not understand what she said like you obviously did not but that is the point she did not grow up in the state of Mississippi, she did not experience what I experienced but at least she respected it. My sister understood the only eyes I could see life was through my own but as years passed by I have learned so much more outside of the state lines of Mississippi. My advice to you is to never get upset at someone for speaking their truth about what they experienced in life just because you do not understand. Just educate them in a respectful way if you feel their true but ignorant perspective is bias based on their own experiences but not realistic & fair to other people. That is what initiated my healing and changed the ignorance I had about people specifically white people. Someone did not get upset with me; they just made me realize my pain and fear yes I said fear of white people was real but it was misguided because not all white people are hateful just like not all black people are saints. I was judging everyone based on my experiences in a little town in the state of Mississippi with a population of less than 5,000 people and that was just not fair. I'm not saying this FLOTUS story but I am just trying to get you to see the other side that is all.