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This year's Most Beautiful star admits that after being diagnosed with breast cancer last March, she had "a rollercoaster of emotions, but there was a calm about what I had to do." The Samantha Who? actress, 37, underwent a double mastectomy, followed by reconstructive surgery. "It's a decision that you made to save your life," she says, noting one positive effect: "I don't have to wear a bra! They don't hang down to my knees like they did before. And the gals look good in tank tops."
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When asked what makes her famous face happy, Berry, 42, (who appeared on the Most Beautiful cover in 2003) replies, "My daughter's smile and her eight new teeth, the smell of fresh flowers, hiking as the sun comes up, feeling good about the woman I’ve become and finally getting a complete night of sleep."
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The stars of TV's sexiest zip code – (from left), Jessica Stroup, 22, AnnaLynne McCord, 21, Jessica Lowndes, 20, and Shenae Grimes, 19 – put their best, freshest faces forward for their PEOPLE shoot. "My mother taught me less is more," says Lowndes. "When I discovered bronzer in tenth grade, I kind of went to town – I looked like an Oompa Loompa!"
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The RampB star, 23, also went sans makeup at her PEOPLE shoot. "Being beautiful is all in the attitude," she says. "It's about confidence."
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The heartthrob told PEOPLE he stays in shape by "backpacking, hiking, surfing, swimming, playing tennis – things that get you active and are also fun." And the 21-year-old avoids junk food – well, usually. "I try not to eat anything that's packaged. Of course, I never succeed."
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"Being a mom has made me do things I never did before," says the singer, 28, who took the plunge into motherhood with 15-month-old Max. "I'm a total vampire – but Max makes me go out into the sun or to the pool in the middle of the day. He brings out a different side of me that I'm really starting to enjoy."
Want more? Read exclusive outtakes of Christina's interview!
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An overnight sensation thanks to her turn in the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, the former model, 24, says she's taking it all in stride. "The beauty of life is that it takes turns that are sometimes bigger than your wildest dreams," she told Blackbook.
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He's had training in martial arts (which he shows off in his new film Fighting), but Tatum says he's a lover, not a fighter. "I'd probably run, more than likely," the 29-year-old told WPIX in New York about how he'd react to a throwdown. Then, referring to his starmaking role in the film Step Up, he joked, "Or I'd be like, 'Wanna dance? Let's have a dance-off!'"
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The Dancing with the Stars champ and country singer admits that she likes the revealing outfits she wears on the ABC reality show. "I'm the first to admit it: I like being sexy! I always wear the shorter shorts and my dad's like, 'Cover up!'" the 20-year-old told PEOPLE. "Modesty, that's my biggest downfall."
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The Twilight star, 22, says he doesn't quite understand his heartthrob status – or the fuss about his signature tousled do. "I don't get it. It's funny, you look the same for years and no one ever mentions it. Then suddenly it's a big deal."
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She's only 19, and this is already her second appearance on PEOPLE's Most Beautiful list! Last year, she posed without makeup, saying "it's important to be comfortable with who you are and go natural once in a while."
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The First Lady says growing up in a supportive household helped make her the confident woman she is today. "I had a father and a brother who thought I was beautiful, and they made me feel that way every single day," says Obama, 45. "I grew up with very strong male role models who thought I was smart and fast and funny, so I heard that a lot. I know that there are many young girls who don’t hear it."
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After being rejected on The Bachelor, Rycroft, 25, is having the last laugh. She moved on to a Dancing with the Stars gig – and a new boyfriend, an insurance agent named Ty Strickland! "He has been my biggest rock and supporter," she told Ellen DeGeneres.
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On 90210, he plays good-guy Dixon – a character who gets dissed when telling a girlfriend he loves her. (Her reply: "Thank you." Ouch!) In real life, he's luckier in love, saying that's never happened to him. "Thank goodness, 'cause if it would have, I probably would have cried," the 19-year-old told The CW Source.
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The 17 Again actress, 37, is drawn to comedies and funny guys. But there's a catch: "Like Steve Carell; he's super-sexy because he doesn't know how good-looking he is," says Mann. "Cocky nerd is kind of fun – but sexy nerd is not!"
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The youngest Gossip Girl star at 15, Momsen's already signed with IMG models, but admits that her height (5'8'') can make it hard for her to find jeans that fit. "I have a really strange body," she told Vanity Fair. "I'm tall, but I'm all legs, like three-fourths of my body."
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"Humor is one of the sexiest qualities a person can have," says the Saturday Night Live star, 35. "There's that phrase, 'comedy crush,' where you may not be that attracted to someone physically but, because of how funny they are, you have a little bit of a crush on them. Their humor makes them more attractive. Growing up, my crushes were John Ritter and John Cusack. And yeah, I have a comedy crush on Bill Murray."
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The actress – who appeared on the Most Beautiful cover in 2006 – takes her fame in stride, focusing on her family to stay grounded. "The world can like me, hate me, fall apart around me, and at least ... I wake up with my little kids and I'm happy," Jolie, 33, told Parade Magazine.
See all the stars in PEOPLE's 100 Most Beautiful issue, on newsstands now!
Go behind the scenes of PEOPLE's Most Beautiful issue! The E! News special airs Saturday (9 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET) and Sunday (11 a.m. and 7 p.m ET).