Magazine Cover of the Week: Malala Yousafzai Exerts Her Influence.

malala yousafzai time magazine 100 most influential people

She arguably should have been crowned Time‘s Person of Year in 2012, but Pakistani girls’ education activist Malala Yousafzai has taken her rightful position as one of the magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2013, along with other cover stars Jay-Z, Jennifer Lawrence and Rand Paul. I haven’t had a chance to crack open my copy yet—one of my most anticipated issues of the year—but I’m excited to see who else they name as the tastemakers and influencers of the year ahead.

Related: Magazine Cover of the Year.

Image via Facebook.

Magazines: Unfortunately, Rihanna IS an Influential Person, That’s What Makes the Whole Chris Brown Situation That Much Worse.

When I first heard Rihanna made Time’s annual list of 100 most influential people, I wondered why. Maybe when she was a Good Girl Gone Bad and “Umbrella” and her short-back-and-sides haircut were sweeping the globe. Or even last year, with “S&M”, “Only Girl in the World” and her plagiarism lawsuits making headlines. But what has she done recently? (Okay, recently, she either snorted cocaine or rolled a joint off a bald man’s head and tweeted that she couldn’t give a shit, but I’m guessing Time’s list was finalised much earlier than those Coachella shenanigans.)

Whether I would have put her on the list or not is irrelevant: to many people she is extremely influential. And that’s a problem because of her public refusal to condemn Chris Brown for what he did to her. Not only that, but that she is actively collaborating with him on music. God only knows what they’re collaborating on in their personal lives.

Stella McCartney writes the blurb for Rihanna’s entry on the list (huh? Has Rihanna even worn a McCartney design recently?), saying she “goes out of her way to support the people she believes in… She’ll give a real part of herself…” I’m sure Brown would agree. McCartney goes on to write that “[s]he’s one of the coolest… most liked, most listened to, most followed… artists at work today… She gives to her fans, friends and foundation not just herself by her energy and spirit.” Indeed.

Rihanna’s always maintained that she’s not a role model and she’s not willing to be the spokesperson against domestic violence. That’s not something we, the public, should force on her, but working together on two tracks, calling Brown “the hottest R&B artist out right now”, and mouthing off to fans about how she doesn’t give a fuck about what they think of her is the polar opposite. Whether she likes it or not, people are looking to her to see what’s in and how to act.

Add to that the blatant drug use that she’s been flaunting all over Instagram and it’s very troublesome that Rihanna is so influential.

Related: Rihanna & Domestic Violence. 

My Thoughts on Chris Brown.

Rihanna Upholds Traditional Gender Roles.

Rihanna’s “Man Down”: Revenge is a Dish Best Served in Cold Blood.

“S&M”—Is It Really So Much Worse Than Rihanna’s Other Stuff?

Elsewhere: [Time] Time 100: The List—Rihanna.

Magazines: Reality TV & Tabloids Take the Place of Soap Operas.

From “Cancelled: All My Children & One Life to Live” by James Poniewozik in Time’s Most Influential People issue:

“Soap operas, after all, are about immersion in the details and drama of a set of people’s lives. But they’re no longer alone in that. The Real Housewives shows, for instance, indirectly compete for the same mind space, offering a similar kind of serial storytelling, personal intrigue and shadenfreude—as do the offscreen narratives of the likes of Kate Gosselin and the Kardashians. For too many viewers, soaps are now just an alternative, which is why one of TV’s oldest formats is running out of lives to live.”

Images via Gamayca, Reality TV Magazine, Zimbio.

Lady Most Likely: Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People

Every time I turn on the readio, it seems like there’s a Will.I.Am collaboration (“3 Words” with Cheryl Cole; Usher’s “OMG”; “Imma Be” with Black Eyed Peas) or Will.I.Am sounding collaboration (“Nothin’ on You” by B.o.B.; “If We Ever Meet Again” by former über-producer Timbaland and Katy Perry) getting airtime. The BEP front man may indeed be the new Timabland, so I was surprised he didn’t make it onto the list. There’s always next year, I suppose…

Someone who did make it on, though, is Lady Gaga.

Cyndi Lauper, Gaga’s partner-in-crime for the MAC AIDS Fund, profiles her for possibly the most talked about ranking this year. I have no doubt Gaga is the most influential person in entertainment today, as she’s collaborating with and inspiring the fashion, beauty, art, advertising, music and film worlds with her own performance artas Lauper writes, “she is inspiring other artists to go further in their own work”and striking up water cooler conversation with her boundary pushing antics, both onstage and off.

Time is spot on in naming Marc Jacobs the only influential fashion figure. Jacobs, who is profiled by fellow fashionista and friend, Victoria Beckham, glamorised grunge, began the bag lady chic movement, and is now championing voluptuousness in his new season looks for Louis Vuitton and his titular line. Perhaps Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour would have made welcome additions, but Jacobs certainly has the respect of all facets of the fashion world his peers, his models, his muses and his loyal subjects.

I am utterly dumbfounded to not see George Clooney on the list. Not only did he single-handedly organise the Hope for Haiti Now telethon but, like a fine wine, he only gets better with age.

In other “Artists” notes, shoe in Oprah is profiled by Phil Donahue, while her partner, “Mr Oprah” Stedman Graham makes the Least Influential list (more on that below); Robert Pattinson is bafflingly included (for influencing legions of teens and, worryingly, tweens ready and willing to let Pattinson bite them? Perhaps Brad and Angelina would have been better choices, as they actually contribute something to societyas well as being really, really ridiculously good looking. Or even Stephenie Meyer, without whom Pattinson wouldn’t have an Edward Cullen to broodingly portray); and “new media mogul” Ashton Kutcher, whom I was pleasantly surprised to see on the list.

Of course, President Obama makes an appearance as one of, if not the most influential leaders. While he certainly is the most well-known leader on the list, whether he’s been as influential as he could have during his first year in the presidency is a point of contention for a lot of politicos and American citizens.

My second favourite President (after Obama, George W. Bush is the only other President whose reign I was [un]lucky enough to grow up during, so Clinton wins via default), I find Bill Clinton funny, charming and smartalthough, hey may not have been utilising the latter during Lewinskygate. Nonetheless, he’s making positive change, and that’s all that matters here.

On the other hand, former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin makes the list. She is certainly fascinating and controversial, but I wouldn’t call her influential. Perhaps she would be more at home on Barbara Walters’ annual most fascinating people list?

Speaking of other lists, on page 96 you will find Joel Stein’s “The Time Bum Hundred”, relaying how he chronicled the 100 least influential people of 2010, split into “four categories… Losers, Flameouts, Morons and Slimy Bastards”. The complete list is not available in the mag, but it is on Time’s website.

Here is a sneak peak of “the Least Influential People Who Used to or Ought to Have Influence”, not including babies (who really are the least influential people in the world!), “the tattooed chick who messed up Sandra Bullocks’ marriage” (negative influence), and Tiger Woods, who just had a “bad year”, but is “still immensely influential, only now his influence lies in preventing men from texting their mistresses”: the Tom Tom GPS navigation system; “We Are the World 25 for Haiti”; Paula Adbul; Michael Jackson’s doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray who, unfortunately, was influential enough last year to play a key role in the death of Michael Jackson; Joaquin Phoenix; gay-disapprover, sex tape “without any sex” star and Former Miss California Carrie Prejean; “first dog” Bo Obama; George Clooney’s ex, Sarah Larson; former MTV TRL host Carson Daly; questionably, The Doors, who “actually sucked and just had a handsome lead singer”; Grover; Carrot Top; news anchor Katie Couric; John Edwards; the quintessential douche bag reality show dropout, Jon Gosselin; keeping it in the familyLindsay and Michael Lohan; Jersey Shore outcast Angelina Pivarnick; Bernie Madoff; Levi Johnston; Tila Tequila; Nicollette Sheridan; witches (“Charmed was like, ten years ago. It’s all about vampires, werewolves and zombies now”); anddrum roll pleaseSpencer Pratt and Heidi Montag, collectively known as Speidi. Let’s hope Heidi truly is uninfluential, especially for The Hills‘ primarily teen audience’ssake, or we could have an army of over-inflated, frozen-foreheaded Barbie clones on our hands.