Time’s yearly 100 Most Influential People issue will be out this Friday, but in the meantime we can do what I love best: criticize the choices, be total list queens, and question what the hell about Christina Aguilera is “influential.”
Can you guess the three queer celebrities who made the list? Take a moment to think it over. Two of them made the “artists” segment of the list, and the third is one of the list’s “titans.” They have to be living people, so you can scratch Oscar Wilde, Gore Vidal, and Nell Carter.
Here are the 16 designated “artists” on the list:
Jennifer Lawrence (actress)
Christina Aguilera (singer)
Steven Spielberg (director)
Jonathan Ive (designer)
Alex Atala (chef)
Ed Ruscha (artist)
Miguel (recording artist)
Mindy Kaling (actress/writer)
Jenna Lyons (J. Crew president/creative director)
Bryan Cranston (actor)
George Saunders (writer)
Jimmy Kimmel (talk show host)
Wang Shu (architect)
Hilary Mantel (author)
Frank Ocean (recording artist)
Jimmy Fallon (talk show host)
There’s also an “icons” section of the list with entertainers on it like Lena Dunham, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Beyonce, but the “artists” portion is more about the work itself.
To my eyes, the two queer people there are Jenna Lyons and Frank Ocean. The “titan” is Michael Kors.
I’d say all three are solid choices. But what on Earth is Christina Aguilera doing on this list? Her last album was downright unassuming, she left a popular TV series, and she’s not groundbreaking in any way. In fact, she was never groundbreaking, although she is certainly talented. If I had to switch her out, I’d choose my old standby: Madonna is more “influential” now than ever before, as her emphasis on touring continues to be a staggering moneymaker for her, even in the face of tepid album sales. That’s more telling of the times than the fact that Christina Aguilera had that OK “Your Body” song this year.
Who would you include on the list?