What do Jay Z, Marissa Mayer, Pope Francis and Mindy Kaling all have in common? Well, on the 23rd April the annual honours list compiled by TIME Magazine was released. Every year, the magazine declares that they have found the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
This is a mighty achievement, I know that I’d have to start taking myself a bit more seriously if I ever got up there. I think though, that the appeal of this collection of international names is that they are not a stereotype of ‘hero’, ‘inspiration’ or ‘gorgeous’, they are all of interest and huge potential for the future.
There are five categories into which they are slotted; Titans, Pioneers, Leaders, Artists and Icons. Although these titles may touch on the overstated and cliché vibe somewhat, when you see who’s on the list you might change your mind. I thought I’d pick out a woman from each group to give a taste of what they list has to offer:
Titan, Gina Rinehart Iron Woman, 59: No one reading this has probably heard of her before but you should pay attention because as the fifth richest woman in the world, and as she is on track to become the richest person in the world, she holds huge power. A native Australian, she inherited a fortune and the control of an iron empire. Despite legal and familial strife she has retained her leadership and has now extended her reach into TV and newspapers. She is on a mission to keep her homeland afloat and is definitely not afraid of hardwork.
Icon, Lena Dunham Actor, Director, Producer, 26: Lena Dunham is much more famous than Rinehart, and her career has had spectacular success and coverage in the past 18 months. As the creator and star of GIRLS, we have seen her character, Hannah, portray humour, upset, sex and excruciating embarrassment. This is a right choice because she has used her show to say that if she can do it, so can we and be proud. Plus who doesn’t love a good laugh?!
Pioneer, Vrinda Grover, Lawyer, 49: The horrific Delhi rape case was plastered all over our screens as a stark reminder of how certain societies and attitudes can prevent justice and honest retribution. Vrinda Grover is the loud voice behind the scenes of this case. She is an advocate of equal legal rights and justice must be extended to everyone, wrong is wrong she says. She is not afraid of standing up against the majority and speaking out for those who can’t.
Leader, Park Geun-hye, President of South Korea, 61: With a rival in the shape of North Korea, she may not at first glance appear to have the strength to fight for and achieve stability in this volatile region. Although she inherits a legacy of struggle, she also inspires hope and peace. Confident in her slow and steady approach, which does not focus on conflict, she is an example not just to women, but all leaders, for how to show strength in a complex international political system.
Artist, Christina Aguilera, Singer, 32: We have all grown up alongside her power voice; her Stripped album was on repeat for me. In recent years we have all seen her demise into rather more questionable song and outfit choices, but we are now seeing a slow and steady creeping back. Controversial, yes and most definitely an artist. No matter what, she is still here and still performing with passion and what a voice. That’s commitment and undoubtedly, talent.
These are just the women who I feel deserve our attention and feel that the magazine was spot on with their choices. There may be a twinge of American Dream with favourite super-couples, Jay Z & Beyonce, and President Obama & Michelle Obama, featuring. Nevertheless it deserves a read, if anything, to get us that bit more motivated to get exams out the way and into the mighty future!
Image Credits: thesun.co.uk, theage.com.au, theaustintimes.com