As you may know, the annual Forbes 100 is out. This 'Celebrity 100' list is also referred to as "World's Most Powerful Celebrities". Which... well, I wonder. The list ranks the celebrities based on their media visibility and earning power. Media + income = power. All lists are subjective but it seems strange to assume that visibility equals power. It can but I doubt it automatically does. Is Lindsay Lohan a powerful person because the paparazzi follow her around? If so, what does she hold sway over... legging trends? Can she get movies greenlit? She didn't make the list but it's just an example.
Another funny/strange thing: It only goes to show you that becoming enormously popular at one time in history can keep you on these lists in perpetuity. Witness the staying power of Sandra Bullock and Harrison Ford on lists such as these.
Here are Forbes top movie actresses...
01 Angelina Jolie
There's no disputing her fame. Would that her influence was as indisputable. Celebrity philanthrophists are often subjects of loathing from many pockets of the media and various segments of the general populace. Why that is I'll leave it up to social theorizing in the comments [A History of... Angelina Jolie]
08 Jennifer Aniston
She was my favorite member of Friends back in the day but I realized as soon as she transferred to the cinema that I was a fan of "Rachel" rather than Jen. Sometimes when thinking of Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courtney Cox in tandem it becomes clear that Brad Pitt is to blame for her ubiquity. But then I think of my beloved Juliette Lewis and... well, the world isn't fair.
58 Sarah Jessica Parker
Sometimes Square Pegs only need to ignore the round holes and find a new board on which to play. What a difference HBO and "Carrie Bradshaw" made. [More on Sex & the City]
64 Meryl Streep
Her top earning status as she enters her 60s fills me with utter glee despite the fact that Mamma Mia! was terrible. Once, long ago, (very early 90s to be more precise) the same media that now kisses her feet used to belittle her for speaking out about the inequality in pay between actors and actresses.
71 Reese Witherspoon
Earned $15 million last year. Usurping all of Jake Gyllenhaal's time? Now, that's power.
73 Cameron Diaz
Forbes is pushing the notion that we should have her on our Best Actress Oscar lists for My Sister's Keeper. What say ye?
74 Nicole Kidman
She takes a beating in the American media but she's still an international draw. Plus she's, you know, awesome if you care about the cinema rather than just 'the movies.'
85 Anne Hathaway
She only made $7 million for Get Smart? For some reason I thought she pulled down more than that already.
87 Drew Barrymore
Still a double threat as Producer/Actress. Every time we hear about Drew's next project, the roller derby film Whip It!, it's mentioned in connection to Ellen Page's rising stardom post Juno. But have you checked out the supporting cast and their character names? Drew as "Smashley Simpson", Kristin Wiig as "Malice in Wonderland", Juliette Lewis as "Dinah Might", Eve as "Rosa Sparks". I only hope the movie is half as fun as the milieu and moniker imply.
92 Sandra Bullock
Forbes implies that her return to romcoms justifies her placement. Is she headed for a major comeback this year with The Proposal and All About Steve?
Most random finding on this list: Jennifer Love Hewitt is at #99. Other than her power to stay on television year after year after year after year (Jennifer Love Hewitt in the reboot of Murder She Wrote... coming your way in 2038!) I had no idea that she wielded any, let alone that she was the 5th most powerful TV actress . I didn't know that she was more powerful than three Desperate Housewives and that Gossip Girl... more powerful yet than Eliza Duskhu who is infinitely hotter and shares Hewitt's power to stay on the airwaves.
You know what I'd like to read? A list that seeks to quantify the overall influence of celebrities as opposed to their income or household name status. Who has trickle down power? I always think of that "cerulean" scene in The Devil Wears Prada when I think of cultural influence.
... Jennifer Love Hewitt.