Guy Adams: Beauty, influence and the fame game

LA Notebook

Share
Related Topics

Do you have to be beautiful to be famous? And if you are beautiful and famous, does that automatically make you influential? I only ask because, like many Americans, my coffee table is groaning under the weight of two magazines which help answer these age-old, billion-dollar questions.

First up, People. Its "100 most beautiful" edition attempts to capture the zeitgeist this week by featuring TV actress and breast-cancer survivor Christina Applegate on the cover. Eva Mendes and Cindy Crawford are next in the pecking order, followed by Claire Danes, and an actress called Moon Bloodgood.

Next, Time, which traditionally fills the spring silly season by listing the world's "100 most influential" people. This year, it leads with Edward Kennedy, followed by Gordon Brown (whose praises are sung in a piece by J K Rowling) and Christine Lagarde, who is apparently Finance minister of France.

Now, I know these are only magazine surveys. And I know there's little science behind them. But still, people talk about Top 100s, so it's remarkable how few of Time and People's influential or beautiful people are particularly famous.

I doubt more than one in 10 Americans would recognise Gordon Brown and Christine Lagarde in an identity parade. And unless the paparazzi were in tow, they'd be unlikely to cop Applegate or Mendes, either.

Notably absent from both lists are Tom Cruise, Steven Spielberg, and the world's most Googled celebrity, Britney Spears. IMDB's "hottest" star of the moment, Robert Pattinson, makes People, but not Time.

Meanwhile, there's no room in the Top 100s for the most "Twittered" celebrity of recent times. She happens to be Susan Boyle, who is neither conventionally beautiful, nor likely to ever be particularly influential, but whose success reminds us of the democratic and ephemeral nature of fame.

Cordon bleurgh...

A clue, perhaps, as to why California's animal rights lobby managed to ban foie gras: the American Association of Wine Economists just published a study showing that five out of six Americans are unable to taste the difference between pâté and dog food.

In a blind tasting, only 17 per cent of volunteers were able to distinguish between an expensive duck liver mousse, a portion of Spam, and Newman's Own dog meat – provided, that is, they were all served on very expensive crockery.

Savage compliment?

Speaking of cuisine, Michael Savage, the right-wing "shock jock" now banned from Britain, used his radio show to call Home Secretary Jacqui Smith a: "beer-swilling mutt". He sadly failed to realise that, in Old Labour circles, that might be considered a compliment.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Nationwide - OTE £65,000

£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Ice skating in George Square, Glasgow  

How many Christmas cards have you sent this year?

Simon Kelner
 

Al-Sweady Inquiry: An exercise in greed that blights the lives of brave soldiers

Richard Kemp
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum