Every April, TIME publishes a list of 100 most influential people in the world. We idolize them, follow their every move, and treat them as modern gods. There is a giant media subculture around the cult of personality. The list was compiled by collecting data about the global leaders and celebrities online and from their Wikipedia pages, and the rankings were given taking various factors into consideration; external links, Number of vandalisms, number of categories the person is in, total number of anonymous edits, etc. Our obsession with the rich and famous has a cost on us, and on them. Fascination with the famous seems to be a human phenomenon that goes as far back as recorded history.
Findings and research have included all the prominent people from TV actors to filmstars, sports athletes to pop singers, musicians, cyclists, politicians, TV show hosts and other entertainment clones. One of the major curious findings exhibits that the list includes professional wrestlers. The list is topped by George W Bush with 65.6 points; succeeded by Barack Obama with a score of 45.3 points. Madonna, Beyonce and Eminen, top singers appear in top 20.
Dwayne Jhonson & Bret Hart are among the professional wrestlers in the list. Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood heartthrob Shahrukh Khan are also among the 100 most “obsessed-over people”. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is one rank above Khan with 22.08 points. The list also includes singer Madonna on the number three spot followed by Beyonce (4), Bill Clinton (10), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (11), Russian President Vladimir Putin (27), Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic (61), Rhianna (66) Pope Francis (70), Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher (77) and talk show host Oprah Winfrey (95).
Lots of people are obsessed with celebrities, but why is that? Why do we care? There are actually a number of reasons, and they’re widely varied. A lot of times, if you disagree with something a celebrity has done or just don’t like someone famous, you get a lot of people giving off retorts like, “Oh, you just don’t like so-and-so because you’re totally jealous.” Is that really the reason? No. we love celebrities because they are an integral part of culture. They have made it in the worldview we are so entrenched in. By worshipping them (to an extent), we feel as if we are participating in this hugely important cause/belief system. And that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy, and like our life matters (and in turn, death doesn’t sting as much)
– Tanvi Shah