Sorry, Forbes, But Justin Bieber Isn't the Most Overexposed Star
Forbes released their annual list of the most overexposed celebrities, which "ranks more than 6,600 bold-faced names based on 46 attributes through public opinion polling." Apparently most pollsters stopped paying attention to pop culture after 2011, because this list seems pretty dated to me.
4. Miley Cyrus
5. Alana "Honey Boo Boo Child" Thompson
6. Kris Jenner
8. Paris Hilton
10. Khloe Kardashian
Not to be a downer, but this is the kind of list that happens when you let straight people vote. Or, to be more specific, the kind of straight people who click "Thumbs Down" on Justin Bieber music videos and feel like they've said something. Aside from that gas mask incident, Justin Bieber is hardly overexposed in 2014 -- unless you're counting the past three days in which his saucy "Basic Instinct"-style deposition video dominated Facebook. The Kardashians were overexposed in 2010, but their brand is so bland that I'm shocked anyone considers them a beacon of the rapture anymore. More like a beacon of another generation of boring cable reality shows, if anything. And come on: When is the last time you honestly thought about Paris Hilton? I remember hearing she had a new song last October ("Good Time") but the last time I checked, she was relegated to the gulag of the Oxygen Network and no one noticed. Snooki's here too? Why? This is just a list of people we're comfortable calling overexposed, not a true list of the most overexposed celebrities.
Here's how I'd rank 'em:
1. Miley Cyrus: This is the definition of a celebrity whose pop culture presence feels (or felt, especially around the time of the VMAs) overwhelming and inescapable. To Miley's credit, she's done overexposure the right way. You want to have an opinion about her, and often you have more than one opinion about her. "She can sing, but what was with that Robin Thicke duet?" you ask your therapist. "I like that she likes annoying people, but wasn't she a little harsh on Sinead?" you ask your cat. "'Wrecking Ball' is fabulous, but 'Bangerz' left me wanting more," you tell your cracked mirror. The kind of overexposed you can't stop thinking about. You're part of the problem, and that's why she's #1.
2. Taylor Swift: She's a very good songwriter (for real), but Taylor Swift's vaudevillian dance tactics in the audience at award shows is horrifyingly played out. I don't like turning on event television and thinking, "Oh no. What if Taylor's at the State of the Union address performing 'YMCA' in the third row?" Her wide-eyed, fun-loving energy is fearsome and omnipresent, and her relentlessness scares me.
3. Jennifer Lawrence: A true anomaly in that she's a 23-year-old who deserves to be a three-time Oscar nominee, Jennifer Lawrence and her pop culture presence aren't exactly oppressive, but the people who are obsessed with her are. Seriously, think of your Facebook friends who post videos of Jennifer Lawrence falling or rolling her eyes or dancing awkwardly whatever other "Frances Ha" nonsense people decide is endearing. They are boring, but they don't know that they're boring, and that's the cruelest knife-twist of all. They enjoy Jennifer Lawrence mostly because she's deemed acceptable to enjoy, and not because she's talented, articulate, and cool (though she is all of those things). I need people to stop feeling cool for liking J-Law. This is what ruined Queen for me.
4. One Direction: They're affable and a little snarky, but how much can we say about One Direction? Every one of their songs sounds like they just tried Mountain Dew for the first time. They are my favorite band outfitted by Build A Bear. That's it! That's all we can say. I like that they pinch each other's inner thighs sometimes and don't seem too sick of each other. But they've reached Madonna-in-1990 heights of popularity and the killer work just isn't there to back it up.
5. Lady Gaga: This pains me, but Lady Gaga was everywhere in 2013 and just never made the "ARTPOP" hype supernova work. "Do What U Want" is one of her best and nerviest songs ever, but her constant TV appearances, stalled artistic vision (Is she really any different than the fame-touting Gaga we met in '08?), and underwhelming album make this year one of her biggest, yet most underwhelming yet. That "Muppets" Thanksgiving special? Was the grimmest.
Your turn: Who is the most overexposed celeb?