First off let me just say I don’t have any strong feelings about Pippa Middleton, that’s to say I don’t intensely dislike her, but don’t intensely like her all the same, and to be quite honest I still don’t see what all the furore was over in regards to her backside but each to their own.
Her inclusion in the annual “Time Magazine 100 most influential people” list seems to have caused a microstorm, with commentators quick to belittle the inclusion of her name alongside that of Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel. Some remarking that she has just “piggybacked her sister’s bride train”. Now just to be clear I’m not saying that that’s not the case, in fact I think it is, but that’s only because we have allowed her to. It is something that I, personally, do not see a problem with. Yet people are insistent that she should not be included on this list because she is not, or should not be deemed as “influential”.
Oh, but she is.
In regards to the heavyweights of the list i.e Obama, Sarkozy, the word “influential” and their possession of “influence” is clearly an open and shut case, they are some of the most powerful people in the world, the two go hand in hand. It’s when you come to the more creative and diverse names on the list that the notion of influence becomes a fluid one. Adele? Fine. Lionel Messi? Ok.
What about Sarah Burton? The pioneer behind two of the most talked about gowns in history? Absolutely. But, if those dresses were just on display, with nobody wearing them would they have created such a furore? Would replicas have been made and sold within 24 hours? Would women everywhere have bought them in the vain hope they too could have a backside like Pippa’s? I doubt it, very much. Now tell me that is not influence. Ok it’s not influential in the same way that Sarkozy or David Cameron are influential. But the mere concept of influence is all relative. All around the country and, in fact, the world, there are girls who want to be this woman, moreso than they would want to be Angela Merkel anyway (quite what that says about society I don’t know but it’s true none the less). Everything she wears is sold out in minutes (Remember the red dress she wore at Wimbledon last year?). Every move she makes is tracked by the press. In fact it’s funny to me how the very people who are giving this girl influence among a large demographic of society are now saying she, in fact, has none.
According to Time magazine, the people on their list are people who: “inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world” Okay Pippa might not challenge us or change our world, but these criteria are not mutually exclusive. Ask all the girls around the world who emulate her look, who follow her movements, who dream of being just like her whether she inspires them. As for her entertainment value, one quick look down the Daily Mail’s “sidebar of shame” and you will see her cropping up in every other news story. Why? Because she clearly entertains us. There must be a market out there for her otherwise she would have faded into obscurity by now. Even those who love to constantly question her appearance on news sites and mock her are being entertained by her, albeit in a covert manner.
So yes, like it or not, “the one that never married William”/”P-Mid”/”Her Royal Hotness” whatever you want to call her is influential. Whether she deserves to be or not is another matter entirely, but the fact remains that she is.
As for her appearance making Britain the butt of jokes around the world, don’t forget that NFL player and all round douche Tim Tebow and die hard Republican and champion of ex-gay movements Michele Bachmann also made the list this year.
Somehow I don’t think it’s our nation that needs to be afraid of being made fun of.