By Stephanie Vacchio
This past week, Forbes released its list of the world’s 100 most powerful women. Among the ranked are Michelle Obama, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Arianna Huffington, Maria Ramos, and of course, Oprah.
I thought about whom I would include in my own personal version of the top ten most powerful people ever. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the people who influenced me the most throughout my life were not really people at all. These people are actually fictional beings, made up by someone else’s imagination. Here is my list of the top ten most powerful people who never actually were people:
Without getting into the argument of whether or not the story of Cinderella is a positive influence on little girls, it is an influence nonetheless. I thought she was beautiful and I wanted to emulate her grace.
9. Phil from The Hangover
Every guy wants to be him and every girl wants to date him. Oh, and he steals money from little kids, which he can do because he is not real.
8. Atticus Finch
Ah, the voice of morality in modern fiction. Atticus Finch is perhaps one of the most well-known fictional characters in literature. His character teaches high school students all around the world about the evils of prejudice and the wonders of speaking up for what you believe in. Some have argued that “To Kill a Mockingbird” helps young students form “many a conscious.” Whatever the case, Atticus is the man. So much that Jake Gyllenhaal and Kirsten Dunst named their dog after him. Luckily, Atticus Finch has lived on much longer than that relationship.
A purple dinosaur that talks? Wild. But kids love it, and for that reason Barney gets to hold the number seven spot on my list. Think back to when you were a kid. Was there anything the kids on Barney did that you didn’t want to run out and do ASAP? Maybe it is brainwashing at its best, but perhaps using a big, purple prehistoric dino to get kids to brush their teeth isn’t the worst thing the media has done.
6. Harry Potter
You knew he’d be on here. But similar to Barney, anything that makes kids love doing something that feels like a chore (reading) has got power.
5. Mr. Feeney
If you have never seen an episode of “Boy Meets World,” well then you have been denied a proper childhood. Mr. Feeney is the ultimate grandpa-like teacher who always had the best, most appropriate and thought-provoking advice. He had power over Eric, and I certainly have a soft spot for him as well.
When you are well-known enough to get a toy that allows children to tickle you, you have some serious power.
3. Drew from Taylor Swift’s “Tear Drops on my Guitar”
Every teenage boy wished he were Drew when this song hit the Billboard charts…whoever Drew is.
Since her “birth” in 1959, Barbie has made some major bank. Over the past five decades, Barbie has had over 90 careers, ranging from mega pop star to dog walker and everything in between. She was an astronaut long before Sally Field became the first woman in space, and she ran for president in 1992, sixteen years before Hillary Clinton. Barbie’s name has been a relevant household name for 51 years now…how many other women can say that?
1. Santa Claus
A mechanism to get kids to be good all year long because “he’s watching.” Genius. Anybody who is giving away free stuff has got my undivided attention. And if the free stuff happens to be everything on my wish list, well then they have got more power than GE.