Blake Lively on Time 100 list. Is she really that influential?

Is Blake Lively really that influential? (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty)Is Blake Lively really that influential? (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty)
Some of the incredible women who made Time Magazine's 100 influencers list this year: A pulitzer prize winning author (Jennifer Egan), the world's #1 comic (Tina Fey), Oprah (of course), an unimaginably strong congresswoman (Gabrielle Giffords), the president of Brazil (Dilma Rouseff), a U.S. Air Force General (Margaret Woodward), the woman who wrote the book on pregnancy (Heidi Murkoff), and an actress on 'Gossip Girl'.

Blake Lively is no doubt a hollywood starlet. She's starting to break into major film roles as a leading lady and even earned accolades from Vogue. But nobody's holding their breath for her to win an Oscar or reinvent the fashion wheel. She's blonde, and clothes look good on her, but that kind of influence is hardly innovative or unique to the industry. Moreover, it's not that influential these days.

Our pop stars wear raw meat on their body, our Oscar winning actresses have reformed gender, body and marital expectations. Even our TV stars, like Lea Michele who landed on the list last year, boast multiple talents. According to Time.com the influencers were chosen for the list because "their ideas spark dialogue and dissent and sometimes even revolution."

So what exactly did Blake Lively inspire? "Every now and then, an actor or actress manages to somehow channel the vitality of youth - that indefinable, natural, unprocessed glamour full of possibility and filled with anticipation for an endless future," writes director Baz Luhrman, tasked by Time editors with the difficult job of explaining her place on the list. " I've known Blake the actress, and I've known Blake the person, who would surprise many with her down-to-earth coolness. She makes you feel that she, and life, are going to go on forever."

To paraphrase Baz: she's young, she hasn't had plastic surgery, she's good-looking and in spite of all that, she isn't incredibly rude, at least not to famous directors.

Granted, Justin Bieber, the teen pop idol, also made the list. But he is a fairly significant influencer, who represents not only the vital tween market and their buying power, but the advent of YouTube as a stage for future stars. Fine we'll take him. But Blake? What about Natalie Portman? She won an Oscar, singlehandedly renewed interest in ballet, sparked debate (albeit a lame one) over out-of-wedlock pregnancy and managed to weather it all with poise. Or what about Kristen Stewart, the Twilight star who's turned sulking teen-face into a style statement? It's not noble, but neither is being "down-to-earth". That's the kind of descriptor people use on Match.com, not on the top 100 people changing the world.

While these types of lists offer an excellent platform for exceptional woman and men sometimes working under the radar, they're dotted with less exceptional types who take great photos and garner great buzz for the story. I'm talking about Blake now, after all. Sometimes it works: last year Lady Gaga served as eye-candy, but she's also legitimate game-changer of fashion and celebrity culture. In 2009, it was Brad Pitt, who was after all one of the biggest box office stars that year. But Blake doesn't yet pull in those numbers no does she promise to.

If I were a betting woman, she'll stand the test of the Time 100 as well as Norah Jones, who landed on the 2004 list as an up-and-coming jazz/pop singer. She's still making lovely music and selling records, but the largest influence she's had has been on soft rock radio. Not exactly moving mountains.

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