It is not a joke, or even a misprint; Miley Cyrus has been named one of the ten finalists for Time’s celebrated honor Person of the Year 2013. To give you an idea of the kinds of people the award usually goes to, last year the winner was the President of the United States, Barack Obama. This year, however, a wrecking ball could crash the party.
Cyrus almost won Time’s online poll of who influenced the news the most this past year. Around Thanksgiving, she was leading the race, but fell to third place in the final weeks. It is reported that a couple of internet hackers may have been behind this scheme; but then again, third place doesn’t sound all that ridiculous for a singer/actress who seemed to be making headlines every week.
Interestingly, the winner of the online vote was Egyptian Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who beat Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogen. It would be hard to say that Cyrus really was more impactful than these two men, but it probably comes as a surprise to many readers that these politicians have a stronger online presence than the twerking twenty-one year old.
Cyrus has not won the award yet, which will be announced on the “Today” show on Wednesday; however Time magazine is already defending their choice of including Cyrus in the top ten.
“Power is not just political. It can be cultural. It can be spiritual,” said Time editor Nancy Gibbs on the “Today” show. Then things got a little strange as Gibbs began to quote Cyrus’s most popular song. “She came in like a wrecking ball, literally…” Gibbs said. She also pointed out that Cyrus has the most watched video of the year and alluded to how Cyrus is a symbol, and a powerful one at that, in a time when we carry cameras all the time and are living “with an explosion of exhibitionism” in our culture.
The full list of finalists is as follows: Bashar al-Assad, Pope Francis, Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama, Hassan Rouhani, Kathleen Sebelius, Ted Cruz, Edward Snowden and Edith Windsor. That is a list that includes presidents, a pope, a CEO, activists, a senator and now pop star Miley Cyrus.
Time insists that this list is made up of those who have been impactful for better or for worse. They also clarified that the list is only for persons who made change in the year 2013, meaning that although Nelson Mandela made headlines this year and was a tremendously impactful human being he was not eligible for this list.
Cyrus’s success does not end there, though. Cyrus was also recently named the Best Artist of the Year by MTV. No longer can you just say that Cyrus is in the news because she is famous. MTV is giving her a distinction that transcends mere popularity, acknowledging her talent by giving her the distinction Best Artist.
The winner of Time’s Person of the Year award is always a momentous occasion. This year it may be filled with more anticipation for someone readers don’t think should deserve the honor, rather than rooting for someone to win it. Time’s Person of the Year Award for 2013 could just be the wrecking ball Miley Cyrus.
By Nick Manai