Time magazine has a massive following, most well known for their goose-bump inducing cover photos and their annual list of influential people. Year after year, a handful of controversial men and women make this list, 2016 not being an exception, especially with the election a few short months away. Yet, on the other hand, some are on this list for clear-cut reasons. Here is why I believe that these select men and women deserve to be on this list for 2016, despite how much controversy they do (or don’t) bring along with them. The full list can be found here
Caitlyn Jenner. A household name in most cases and has been in the spotlight since she came out as transgender in March of 2015. When she created her twitter and sent the world spiraling with a groundbreaking tweet, “I’m so happy that after such a long struggle to be living my true self. Welcome to the world of Caitlyn. Can’t wait for you to get to know her/me.” This tweet was retweeted over 250,000 times and has around 400,000 favorites, one of those from my own twitter. As far as Pioneers go, Caitlyn Jenner is far up there. In June of 2014, when Laverne Cox was the first transgender person to be features of the Cover of time Magazine, this event stirred controversy and all of Time’s reader, and it’s no wonder why Caitlyn being on this list has done the same. Caitlyn’s controversy sparked due to the fact that despite being a part of the LGBTQ+ community, she does not support gay marriage. Caitlyn also has not had to go through the oppression and fear so many women go through and had the audacity to tell millions of people that the hardest part about being a woman is “figuring out what to wear.” Caitlyn has bashed both of her biggest supporters communities. The LGBTQ+ community and the entire women population. Despite these things, there is no doubting that everything Caitlyn Jenner has been through in the past year definitely earns her a spot on this list. She has overcome so much, she really needs to work on learning what to say about the people that had supported her from the start of her transition.
The “leader” category of the list this year, contained many presidential candidates, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton. It’s sort of a given that these four made it on the list and for all good reasons too. However, I believe that Bernie Sanders deserved this the most(had Time only picked one candidate). Being a Bernie Supporter myself, I have seen countless images of Bernie rallies from last summer to this Spring. What changed? His amount of support. Look at him even as the primary has just begun. Hillary had dominated leaving Bernie supporters in shock and terrified he wouldn’t come close to winning. Look at him now, down by less than 800 delegates. Bernie has shown people across the country that Socialism is possible and that it’s something we need to strive for. Yes, change is scary, but so is the wealth distribution in our country. Change can be a good thing and we need a Future to Believe In. Do I believe that Bernie deserved this solely because I support him? No. Bernie Sanders has created a revolution across this country. He has inspired people everywhere to change how they think and to believe in Socialism and equal rights. He has raised millions of dollars from his supporters alone and does not rely on big banks and businesses like his opponents to support him.Whether you are a conservative or you’re as liberal as they come, you can see that Sanders has changed this country and the sheer amount of people that support him, support this notion. Bernie is a revolution all in himself. That is why Bernie Sanders triumphs on this list.
On February 28th, 2016, the life of a man was changed forever. This man being Leonardo DiCaprio. There are not many people who doubt that Leo should be on this list. After waiting long and hard for 20 years to receive his Oscar, and coming close to death while trying to do it, The Academy finally listened to America and Leonardo DiCaprio won his Oscar for best Actor in the movie The Revenant. DiCaprio has been in countless phenomenal movies and has given it his all since his first movie in 1991. Leo defeated all odds, never gave up on his dreams of winning an Oscar, and 25 years after he started his career in the movie industry, his dreams came true. DiCaprio has inspired people across the entire United States and the world to never give up on their dreams, which is exactly why he landed a spot on the 2016 list of Time Magazine’s List of Most Influential People.
Each and every one of the 100 people on Time’s List are extraordinary people who have done extraordinary things not only this year but throughout their entire lives and deserve spots on this list. Despite what anyone says about them as a person, and the controversy they carry with them, there is no doubting they have influenced the entire world with their presence.