1. Lana Del Rey: I recently read an article that was a plea for everyone to stop talking about Lana Del Rey, an article that I whole-heartedly agree with in theory, but can’t seem to follow in practice. In fact, the article incited me to revisit Lana Del Rey and promptly continue to listen to her music nonstop. I’m undeniably seduced by her tacky ghetto earrings and corny varsity jackets and supposedly collagen-enhanced lips. And her sexy, deep voice that shattered windows on SNL in 2012. And her quintessential American-culture references and vintage-indie-music-video-montages that have apparently been around long before her. Her allegedly manufactured gimmicks have won me over. Shamelessly.

 

2. Scarlett Johansson: I will always hold true to my belief that she’s a very talented actress. I saw her for the first time as a preteen in The Horse Whisperer, where she gracefully matched Robert Redford’s emotion and intensity. She gave an equally honest and convincing performance in Ghost World and Lost in Translation. But I suffered through The Island and The Nanny Diaries shortly after. I also had mixed feelings about her role in Justin Timberlake’s “What Goes Around Comes Around” music video, where the storyline was alarmingly bland, but I still couldn’t tear myself away from the explosions and Scarlett’s lips.

 

3. Zooey Deschanel: I’ve watched 500 Days of Summer approximately 500 times. In fact, I left the movie with an entirely wrong message. I was in denial, praying for the sequel (500 days of “fall”-ing back in love) that would bring Tom and Summer together. Zooey was like a fun, cute, indie Katy Perry counterpart who was so much more interesting (replace cupcake breasts and candy cane-printed underwear with retro bangs and frilly, pastel-coloured sundresses).  But then came New Girl and she reached her cultural saturation point.

 

4. Taylor Swift: Where to begin with this country-pop recently turned rocker-chick? She switches from American Girl in Paris to Red-Dress-Vixen to Dirty-Hair-Punky-Girl-Person-Thing. Ninety-nine per cent of her songs are about boys, Romeos, chasing after boys, boys who she knows are trouble, boys who belong with her, boys she’s never getting back together with, boys with the same name as her, and the list goes on. But I downloaded the entire Red album and played it on repeat for several days. Even as I write this, I feel the inexplicable compulsion to belt out singing, “I don’t know about you but I feel twenty-two-ooh.” And what’s more is that I’m not twenty-two nor do I feel twenty-too (ooh).

 

5. Diablo Cody: First came Juno, then came Jennifer’s Body. The former won several important awards and the latter I watched through as many YouTube clips I could find, cringing all the while but somehow enjoying the way it filled a hole in my chest that is constantly yearning for bad high school horror films.

 

6. Jennifer Lawrence: Oops, wrong list. She goes on my “world’s most awesome people list.” Who can resist her self-deprecating humour and unassuming beauty? Not me, not Peeta, not Bradley Cooper, not anyone.

 

There is an identifiable pattern to my list. These are all individuals that I find stale and superficial, but, embarrassingly, that I can’t quite seem to shake off. Pop culture: 1, Bahar: 0.

By: Bahar Orang

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