Photo: BEImages/Gregory Pace.
We love talking about search terms because they offer a weirdly disconnected, fragmented representation of our culture. And, oftentimes, they can be quite surprising. For us, working in fashion and entertainment in New York City, it's easy to get stuck in a myopic view of just who really are the world's biggest stars. True, many American actors and musicians have name recognition and, thus, earning potential worldwide. That doesn't mean they're the names on everyone's lips, though.
Bing released its top search terms of 2013 as (we assume) a Monday morning treat for us. Miley haters will be pleased to know that the provocative starlet, famous for her struggles with sentient-tongue syndrome, was only number nine on the list of most popular celebrities in the United States. She is surpassed by Beyoncé at number one, along with Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Madonna, Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, and Amanda Bynes (in that order). Sadly, however, Barack Obama came in at number 10.
Cyrus, for all her many controversies, doesn't even break the U.K. top ten, which is led instead by Justin Bieber. The rest of this list is actually very American, including many of the same names listed above, with Britons Kate Middleton, Emma Watson, and Kelly Brook at numbers three, nine, and 10, respectively. Cyrus did manage to oust Miranda Kerr in Australia for the top spot, and the pop star also led the Canadian list.
A few more interesting facts: Not a single American celebrity made rank in India, China, or Japan. Despite the presence of Kate Middleton, Justin Bieber, and Rihanna, Italy's list was also decidedly more local (unlike France, which only named three of its own). But, perhaps the most surprising finding here involves America's favorite sweetheart, Jennifer Lawrence. The only featured country doing its duty of loving Katniss was Spain. The actress did not show up once on any of the other lists provided by Bing. Truly shocking.
The takeaway? If you're getting bored with the celebrities we obsess over here in the States, the rest of the world is more than happy to provide you with new targets of your far-removed affections. Read more here if, like us, you find this all very fascinating.