Pop Culture Icons


Pop culture icons can be people or even animals that have achieved permanent notoriety in the minds of the public and usually have made a significant impact on some aspect of popular culture. One of the earliest of these icons was Disney’s Mickey Mouse, whose logo has become synonymous with the Disney brand. Other Disney characters, including Donald Duck, Goofy, and Minnie Mouse have achieved iconic, or at the very least near iconic status.

Notable human pop culture icons include musicians and bands like Elvis, The Beatles, and Madonna. As mentioned in the paragraph above, cartoon characters are some of the most readily recognizable icons, and other of note include Miss Piggy and Bugs Bunny. Super heroes such as Batman and Superman consistently make pop culture lists as well. Comic book heroes and villains in general are often included, which makes sense if you think of all of the books, costumes, magazines, movies, and merchandise that have come to be associated with these characters, not to mention the comic book conventions.

Celebrities make up the bulk of those who have achieved enduring status, but there are a few qualifiers, which include, the one name test, or being recognizable by their first name only, whether or not Halloween costumes have been designed in their likenesses, whether society has or currently imitates their sense of fashion or hairstyle, whether there was or is merchandizing paraphernalia bearing their name or likeness, and other criteria.

Some political figures also fall into this category, most notably former presidents including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. People who are quotable, that is, who have statements easily attributed to them, are according to research, more likely to achieve icon status. Political figures, because of their natural proximity to the media, may have an advantage over other groups likely to become icons. Of course, not all political figures become cultural icons, but if a scandal is associated with their name, it is almost a guarantee that they will.

Other groups or individuals who frequently achieve pop culture icon status are those who gain media exposure through their sometimes detrimental actions. This would include criminals, people accused of crimes with highly publicized trials, and people who have otherwise achieved a significant amount of negative, or less than favorable press.

Inventors, professional athletes, fashion designers, television characters, and celebrity pets have all achieved cultural icon status. What is popular is forever changing and evolving, and as trends are created and replaced, new pop culture icons will be created, and the classic ones will continue to endure.

Source by Devin Poole

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