We're used to women talking about the influence Christian Grey and Fifty Shades of Grey have had on their, ahem, bedroom activities. But is he more influential than actual real-life humans? Apparently so. The namesake of one of today's most popular literary characters landed a pretty high spot on AskMen's list of the Top 49 Most Influential Men of 2012.
What's crazier? The dominant billionaire lands higher on the list than such notable people as GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney (No. 24), director James Cameron (No. 41) and Alec Baldwin (No. 49).
AskMen doesn't discriminate between real people and fictional characters -- if they're influential, they're in. It makes sense -- it's hard to imagine a character who's had more impact on the world this year, for better or for worse.
"Despite the regular reminders that our gender has reached its end, AskMen's Top 49 list offers up plenty of examples of men who have sustained success -- and others who found it anew through reinventing themselves, just as many of our readers have had to in recent years," AskMen Editor-in-Chief James Bassil said.
"Through 2012, Top 49 staples like Kanye West and Jose Mourinho have kept building on what they've always been good at, while new arrivals like Snoop Lion have yielded their influence through new paths. We're especially excited to see adventurers like Elon Musk and Felix Baumgartner on the final list -- bring on the new space age!"
He's not the only fictional character on the list though -- James Bond actually comes in at Number 1 this year. His rank also makes sense, given that Bond is celebrating 50 years this year with the release of Skyfall in November.
How do other influential men feel about their inclusion on the list? They're thrilled, naturally.
"It is an honor to be named one of AskMen's Top 49 Most Influential Men. I would like to thank everyone who voted for me," Olympic champ Usain Bolt said of his No. 2 spot.
Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston is also a notable listee, given that he plays a teacher/meth dealer.
"If I'm really influential, I'd convince the owners of AskMen to buy me a new car. No? Damn. Thanks for the votes anyway," he joked.
We're totally thrilled to see notable figures from science and academia on the list too.
"I'm honored, but it was not a goal of mine. I am happy to serve the cosmic curiosity that exists within us all. And, for some people, that needs to be reawakened. To the extent I do this, if I am counted among the 49 most influential, I'm happy to be there. Because that influence may help reawaken people to the splendor of the universe," physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said of his high-ranking spot.
Also, P90X creator Tony Horton is on the list, thanks to the number of lives he's permanently altered with his intense workout regimen.
"I've spent 30 years developing ways to help people look and feel better through whole foods and regular exercise. I learned early on that variety, consistency, intensity, purpose and a plan were the foundation to getting fit and healthy and staying that way for a lifetime. It's a formula that is working for millions of people around the world. This recognition is a validation that my techniques change lives for the better. To be on this esteemed list of men is a true honor," he said.
No comment on how Romney feels about his spot, though we're sure he's thrilled that Big Bird didn't make it on the list.
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