Popular icons of our generation


Designed by Amelia Shives

Who are some of the most popular icons of our time and how have they been influential?

Amelia Shives

In today’s society people quickly label celebrities as “iconic”, even though the celebrity most likely has not done anything influential. The definition of an icon, according to Webster Dictionary, is a person or thing widely admired especially for having great influence or significance in a particular sphere; like a civil rights activist, fashion designer or celebrity. What these people have in common is that they all made impacts that were influential to the people around them and the industry they are in. 

When OHS high schooler’s were asked what their definition of an icon was, most of them agreed that an icon is someone who influences their generation. 

Junior Elijah Leon said,“Someone who has outshined the limitations of simply being a person.” 

Leon gave some examples of who he thinks are iconic people, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Paul McCathney, Martin Luther King Jr. and Bob Lazar.” 

Since many people are considered icons nowadays, it brings the question up, who are the biggest icons of all time?

Iconic Musicians 

Musicians become iconic when they change what music should sound like and what music means to people. Two of the most iconic people in the music industry were, The Beatles’ lead vocalist, John Lennon and Queen’s lead vocalist Freddie Mercury. These two men and their bands changed what people thought music was, whilst they also went against social norms. Mercury was also an AIDs activist after his diagnosis, bringing awareness to the disease. Mercury and his band made music that had songs that were voted the greatest of all time and they are in the Grammy Hall of Fame. Lennon and The Beatles altered rock music and inspired many young people to pursue their dreams and music careers. 

Iconic Designers

Fashion designers become iconic when the trends of fashion change, because of something that they designed. There have been many influential artists in the fashion industry. Fashion designers like Coco Chanel, Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren changed what people thought fashion was. Chanel designed simple little black dresses, freeing women from the strict painful courses. Her iconic looks were worn by women like Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy. In the 1990s, Marc Jacob became an icon with his “grunge” looks and he was able to represent popular trends through his clothing. Everyone can recognize the Ralph Lauren logo on his collared preppy shirts. Lauren’s clothing was popular with people who wanted to wear the “sporty/preppy” look during the 1980s and the 2000s. 

Iconic Historical People

When most people think of iconic people they think of popular celebrities or actors, but people who have made a historical impact can also be known as iconic. Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights activist who believed in peaceful protest. His movement was able to help end segregation and prejudice in the United States. Susan B. Anthony was one of the most visible women’s rights activists. She traveled around the country giving speeches favoring women’s rights, rights of labor and equal pay for equal work. 

There have been many iconic people over time who have changed the way society sees things, like current fashion, political ideas or music. Today’s icons may or may not be important in the future, but they change the way people see the world and challenge the ideas of certain things. While anyone has the chance to be an icon, not everyone can do something so influential that they deserve the title of an icon.