Wednesday morning, TIME released its "100 Most Influential People in the World" list. Ask me why this is worth noting, and I'll tell you that this annual compilation of politicians, musicians, scientists, and fashion industry heavyweights is one I grew up consuming- devouring, actually.

Like every year, the chosen ones of 2012 include an eclectic mix of worldwide movers and shakers. Where 2011 featured a fiery hot Lady Gaga as one of its "Most Influential," 2012 highlights edgy Rihanna and sweet Adele.

Also included as a "Most Influential" is Spanx founder Sara Blakely, 41, who was recently profiled by Forbes as the youngest billionaire on its list. And of course, those formidable, photogenic and fashionable Middleton sisters- one, the future Queen of England; the other, revered for her rear.

What I like most about the TIME list is that influential, accomplished individuals like the Katie Courics and Stella McCartneys of the world write about their peers.

For example, McCartney's thoughts on Rihanna:

She's one of the coolest, hottest, most talented, most liked, most listened to, most followed, most impressive artists at work today, but she does it in her own stride.

Couric on Blakely and Spanx:

Her business has expanded almost as quickly as our waistlines, now offering 200 products in 40 countries.
That's why I wear them too.

Some of these pieces aren't entirely full of praise and sunshine.

Catherine Mayer, TIME's Europe editor, pens a revealing look at Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge and her sister, Pippa:

A photo editor at a British paper recently revealed he is offered as many as 400 paparazzi photos of Pippa every day.
Those images matter. The Middletons have become avatars of aspiration. Other women aim to dress like them, to emulate their easy athleticism and their more problematic slenderness.

And yes, in case you were wondering, I thoroughly appreciate my lists- Forbes, Fortune, TIME, even Elizabeth Wellington's piece today on the 25 Philadelphia Fashion Icons, which I highly recommend you read.

To us, these people are fascinating- they're accomplished, highly-skilled individuals with the work ethic to back their vision.

Read the full list, here.