The Meryl Streep Effect and other unknown superpowers among today’s leading ladies


Never fear, world. I have solved the global economic crisis. In fact, the solution was right in front of our noses this whole time. Quite simply, we need more Meryl Streep.

Turns out, Meryl has a cinematic Midas touch. An article in the British paper The Independent dubbed her unique economic boosting attributes “Streep Effect.” Her new film Julie & Julia has increased interest in French cooking classes and landed Julia Child’s 1961 cooking tome on the top of the New York Times bestsellers list almost half century after it was first published.

And this isn’t the first time she has spun real-world gold out of film flax. She made a movie about Greece (Mamma Mia!) and tourism skyrocket to Greece. She made a movie about Africa (Out of Africa) and tourism shot up to Africa. Granted, I don’t think there was a flood of enrollments in “How to Be a Bitch on Heels” classes after The Devil Wears Prada, but you get my point.

So, I figured if Meryl’s unexpected superpower is economic muscle, what other famous women have unknown “effects” out there? Here’s a few special abilities I know I’d like to have:

The Maddow Effect

The power to spread polite, intelligent and rational political discourse, like Rachel Maddow. In a world where debate amounts to holding up signs of world leaders with Hilter mustaches drawn on them, we could all use a little more Maddow Effect and a lot less screaming.

The Kit Effect

The power to make even the lamest, most insignificant statement into something awesome, like Pam Grier. If all you can think to say in a certain situation is “Baby girl,” then work the hell out of that “Baby girl!”

The Cheno Effect

The power to brighten any day by breaking spontaneously into song, like Kristin Chenoweth. Also, the power to be adorable at the drop of a hat.

The Wanda Effect

The power to always have the perfect comeback, like Wanda Sykes. No more waking up at 3 a.m. with retort you should have had at 3 p.m. Also, with any luck, this power will be available as an iPhone app any day now.

The Jane Effect

The power to be witty, memorable and entirely enchanting in only the briefest of moments, like Jane Lynch. She is one of the greater scene stealers in modern American media than Jane right now. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all be hilarious and entrancing in a two-minute span?

The Padma Effect

The power to make even the most mundane tasks sexy, like Padma Lakshmi. If she can even make eating an artery-clogging 1,020-calorie fast-food burger look hot, then just think what she could do for folding the laundry, using a stapler and unclogging the sink.

So, what other “Effects” would you like to see come to fruition?

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