Lady Gaga, unofficial headmistress of Twitter, has reached yet another milestone on the ubiquitous social network. The “Born This Way” songstress now has over 12 million followers. (Justin Bieber is hot on her heels with about 11.3 million.)
So congrats to Mother Monster on amassing one of the biggest fan communities on the Internet. In the spirit of having a little fun, we decided to crunch the numbers and see where else in the larger culture that big total arises.
Gaga’s Twitter following tops the populations of Cuba (11.204 million) and Greece (11.283 million), and there are only six U.S. states that have populations exceeding 12 million (California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas).
While 12 million is a towering number, it represents just 3 percent of the total number of views for her “Bad Romance” video on VEVO.
When you apply the figure to money, you get to have all sorts of fun. For example, when you go back to your tiny apartment this evening to spray cheese out of a can onto a cracker for dinner, think of Nicole Kidman, who was paid $12 million for a two-minute Chanel No. 5 directed by her “Moulin Rouge” helmer Baz Luhrmann in 2004. Take a minute (or two!) and let that sink in.
When it comes to real estate, two famous blondes have tossed $12 million at some pretty fancy digs.
Elin Nordegren, former wife of reformed sex addict Tiger Woods, purchased a beachfront home in North Palm Beach, Florida, for a cool $12 million earlier this year. Her cabana is over 17,000 square feet in size and feature eight bathrooms.
If you’ve got it, spending $12 million on a house seems like a reasonable investment, but what about a $12 million gym?
Madonna’s got one of those. (Note: While our jaw spent plenty of time on our desk while Googling the figure “12 million,” we were not at all surprised that Madonna has a $12 million gym.) In 2008, The Material Girl bought a 10-bedroom Georgian townhouse next door to her fancy digs in London with plans to knock down the interior walls separating the residences to create one large mega-mansion.
Unfortunately for Madonna, her plans were shut down when she was denied a planning permit for the construction. Can you imagine how that meeting went?
So what’s a global superstar known for being fit and fabulous at 52 to do with a big empty fantasy mansion in one of London’s best neighborhoods? Turn it into a gym, of course. You see, M once worked out at the studio of trainer James D'Silva, but her sessions become so routine that fans began to form a daily crowd to watch her arrivals. But there will be no more of that for her, because all she now has to do now is go next door … to the personal gym she converted the entire mansion into.
If you’d like to get a feel for what 12-ish million people feels like, visit Sao Paulo, Brazil; Moscow, Russia; Beijing, China; Mumbai, India; Delhi, India; Istanbul, Turkey; or Karachi, Pakistan (each of these cities, the eighth through second most-populous in the world, respectively, contain somewhere between 11 and 13 million people).
What we’re trying to say is, it’s a lot. Twelve million is a lot of people.