No. 8: Jennifer Aniston

America’s sweetheart Jennifer Aniston is enjoying her little cloud of search popularity floating at the top.  We love everything about her.  We want to know about her hair, her clothes, her apartment, her love life, her plans — everything.  To us, she is anything but uninteresting, and we’ll jump to her defense in the blink of a pretty blue eye.

This year Jen kept us busy living vicariously through her glamorous life.  She found love, bought a lush new apartment in the Big Apple, released a new perfume, got a tattoo, made three movies and a viral video, and enjoyed the spotlight of red carpets and awards ceremonies.  And, of course, she changed her hair at least twice.

Hair-raising news
In February, fans were riveted when she cut off a few inches of her long, layered hair. And when she darkened it for her role in “Horrible Bosses,” people started whispering about whether she was showing a bad-girl side.  The obsession with Jen’s lovely locks is so great that when she wears two bobby pins it becomes breaking news.  While Jen as a whole ranks No. 7 in overall searches, her hair styles sit comfortably this year at No. 3 among celebrity hair style searches.

Of course, the biggest buzz this year has been over her new, happy love life.  She’s been dating screenwriter Justin Theroux (“Tropic Thunder,” “Iron Man 2”) since May, and the pair have been seen snuggling together in every tabloid this side of the grocery aisle.  Rumors started circulating in late summer about a possible pregnancy after she seemed extra voluptuous to some at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards. She quashed the rumors, stating that she had gained a little weight while quitting smoking. Some were still not satisfied, and lifted an eyebrow when they noticed the star was not finishing her drinks fast enough at certain galas.

A break from acting
The actress impressed critics in 2011 when she diverged from the usual casting for her saucy role in “Horrible Bosses” as a sex-crazed, deranged dentist tormenting her assistant, played by Charlie Day.  In July, after back-to-back movie filming (“Just Go With It,” “Horrible Bosses,” and “Wanderlust“), the star announced that she is planning to take a bit of time off from acting to regroup and focus on other projects.

So, who exactly helped promote her to the No. 7 search spot? As it turns out, she is just universally lovable.  The gender search divide is split 40/60 between women and men, respectively, and she is searched for fairly widely by people of all ages, though her highest percentage is 23 among her peers in the 35 to 44 age range.

Jen’s popularity keeps ticking along like the steady heartbeat of our love of Hollywood.  Sometimes it flies off the charts and sometimes it slows down a bit, but it’s always there.  It’s somewhat surprising that after a “decade of hotness,” this is her first year breaking into our Top 10.

Becky Uline is an editor and musician living in San Francisco, where she enjoys digging into Yahoo! data as a sidekick to trend-finding sleuth Vera H-C Chan. Most of her writing is of the musical variety for her band, the Northerlies.

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