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  • Keijah Pa‘e

2023 Pop culture recap

With the year of 2023 behind us, let's take some time to review some of the best movies, songs, and trends that entertained us throughout the last year. Here's a recap of the year's most iconic pop culture moments. 

Music Mania

Let’s start with the return of Bad Girl Riri. Rihanna graced us with her presence after quite the hiatus with a 13-minute half-time performance featuring a melody of her biggest music career hits. From the choreography to their designer clothing, talk of this half-time show consumed us. How can we forget her surprise pregnancy announcement, truly an icon. There's no doubt in my mind that she stole the show, can anyone recall who won the Super Bowl that year? 

Taylor Swift and Beyonce dominated the music scene with their record-breaking “Eras Tour” and “Renaissance Tour”. Beyonce had everyone participating in her infamous “On Mute” challenge. She even had her oldest daughter, Blue Ivy, join her onstage, proving she received her parent's dancing skills and star quality. On the other hand, Taylor had the swifties trading their handmade friendship bracelets and belting some of her biggest hits from each of her previous albums. Not only did they dominate the music scene, but they also released highly successful concert films. 

We must give props to Sabrina Carpenter for being one of Taylor Swift's unforgettable openers of the Era’s tour. After gaining more mainstream attention, she is named the next “princess of pop.” From her stage presence to her overall aura, Sabrina Carpenter is an artist we should be looking for— what a year for the music artists. 

Film Fanatics

Barbenheimer: a clash of two worlds that no one knew we needed. Stemming from the releases of the films, “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer”, this trend took over in the Summer of 2023. The strong contrast between a comedic light-hearted and a dramatic thriller prompted memes, merchandise, and fanart of these movies. These films only shared a release date, but the internet did what it does best: take anything and change it into everything. 

Besides Barbenhiemer, two more movies have had quite the anticipation surrounding their release: Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and Five Nights at Freddy's. After a lack of Hunger Games content and with break-out actress Rachel Ziegler, it only makes sense that the new Hunger Games movie was a big box-office hit. On the other hand, previous Hunger Games actor Josh Hutcherson had his own successful role in the movie adaptation of the popular game of Five Nights at Freddys. It is only reasonable that an actor of his status mixed with an iconic video game became the highest-grossing horror movie of 2023. 

Tiktok Trends

Like any other year, TikTok has produced many viral trends for 2023. It could be a little difficult to recall the “buzz” from this fast-paced app, but this year's trends are unforgettable with trends like girl dinner, NPC live streams, and Roman Empires. One of my personal favorite trends to come out of this year would have to be the Happy Birthday Grimace Trend. The effort and dedication it takes to film a TikTok in that style is highly impressive. I also enjoyed seeing every video's unexpected and unique turn in this particular trend.

Celebrity Couples

Some things that were certainly not in our 2023 bingo cards would be some of the celebrity couples that came out of this past year. From Kylie Jenner and Timothee Chalamet to Ariana Grande and Ethan Slater, love was certainly in the air for celebrities. However, one couple that everyone can appreciate is Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce. The hard launch of Swift and Kelce came as the biggest surprise of 2023. Appearances at his games, attending her abroad concerts, viral kisses, and public sightings catapulted this couple into the media. As this relationship blossomed, it became the most bewitching couple to grace us that year. Who would've thought that these two could become such an iconic couple?

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