2023 Wrapped: The Most Memorable Moments in 2023

2023 Wrapped: The Most Memorable Moments in 2023

2023 was a year to remember! Many things happened that changed pop culture forever. Some notable events were record-breaking tours by both Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, two smash hit movies Barbie and Oppenheimer, a surprising Superbowl halftime show, the term “Roman Empire”, Tiktok influencer Tube Girl, Twitter’s rebrand into “X,” and so much more. Let’s unpack just exactly what happened this year, starting in February, at the Superbowl. Rihanna made a shocking entrance at the halftime show, performing pregnant! She made a long-awaited return to the stage after a five-year musical hiatus, and according to a Times article, the word “pregnant” began trending on Twitter as soon as Rihanna was shown on screen. Although most of the public opinion was positive, there were some people saying that Rihanna’s body should not be the thing they think about, and the moment should have just been about her musical career comeback. Nonetheless, it’s safe to say this performance was a memorable pop culture moment of 2023. 

March and May were months to remember as well. Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour kicked off on March 17, in Glendale, Arizona. As soon as she entered the stage, the stadium erupted with cheers, missing the singer-songwriter as it had been five years since she had gone on her last tour! Playing over three hours of music, Taylor Swift fans celebrated in many ways. “Swifties,” as they’re called, dressed up in extravagant costumes, made and traded friendship bracelets, and sung their hearts out to every single song. This tour and its movie version became the highest-grossing tour/concert film of all time, surpassing Micheal Jackson’s 2009 film, Micheal Jackson’s This Is It. Then, on May 10th, Beyonce’s The Renassiance Tour began. This tour became the highest-grossing tour by a black artist in history. On the European leg of the tour, Beyonce’s daughter, Blue Ivy joined her on stage. Keep in mind, she is just eleven years old and danced in front of over 60,000 people! 

Let’s skip ahead to June, when the Titanic Submersible was sent down to explore the Titanic wreckage. The five passengers on board died in a catastrophic implosion, after the five day international search for the ship. Communication between the submersible and the mother ship was lost just two hours into the dive, and authorities were alerted when it failed to resurface at the scheduled time later on that day. The U.S. Coast Guard indicated that the search and rescue mission was difficult because of the remote location, weather, darkness, sea conditions, and water temperature. According to a New York Times article, “For any search and rescue operation at sea, weather conditions, the lack of light at night, the state of the sea and water temperature can all play roles in whether stricken mariners can be found and rescued (Ismay, John).” 

On July 21, two long awaited movies were released: Barbie and Oppenheimer. All across the internet, people were watching both movies in the theater on the same day, and combining their names to create “Barbienheimer.” The irony of this was the big contrast in the two movies. Barbie was a fantasy comedy about barbie dolls and womanhood, whereas Oppenheimer was a violent thriller about World War II. This is a great example of counterprogramming, because as the release date approached, discussion arose of watching the films as a double feature. Also in June, Twitter was renamed “X” by Elon Musk. On October 27, 2022, Elon Musk bought Twitter amid serious controversy. In a TED Interview, Musk said he aimed to make Twitter a “platform of free speech around the globe.” So, what do we call “tweets” now that it’s not called Twitter? Well, on X, “tweets” are now called “posts,” and “retweets” are called “reposts.” 

In August and September TikTok trends began to take over the internet. On TikTok, filming videos in public are nothing new. But recording yourself on public transport while dancing is enough to cause some social anxiety. London’s Tube Girl has proved that all you have to have is confidence. Sabrina Bahsoon first posted 0.5x speed videos of her dancing to upbeat songs, like “greedy” by Tate Mcrae and “Prada” by Raye. She posted video after video, not caring what people thought, singing and dancing in front of people on the London tube. With almost 800K followers, she has gained recognition with major brands such as MAC Cosmetics during the London fashion show! After her surge in popularity, the hashtag #tubegirl got 1.9 billion views and #tubegirleffect amassed 383 million views. Across major cities, people were recreating her videos with a newfound sense of confidence. Another viral TikTok trend arose in mid September; “Roman Empire.” This trend sees women across the globe asking the men in their lives how much they think about the Roman Empire- the general consensus is very often. There was also a different approach to this trend. People would post “Roman Empire” Tiktoks about things that they think about on a daily basis. For example, Taylor Swift. Many people are constantly thinking about her, considering she is at the height of her career. Another example would be people’s relationships. Thinking about that one ex, or that one person who never liked you back. On Tiktok, the trend has a total of 3.5 billion views. Also in September, SNL did a Roman Empire skit. You can check it out here: Rome Song – SNL

Finally, in December, after waiting seven years, Gypsy Rose Blanchard was released from prison on parole. Gypsy Rose Blanchard was a victim of Munchausen by Proxy. Her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, physically and mentally treated her younger than she actually was and falsely claimed that Gypsy was ill. However, she started sneakily buying devices to find her “Prince Charming.” She then met her online boyfriend at the time, Nick Godejohn. The pair both discussed the murder of Gypsy’s mother and made plans to kill her because of her abuse towards Gypsy. Godejohn was sentenced to life without parole while Gypsy was sentenced to 10 years. However, she got a parole and only served 8 years. Gypsy, who was released on December 28th, is living a happy life with her husband, Ryan Anderson. She can be found on most social media sites and even clapped back at haters. The comment can be found on her husband’s instagram and we’re all glad that Gypsy is living her best life!

Amongst all of its pop culture moments, 2023 was certainly a year to remember.

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