UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | May 27, 2024

2017 held iconic pop-culture moments; 2018 promises more self-aware experiences

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Social media exploded with its own memes, music and media in 2017, and 2018 promises even more.

From Trump inauguration memes to Taylor Swift reinventing her image, 2017 held some of the most shocking and spectacular events in pop culture thus far.

“It was interesting to see the continuation of people becoming famous for almost no reason, if not only because they were a meme,” said Demetrie Moriles, a freshman biology major from West Valley. “In 2016, it was Alex from Target, and this past year it was Salt Bae.” 

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” introduced more tiny, furry creatures, called Porgs, to the universe, which let’s face it, is what the world truly needed. A live-action adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast” took over box offices everywhere, and other movie franchises released sequels such as “Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2,” “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.”

“Going into 2017, I was most excited about the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ remake,” said Sidney Hopkins, a freshman communication major from West Valley. “It also felt like [viewers] had to wait forever to see ‘Stranger Things 2,’ but both the movie and the [Netflix series] were worth the wait.”

Last year was also the year of unbelievable music in more ways than one. YouTubers such as Tana Mongeau and Gabbie Hanna, known as “The Gabbie Show,” produced their own music, while the girl made famous by her catch phrase “cash me ousside,” Danielle Bregoli, launched her own rap career under the pseudonym Bhad Bhabie.

Music as a whole started to gravitate toward an electronic sound and rhythm with simpler words, which seemed to carry a lot more meaning. This can be seen in “Boys” by Charli XCX, “New Rules” by Dua Lipa, and “Are You Ready For It” by Taylor Swift.

Multiple celebrities and influencers set social media ablaze throughout 2017. Between Swift’s hard serpentine restart of Instagram and Twitter to the Kylie Jenner pregnancy rumors, there was plenty of gossip for users to sift through.

“[Last year] was full of impactful moments in pop culture and history,” said Ellie Warner, a junior psychology major from Willard. “Like with the whole Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem. It was impactful, not so much because it did anything, but because so many people had an opinion on it.”

The #MeToo movement erupted on multiple social media platforms as victims of sexual assault, male and female, came forward using a simple hashtag. The movement shed light on the overwhelming issue of sexual assault across the world.

“I’m excited to see where the #MeToo campaign goes,” Warner said. “I love that women are coming out about things that have happened to them, and I think speaking out about it is the beginning of making [sexual assault] stop.”

Due to vast amount of women sharing their stories across the internet, other women affected by bigger names in Hollywood felt comfortable enough to come forward about past sexual assaults. Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer and others found themselves in the midst of accusations and proper investigations were launched.

“Hopefully 2018 will be the year sexual assault declines,” Warner said. “Obviously it won’t ever completely go away, but it would be nice if [the #MeToo] campaign can bring to light those situations and force them to stop.”

Moviegoers are looking forward to the newest films such as “Winchester” and “Annihilation,” while others are looking forward to sequels such as “Untitled Deadpool Sequel,” “Insidious: The Last Key” and “Avengers: Infinity War.” The long-awaited “Incredibles 2” comes to theaters over the summer. Big names in music, such as Justin Timberlake, Fall Out Boy and Chvrches, are also set to release albums in 2018.

The Golden Globes set the scene for 2018 as the year of equal opportunity and females supporting other females. 

Unfortunately, 2018 has held some of its own scandals already. Logan Paul, Shane Dawson and President Trump have had their own controversies; from filming inappropriate reactions to the dead body of a suicide victim and wrongful accusations of pedophilia, to more racist comments from the White House, 2018 promises to hold more drama than ever before.

“From social media, I think the take away should be that 2018 is the year where people will seek out the truth, come to their own decisions about what is real or not, and leave negativity in the past,” Hopkins said. “There’s no room for discrimination.”