We think it’s pretty safe to say 2022 has “altered everyone’s brain chemistry”. In just one year, we witnessed the end of Queen Elizabeth’s 70-year reign, the birth of Rihanna’s love child, Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, a historic slap at the Oscars, and more Pete Davidson headlines than we could handle. From barrier-breaking pop-culture moments to our favorite memes, we’re looking back at what made the world swoon, laugh, and cry the hardest, and what simply just left us breathless in 2022.
Film & Television
Julia Garner puts on an impeccable performance in the Netflix limited series Inventing Anna. Centering on the wild true story of fraudster Anna Sorokin, Garner’s character changes her name to Anna Delvey and poses as a wealthy German heiress as she scams New York’s elite. Today, although she is legally banned from social media for life, Anna Sorokin is known as a blooming artist in the industry after recently launching her art career during her ICE detention.
Cringe comedy is the best comedy. Along with The Office, Parks & Recreation, and Modern Family, Abott Elementary has joined the popular crew in television for the best feel-good skits of sarcasm and idiosyncratic humor. Emmy winner Quinta Brunson has skillfully brought to light the significant flaws in America’s education system while also making all of America laugh to tears.
With the rise of spirituality in 2022, comes a new perspective on time. According to Everything Everywhere All at Once, Spiderman: No Way Home, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, time is just a social construct. The possibility of infinite versions of ourselves existing across the universe doesn’t sound so crazy after all.
While the brilliant dark comedy and social satire of White Lotus gripped the entire world, everyone’s eyes stayed on one character, Tanya McQuoid, played by Jennifer Coolidge. This character has flooded our Instagram and Twitter feeds by reaching the most prestigious level of internet fame: the meme. In the show (spoiler alert!) as Tanya begins to give into her intrusive thoughts, she pleads for help from the ship’s captain confessing, “These gays, they’re trying to murder me!” This one has definitely entered the meme hall of fame.
Olivia Wilde’s dystopian thriller not only broke barriers for female directors, but a) it was praised as homage to the 2004 version, The Stepford Wives starring Nicole Kidman and b) made its way to everyone’s must-watch list this year because of its behind the scenes drama. From false accusations of on-set screaming matches to controversial sex scenes and Shia LaBeoufs pleading defense, Don’t Worry Darling seemed to be making headline after headline.
Pop Culture Moments
The ladies man award of 2022 goes to none other than Pete Davidson. In the past, the SNL comedian has been linked to Ariana Grande, Kaia Gerber, and Netflix’s Maid star, Margaret Qualley. This year, Pete added more of Hollywood’s beauties to his lengthy list by capturing the hearts of Kim Kardashian and Emily Ratajkowski.
When Rihanna Broke The Internet 4 Times in One Year
On January 31st of this year, Rihanna and A$AP Rocky broke headlines after revealing that they were expecting, which was then followed by a multitude of iconic baby bump fits and photos. On September 25, the Rihanna navy (the official nickname to her fanbase) fell to their knees after an Instagram post teased her presence at 2023’s Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show. On December 26, Rihanna finally answered her navy’s prayers of new music after releasing Lift Me Up and Born Again for Black Panther’s second movie, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. And finally on December 17, Rihanna shared a first look at her beautiful baby boy on TikTok. What a year!
From glittery makeup to catchy TikTok audios, and hilarious memes, Euphoria has taken the entire globe by internet storm. Our favorite ones include Maddy as an airpod, Cassie’s iconic bathtub scene, and Maddy’s memorable response to Cassie’s farm-inspired outfit: “Bitch, you better be joking”.
Among all the Harry Styles photos ever taken, his Better Homes & Gardens cover is in the top 3. After dropping his most recent album this year, titled Harry’s House, Harry Styles made the cover of Better Homes & Gardens’ June 2022 issue and shared what makes him feel at home. Talk about clever marketing!
The first half of 2022 was owned by 5-letter Wordle puzzles. Your mom, grandpa, cousin, coworker, bestie, crush, neighbor–everyone was playing it! But ever since New York Times bought the trendy game, everyone feared more challenging puzzles which quickly led to Wordle’s demise (finally).
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Cowboy Boots Everywhere
Boho chic festival wear was revived with the comeback of some good ol’ cowboy boots! Back then, they were only seen as a statement country-boho piece, often paired with frayed jorts (jeans+shorts) and glitzy babydoll dresses. But in 2022, they finally got their big break in everyday footwear thanks to designers’ various translations of the classic cowboy boot. While the cowboy boot has gone through many evolutions this year, everyone seems to have fallen head over heels (including ourselves) for an iconic white pair.
Northern Irish designer Jonathan Anderson is praised in the fashion world for his unique style, and is also the creative director of a Madrid-based luxury fashion brand named Loewe. This year he left the crowd speechless, yet again, when he sent out models in real balloons at the spring summer 2023 fashion show during Paris Fashion Week. Models rocked what appeared to be frilly pumps from afar, but up close, they were actually clusters of deflated balloons. Stars like Gabrielle Union and The Crown’s Emma Corin favor Anderson’s weird and surreal themes, and have made red carpet appearances in Loewe’s most daring balloon fits.
Anne Hathaway’s Unplanned Tribute To Andy Sachs
The Devil Wears Prada star and her stylist Erin Walsh came together and birthed the bombshell style of 2022 Anne Hathaway. According to a Glamour interview, both women shared a belief that fashion should boil down to 3 essential elements: “joy, fearlessness, and fun”. While Hathaway has made her mark with pops of color like her sunshine-yellow David Koma fit, she completely broke the internet when she paid homage to her inner Andy Sachs. Rocking the iconic chic bangs and a full Michael Kors ensemble, Hathaway was spotted chatting with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour at Fashion Week (a true Miranda Priestly moment).
Everyone can have the perfect body by throwing on some Gaultier inspired Y/Project. Creative director Glenn Martens was one of the iconic fashion designers chosen to take over Jean Paul Gaultier’s couture collections after Gaultier stepped down from his label in early 2020. A-list fashionistas like A$ap Rocky showed love for Martens latest Y/Project fall collection, which was a major throwback to Gaultier’s body print pieces from his 1996 “Cyberbaba”collection.
Of course we had to put Mrs. Carter on this list. While she broke TikTok with the feel-good dance party tune “Cuff It”, her entire album was an ode to Black joy and confidence, specifically Black women of all sexualities and backgrounds. She honors every woman’s size and curves by referencing them as “real shit” and “champagne and cherry baby” in her bass-filled track “Thique”. Mrs. Carter praised her Beyhive by chanting affirmations of being “comfortable in my skin” in “Cozy”. Although choosing a favorite feel is nearly impossible, “Alien Superstar” has us captivated, reminding all of us that we are “the bar”!
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
As Elton John worshippers, writing this part came with some waterworks. Elton John mesmerized crowds for one last time on a Sunday night at Los Angeles Dodgers’ Stadium. Only after several sensational piano licks, he took his final bow in heaps of sequins and glamorous charm (who’s cutting onions?). The event was so iconic in all of music history that Disney+ streamed it live for everyone to see. His breathtaking performances included every one of his hits and more such as “The Bitch is Back”, “Rocketman” and our personal favorite, “Tiny Dancer”. Amid fireworks, piano solos and a rainbow of stage lights, time halted as fans witnessed a heartfelt goodbye from someone who not only pioneered queer fashion, but dedicated his entire life to music and performing.
Lizzo Playing James Madison’s 209-Year-Old Flute
James Madison’s crystal flute was handcrafted for him in 1813 and according to NPR, is believed to be “one of a handful of valuables that former first lady Dolley Madison took with her from the White House as she fled just before British troops set fire to Washington, D.C., in 1814”. On September 28, 2022 in a concert at Washington D.C., Lizzo became the first person to ever play Madison’s centuries-old crystal flute. “Bitch, I just twerked and played James Madison’s crystal flute from the 1800s. We just made history tonight!” she exclaimed to her fans.
Pakistan’s First Ever Grammy Winner
Women are beyond amazing. Singer-music composer, Arooj Aftab won the Best Global Music Performance award for “Mohabbat” at the 2022 Grammy’s. The “Queen of Sufi Music” and self-taught guitarist is the first Pakistani woman to win this title. The Grammy winner stands alongside pioneering music icons like Black country music star Charley Pride and the late white rapper Mac Miller. She later expressed her joy on Instagram claiming that the Grammy’s “celebrated music as a collective, unapologetically making what we want to make, in all it’s genre-less limitless crossover glory”.
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The Corn Kid
With over 85 million views on a Corn song remix, TikTok-er @schmoyoho and 7-year-old Tariq from South Dakota have officially made it to the TikTok Hall of Fame. It all started when schmoyoho, a musician TikTok-er, decided to duet an interview with Recess Therapy and Tariq about the greatness and versatility of corn. For the rest of 2022, no one went more than a day without hearing the corn song!
@schmoyoho intro song for any meal/snack with corn 🌽 – from iconic interview on @doingthings ♬ It’s Corn – Tariq & The Gregory Brothers & Recess Therapy
Drink of the Year
HBO’s House of the Dragon stars Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke portray Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower in the hit series’ Targaryen royal family. Little did they know that an interview with each other to promote the show would soon dub them TikTok icons. When Cooke asks D’Arcy what her favorite drink is, she seductively replies, “A negroni. Sbagliato. With prosecco in it.” Cooke expressed her oohs and aahs throughout D’Arcy’s response which prompted thousands of fangirl responses and a memorable TikTok audio.
@hbomax I’ll take one of each. #houseofthedragon ♬ a negroni sbagliato w prosecco l hbo max – hbomax
Turning My Mom Into Me
A sped-up version of rapper Skee-Lo’s 1995 hit, “I Wish”, plays in the background as daughters dress their mothers like them. Like every TikTok user, we went down a rabbit hole watching every jaw-dropping mommy makeover.
@jacowdadraco the highly requested! #challengeover #wewon ♬ original sound – evie