Can you believe this decade is basically over? Time really flies. These types of lists always stress me out because, no matter how hard you try, someone is always going to say, “But you forgot something!” So, this year, I’m picking one headline-grabbing moment from each year with the acknowledgment that this list is nowhere near complete. Now that we’ve got an understanding, here are 10 big moments from the 2010s.
Betty White Makes a Comeback (2010)
When she took the stage at Saturday Night Live in May 2010, Betty White told the audience, “I’m 88 and a half years old, so it’s — well, it’s great to be here for a number of reasons.” A grassroots campaign was launched on Facebook, urging SNL producers to have the Golden Girls star host the late-night sketch show after she appeared in a very popular Super Bowl commercial.
While thanking her fans for making the moment happen, White explained, “I didn’t know what Facebook was, and now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it sounds like a huge waste of time.” She’s as funny as she is wise!
Kate Middleton Mania Begins (2011)
Nicknamed “Waity Katie” for how long she waited to become Prince Williams wife, Kate Middleton finally walked down the aisle in 2011. The pair met in 2001, and William famously took his sweet time proposing.
At that point, the “Kate Effect” was born, with the clothing, accessories and even beauty products she wears selling out from stores around the world. Her style has truly helped shaped an entire decade of fashion for royal watchers everywhere.
Whitney Houston Dies Suddenly (2012)
No one ever wants to learn of someone’s untimely passing, but Whitney Houston’s unexpected death shocked everyone. She was just 48 years old when she died suddenly on the evening of February 11, 2012.
We won’t go into all of the details that led to her demise, but we will say that she changed music forever. What would our world be like without “The Greatest Love of All” and “I Will Always Love You” on the radio? Thanks for adding your beauty to the world, Ms. Houston!
Kidnap Victims Escape (2013)
Between 2002 and 2003, Ariel Castro kidnapped Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus. He held them captive inside his Cleveland, Ohio home and even had a daughter with Berry. In fact, all three women were finally able to escape after that little girl discovered that he’d left them at home alone.
Terrified, but determined to seize the opportunity, Berry ran to a padlocked door for help. After one neighbor declined to provide assistance, another person heard her pleas and aided her in fleeing from the house. She contacted authorities, who came and freed Knight, DeJesus and Berry’s daughter.
We Lost Maya Angelou (2014)
On May 28, 2014, highly acclaimed American poet, civil rights activist, and singer, Maya Angelou, passed away. Best known for her first autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which tells the story of her childhood until age 17, her incredible career spanned more than 50 years.
Following a period of poor health, Ms. Angelou was found unresponsive by her nurse. Her son, Guy Johnson, spoke during her memorial service at Wake Forest University and shared that his mother had written four books in the final decade of her life despite being in constant pain. “She left this mortal plane with no loss of acuity and no loss in comprehension,” he said.
Daisy Ridley Leads Star Wars Cast (2015)
In 1977, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) led a cast that turned Star Wars into a cinematic classic. In fact, it became one of the most beloved trilogies in movie history. In 1999, the franchise was revived with the storyline centering on Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen).
When the first film in the final trilogy hit theaters in 2015, the star was a strong, courageous female warrior. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (and both sequels) followed the story of Rey (Daisy Ridley), and despite the films polarizing audiences, her performance remained solid, inspiring girls around the world.
Beyoncé’s Lemonade Set Us on Fire (2016)
Love for Beyoncé has run deep since her days as a member of Destiny’s Child. It was clear that she was going to do big things. As a solo artist, she consistently topped the charts with hits like “Single Ladies” and “Crazy in Love.” In 2016, though, she took things to a whole new level.
Rumors swirled about her marriage to Jay-Z and the chatter only got louder after security footage emerged of Beyoncé’s sister, Solange, attacking her brother-in-law in an elevator. By the time Queen Bey released the visual album, Lemonade, the world was ready to drink it. She shed her private, squeaky clean image and honestly tackled issues ranging from infertility to infidelity. Oh, don’t forget the world trying to solve the mystery of would-be Jay-Z mistress, “Becky with the good hair.”
Woman Woman (2017)
The world loves superhero movies, but after all the Batman, Superman, Iron-Man and Spider-Man films, it was time for Wonder Woman. Still, in the months leading up to the film’s release, there was no shortage of stories debating whether it would be any good.
Well, it turns out that Wonder Woman was loved by critics and audiences alike. It was so loved, in fact, that it made over $800 million at the worldwide box office. A sequel will be hitting the big screen in 2020, and after seeing the trailers, I can’t wait!
Meghan Markle Joins the Royals (2018)
Without the pressure of being heir to the throne, Prince Harry took his time settling down. After several long-term relationships, he finally popped the question to Suits actress, Meghan Markle. The pair were married in a televised wedding in 2018, with the couple combining elements of both their American and British cultures.
Unfortunately, it’s been a bit of a rough ride for Harry and Meghan. Not only was their courtship marred by drama with her family, Harry has also had to address what he called “racism” directed at his wife. They’ve also been open about how much the negative press attention has impacted their lives as newlyweds and new parents. Their son, Archie, was born in 2019.
Captain Marvel (2019)
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has dominated the box office for most of this decade, and during this final year, they finally released a film with a female hero as the lead. Brie Larsen stepped into the title role as Captain Marvel, and firmly claimed her spot alongside the likes of Thor and Hulk.
It wasn’t quite as well-received as Wonder Woman, but that didn’t stop it from earning over $1.1 billion in global ticket sales. Following a successful (and pivotal) appearance in Avengers: Endgame, we’ll be seeing more of Captain Marvel in franchise films and at least one sequel.
It’s been an incredible decade for women in Hollywood, so we’re really looking forward to everything that awaits in 2020. What a time to be alive!