Pop culture moments in 2022 that altered our brain chemistry

Graphic by Jack Clohisy
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RaiAnn Bu’s most memorable arts moments of 2022:

Julia Fox

From “Uncut Jauyems,” to enigmatic and weird hottie dating he-who-shall-not-be-named to internet cool girl, Julia Fox has definitely been one of the “it” girls of 2022 and not always for the right reasons. Julia Fox seemingly emerged out of nowhere in early 2022 following a podcast interview on the  “Call Her Daddy” podcast. It was the vocal fry heard around the world. Since then, her fame has multiplied after a brief fling with K*nye W*st and even more so after their breakup. Her creative fashion sense could not have been more timely with the rise of the “weird girl” trope. Her black wing makeup had the girls kicking themselves for not thinking of it earlier. Her continued relevance post-breakup shows she’s not just a pretty face and K*nye doll. The internet can’t seem to get enough of her outlandish (and impossibly cool) life stories and infinite wisdom she has to say about it all. Julia Fox is the wildcard “it” girl the world didn’t know it needed. 

Ezra Miller

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If someone asked early this year which celebrity from the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (2016) would have legal charges pressed against them by the end of 2022, the answer certainly would not have been Ezra Miller. Miller, who plays the titular role in the DC Comics franchise “The Flash,” has had a tumultuous and unexpected 2022 — including the allegations of disorderly conduct, assault, child grooming, harassment, burglary, a restraining order and owning a marijuana-growing operation. To add to these serious allegations, outlandish reports of Miller have swept the internet. One claims he has dressed up as a cowboy to visit the home of a child he reportedly harassed, another claims he has attested the board game Parcheesi has Rastafrian roots.

The “Barbie” movie

The public is anxiously awaiting the new Barbie live action movie directed by Greta Gerwig and produced in part by Margot Robbie, which is set to release in July 2023. In early June 2022, on-set photos of Barbie (Margot Robbie) and Ken (Ryan Gosling) dressed in head-to-toe Barbie pink Western ensembles rocked our world. It was the bleach-blonde Ryan Gosling, the matching cowboy hat and ascot, Barbie’s matching two piece set and the dedication to the lore. Other photos included Barbie and Ken roller skating in matching neon ’80s sets bright enough to burn retinas and showing us the effort and attention to detail that have gone into this movie, predicted to be a cultural reset. These photos have also helped to fuel the bright pink trend of 2022, as seen in Valentino’s fall/winter 2022–23 Pink PP Collection and more commercially Lululemon’s sold-out Sonic Pink color. 

 

Ryan Fairfield’s most memorable arts moments of 2022:

Olivia Rodrigo’s “SOUR” tour

Rodrigo dominated the industry with the release of her debut album “SOUR” (2021), which earned her three Grammys (one for Best New Artist) and four songs with over one billion streams on Spotify. In April, Rodrigo began the tour for her 2021 album across the United States, Canada and Europe. Throughout the tour, Rodrigo surprised attendees of select shows with special musical guests. Rodrigo included a cover of Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated” (2003) in her setlist, and Lavigne came to perform the song at a show in Toronto. At a Vancouver show Rodrigo was joined by her friend Conan Gray, and the two sang an acoustic cover of Katy Perry’s “The One That Got Away” (2010); Natalie Imbruglia sang her song “Torn” (1997) with Rodrigo at a London show. The best of these guests would have to have been Alanis Morrisette, who joined Rodrigo for a fiery performance of “You Oughta Know” (1995). For a debut tour, Rodrigo sure made it iconic. 

Lea Michele

It seems “Glee” (2009–15) might actually predict the future. On the show, Lea Michele played Rachel Berry, who in the fifth season, accepted the role of Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl” on Broadway. Coincidentally, this year Michele did just that when she replaced Beanie Feldstein as Brice. Fans of “Glee” quickly flocked to the theater to see her performance despite her controversial past, with many referencing a quote from the show: “She may be difficult, but boy can she sing.” With Michele in the spotlight, an age-old rumor about the actress being unable to read once again took social media by storm. Countless social media users played into the rumor, poking fun at her, finding images of her “attempting” to read and commenting on her posts using solely emojis “so she could understand them.” At this point Michele seems to joke alongside social media users, as seen in one of her TikTok videos.

Sophie Turner in “Do Revenge”

“Do Revenge” (2022) was truly a pleasant surprise from Netflix, which has a track record of releasing mediocre, cringe-worthy teen comedies. However, with “Do Revenge,” Netflix proved they might actually be capable of releasing a good teen comedy. Many viewers were surprised to see “Game of Thrones” (2011–19) actress Sophie Turner appear in the film. Though she only had a couple of scenes, Turner stole the show by unleashing her inner teenage girl and delivering a spectacular comedic performance. In one scene that sees Turner’s character framed for drug possession, she utters the quote of the year — “I don’t do cocaine! I don’t even know what it looks like!” On paper it might not seem the funniest, but combined with her British accent and facial expressions, the scene is truly one to remember. With her history on “Game of Thrones,” few have seen her in a comedic setting — but it is safe to say that Turner does comedy perfectly. 

Honorable mentions: Olivia Wilde’s salad dressing drama, Emma D’Arcy saying “negroni sbagliato” and Emma Chamberlain’s Architectural Digest house tour.

 

Odessa Gaines’ most memorable arts moments of 2022:

Try Guys scandal

One would think that when someone adopts a singular, overused, shtick and makes it their entire online personality to their 8 million subscribers, they would put in the work to at least maintain the mask. However, based on his very public displays of cheating, Ned “I love my family and wife” Fulmer is a prime example of how, sooner or later, true character will shine through. Or, at very least, it goes to show how Fulmer was willing to sacrifice his family, work and the lives of several others when he “lost focus” with a company employee. 

BTS military service

K-pop Twitter fell into shambles on Oct. 17 — and surprisingly it wasn’t because of Elon Musk. Just after the worldwide icon group closed out their free online concert in Busan, BTS and Hybe Labels announced that the seven members would all be completing their mandatory South Korean military service, beginning with its oldest member Jin entering training that month. This came mere months after the group announced that they would be taking a group break to focus on solo music and projects. Both announcements have changed the trajectory of ARMY fanbase members’ lives and the South Korean economy. After nine years, nine studio albums, three world tours and countless awards, the world will be eagerly anticipating the group’s predicted return in 2025. 

The Oscar slap

March 27, 2022 is a day that “Will” go down in history. Not because of President Biden’s Billionaire Minimum Income Tax proposal — this is literally the arts section. No, March 27 will be identified to future generations as being the day Will Smith of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (1990–96) and “Bad Boys” (1995) fame crossed the Oscars stage and smacked comedian Chris Rock live for the entire world to see. Almost immediately Twitter was in a riot, calling for Smith’s physical removal from the scene and turning the moment into a meme. A video capturing the slap has since gained over 100 million views, generating public and celebrity outcry. But whether you’re defending Smith or Rock, no one can deny that “Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me” was not an iconic line in the 2022 script. 

Honorable mentions: “They call him K’uk’ulkan,” Twitter impersonations and Elon’s big mad moments and Adam Hicks being released from prison and dropping a fire single. 

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