As we approach the end of the decade, we decided: let’s do what we already love to do in the office—talk about the power of representation in pop culture—and turn it into a blog for the rest of the world. Check out some of our staff members’ favorite moments in pop culture from 2019 and what they meant for representation.
- The Evolution of Beyoncé by Awo Eni
The beginning of the 2010s saw a new era for the queen—for the first time in her career she had an opportunity to chart her journey on her own terms. The Single Lady was no more and in her place was a woman coming into her own—both creatively and personally. She changed the world with self-titled, causing a shift in the music industry—literally changing the way albums were released (remember when we used to buy CDs on Tuesdays?!)! Multiple record-breaking world tours. Grammys. THE Super Bowl. It seemed difficult to understand how she could top her previous work—yet she did. But with growth comes heartache, delivered in a heartbreakingly beautiful, but refreshing glass of Lemonade. HBO specials. Coachella. A Netflix special. Now fully leaning into her feminism, being a working mother and a role model to us all, Queen Bey is wrapping up this decade planning the re-launch of her clothing line and as an Oscars front-runner.
- The Rise of Bad Bunny by Stephanie Hernandez
Bad Bunny is someone who the Reggaeton world has never seen before. In a music genre where machismo thrives, Bad Bunny rocks some AMAZING nail art and plays around with gender norms in a way that challenges the toxic masculinity that his Reggaeton counterparts have been so comfortably upholding. And his music is no different, the lyrics he writes are poetic, romantic and painful all while respecting the women he writes about.
- POSE by Kirstin Brockenborough
POSE brings Black and Brown trans women to the forefront in mainstream media. The award-winning show has made history for centering experiences of QTPOC set in New York City during the early HIV epidemic. The star-studded cast features Billy Porter, MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Angelica Ross alongside ballroom legends.
- “Hustlers” by Selina Tran
This movie is not only women of color led, it also was a huge success at the box office raking in over $100 million, proving that people want to see movies that are led by women, especially women of color. People want to see better representation in media, and this movie proved exactly that.
- The Year of Lizzo by Arvia Walker
Lizzo burst into mainstream music this year with her incredible talents and flare. From playing instruments while simultaneously twerking for the gawds, to acting and of course her amazing vocal skills. But most important, Lizzo is the mother of self-love and self-acceptance. Her unapologetic boldness that is centered in her identity of Black womanhood, challenging societies body politics and simply being 100% that b**** has called us all to bring that same big dick energy in two thousand and twenty.
- Queering Reality TV by Hannah Finnie
In 2019, reality tv took a turn for the queer. “Are You The One,” a long-standing MTV show, decided to have its eighth season cast feature exclusively LGBTQ people, “Ex On The Beach,” also an MTV show, also upped its game with many LGBTQ cast members, and “Bachelor in Paradise” featured its first-ever openly queer couple. By expanding the array of sexual orientations and gender identities it broadcasts to the world, reality television helped a lot more people feel represented and gave people across the country more room to wrestle with their own sense of identity.