Most people would agree that 2016 was quite a year. Most of us went through ups and downs like we usually do every single year, but we also saw a lot as a country and as far as politics and natural disasters go. There was Zika, Pulse, Harmabe, police shootings, a kid getting eaten by an alligator, the most controversial presidential election ever, a hurricane, and that wasn’t even all. There were also a lot of really wonderful things that happened, like the Oscars having the most diverse acting nominations ever. The world tiger count increased, we got news that Harriet Tubman will grace the $20 bill, and teen birth rates reached an all time low. But it was still a weird year either way. Luckily, that means that there is a lot of room for things to get better and better as we go into the new year. Read on about why 2017 can’t be worse than 2016 was. Let’s hold up a glass of champagne and hope for the best.
15. We Lost Carrie Fisher
Carrie Fisher was the one and only Princess Leia, but she was also a whole lot more than that. Carrie was open and honest about her struggles with consumption over the years and she became a huge mental illness advocate after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She also had some pretty awesome quotes about aging and being a woman that we could all do to read and ponder from time to time. One example: “Please stop debating about whether or not I aged well. Unfortunately, it hurts all three of my feelings. My body hasn’t aged as well as I have. Blow us.” And: “Youth and beauty are not accomplishments.” Sadly, the day after we lost Carrie we also lost her famous mother Debbie Reynolds. The odds of that happening don’t come around that often, so it’s unlikely that we’ll lose another beloved mother-daughter duo in such rapid succession come the new year.
14. Drake And Rihanna Got Together And Broke Up
Drake and Rihanna have had one of the most intense on and off again relationships in the entertainment industry. A lot of people were rooting for them to make it, so when they first made it clear that they were seriously and officially together, everyone was pretty happy. Drake literally said that he would be in love with Rihanna for years and they even got matching shark tattoos. It sounded pretty serious. But then they pretty quickly went their separate ways, proving that the Drake and Rihanna romance was just a little too good to be true. Drake has been linked to a few women since and he is currently rumored to be dating none other than Jennifer Lopez which is also pretty thrilling… but not for Rihanna. Rihanna reportedly unfollowed JLo after the news broke. Hmmm. A new celebrity couple and subsequent drama to look forward to? Stay tuned!
13. We’re Past Election Season
Technically, we have made it through the election season and we have to deal with whatever happens with having Donald Trump in office, but at least we are no longer waiting on pins and needles to find out who would take the presidency. Perhaps we are even spending less time fighting with people who post their opposing political beliefs on Facebook? It is not that all of us necessarily feel hopeful or in control of the current political landscape, but at least now that we know what is happening we have the ability to make decisions and seek out the answers that we need to feel a bit calmer. Let us just hope that some of the super emotional moments will be left behind in 2016 and that more people will find ways to feel like their country is a safe and supportive place to live. Sounds like a pretty good idea.
12. There’s New Music Heading Our Way
Of course, there is pretty much always new music coming out, but in 2017 we’re expecting some albums from people who haven’t put anything out in a while. Avril Lavigne is releasing her first album since being diagnosed with Lyme disease, Justin Timberlake is coming back, Katy Perry has a new album in the pipeline, along with Erykah Badu, Lorde, Kelly Clarkson, The Shins, Haim, Ed Sheeran, Drake, The Flaming Lips, SZA, and possibly Arcade Fire. That’s more than one potentially awesome album a month people. Better dust off your favorite earphones and get ready for some tunes. Music is one thing that has the capacity to connect a lot of us, whether we’re actually at a concert with thousands of people or sitting alone in our cars. For some of us, it’s one of the most powerful ways to tap into our emotions whether that means weeping along with a love song or jumping for joy to a pop jam. It’s all good.
11. Peace Out, Year Of The Monkey
The Chinese zodiac gives each year an animal and each animal has a distinct meaning for the year. It’s about as “real” as our horoscopes are, which for many of us means completely. Others, not so much. Traditionally, the year of the monkey signifies that there will be a ton of surprises both good and bad. Check and check. However, come the new year we will be moving into the year of the rooster, which supposedly means that we will be getting more opportunities that are going to be more practical than risky. So perhaps it isn’t the year of taking those giant wild leaps into the unknown but the one where some reasonable and helpful stuff actually falls onto our plates. Seems like exactly what we need to clean up the most from 2016, right? Whether or not you actually believe in the Chinese zodiac, it’s a great concept anyway. We could all probably do well with having a few less bad surprises.
10. Travel Is Supposed To Be Cheap In 2017
Great news for you and your Instagram account! Travel is expected to be cheap in 2017 which is partly due to low fuel prices. Money is one of the main reasons that anyone cites for skipping travel time, so hopefully those of us with a touch of wanderlust will be able to get up and go a few times here and there over the coming year. Mexico, as usual, is a pretty cheap place to visit, but particularly now since its currency has plummeted by 50 percent since early 2015. South Africa has also seen some major changes to exchange rates, meaning cheaper safaris might be on the horizon. Peru, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina are all cheaper than in recent years as well. There are also new budget airline options rolling out all the time, so paying attention to random flight prices (or setting an alert to do it for you) can snag you some crazy good flight deals.
9. Dave Chappelle Is Releasing Three Comedy Specials
Dave Chapelle has been flying a bit under the radar lately. But this year, the comedian will be releasing three different comedy specials on Netflix. (And making $60 million for doing so.) That’s a lot of comedy… and comedy that is pretty much guaranteed to get you laughing. We could all use a bit more laughter in our lives, right? The concert specials will be the first ones that he has released in 13 years. Two of them were already shot and were just never released, while one is still in the works. In November Dave hosted Saturday Night Live, which ended up bringing in the best ratings for the 18 to 49 demographic since 2013. That bodes well for the success of the comedy specials as well. Chris Rock also recently made a deal with Netflix to release two comedy specials of his own. So it looks like we’re going to be doing a whole lot of laughing this year.
8. 2016 Saw The Worst Attacks Ever
In 2016 we had the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando which was America’s worst mass shooting of all time. These things, unfortunately, do happen from time to time, but since we had the worst by numbers in 2016, it’s pretty unlikely that we would see a worse one in 2017. Obviously, there’s not a lot that can be done to heal the pain of losing that many people for no reason, but what’s pretty cool is that at some point the mayor of Orlando is planning to turn the former club into a memorial. Additionally, DC Comics and IDW have released a 144-page graphic novel called Love is Love to honor the families who lost their loved ones in the attack. The project was put in place by comic writer Mark Andreyko. “I grew up in the ’80s—I’m a child of the ‘We Are the World’ and ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas.’ So my reaction was, ’I know all these comic book people and these professionals and actors, let’s do something.’”
7. January Will Have A Women’s Right March
On January 21, a bunch of people will be coming together to march on Washington in support of women’s rights. Gloria Steinhem and Planned Parenthood will be attending the march, which will take place the day after the inauguration (talk about really good timing, right?). At first, it was unclear if the permits would come through, but they did. The 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was one of the biggest marches for human rights that ever took place, as 200,000 to 300,000 people came out to demand civil and economic rights for African Americans (wow can you believe that!). Looks like history is slowly starting to repeat itself and maybe the record will be broken here. We’ll see what happens this time around, but over 200,000 people are expected to show. There are also over 30 “sister marches” planned all over the country for people who want their voice heard but can’t make it to Washington D.C. for the official gathering.
6. We Will See Fewer Car Crashes
As more and more technology rolls out for making cars safer, we could continue to see fewer and fewer car crashes. In 2017, General Motors will equip some cars with vehicle-to-vehicle signals which got the go back in 1999 but haven’t been used yet. Other car companies won’t be far behind if the technology proves helpful. In fact, those wireless safety systems could be federally mandated by 2020, which means that all cars would automatically avoid one another and drastically cut down on the amount of car crashes that happen each year large and small. Imagine not having to worry so much about that sort if thing and trusting that freeway travel is safe? That would be seriously awesome. There are already plenty of cars on the road that will alert you if you’re getting too close to someone and some that will even slam on the breaks to protect you both.
5. Breakfast Is Going Global
In projected food trends, the variety of breakfast food options is supposed to get way more varied in 2017. While we all love a good breakfast burrito, this year we are going to see more influences from Asian, African, and Middle Eastern cuisines. One example we may have already seen here and there is shakshuka, made with eggs, chickpeas, kale, feta and spicy tomato sauce. Who does not love all those ingredients? The people who make these food predictions are also expecting to see a lot more poke (the best), and even unconventional cuts of meat will be trending. Some also think that restaurants will be cooking with a lot more fat now that people do not think it is the worst thing in the world and that some people actually think it is a good thing. As they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right?
4. We Have A Live Action ‘Beauty And The Beast’ Heading Our Way
Adults and children alike can appreciate the new Disney movies that come out regularly, but none of them can really compare to ones that we experienced in our own childhood. That’s why it’s super fun when Disney decides to remake fan favorites, such as the live-action remake of Beauty And The Beast. What’s even cooler, is that this version got a few updates to give it as much women power as possible. (We all know the Disney princess concept gets a bit of heat.) The new version will ditch the corset that Belle wore over her dresses, and this time around she, not her father will be the inventor. There are also some new songs. Thanks, Disney! Emma Watson is taking on the role of Belle and she seems like the ideal women for the job. Old and new fans of the film are likely to be thrilled when it debuts March 17.
3. We’re Getting A Solar Eclipse
In 2016, we had an abnormal amount of supermoons to gaze at, but in 2017 we’re going to have the first solar eclipse that we’ve had in 40 years. For most of us, that means that we’ve never seen one. There are only certain areas that will be prime viewing to see the eclipse on August 21, but even if you aren’t in one of those areas it’s more than likely that you’ll get to see some awesome photos of the big event. Plus, to safely watch the eclipse you’ll have to wear some special glasses, since you know, staring at the sun is never a good idea. This time the sun will be totally eclipsed as it rises which is a rare occurrence. The shadow will touch the U.S. for one hour, 33 minutes, and 16.8 seconds. Then the shadow will head out over the water and be on its way. After this one, there’s actually another solar eclipse coming down the line in seven more years, so we can potentially catch a few in our lifetime. Yay, 2017!
2. ‘Wonder Woman’ Will Hit Theatres
In 2017, we will see the release of Wonder Woman, which is great for a lot of reasons. One of the writers of Wonder Woman Reborn recently confirmed what a lot of people already suspected, that the Diana Prince is gay or at least bi. The character comes from the fictional all-female island nation of Themyscira, where she “has been in love and had relationships with other women.” Wonder Woman is the most popular female comic book character of all time, and she’s a pretty bada$$ feminist icon which is a good thing for all of us. Gal Gadot will be portraying the character and will be joined by Chris Pine as Steve Trevor. Patty Jenkins (who directed Monster) will be directing the film, which is also awesome news. Female directors still only make up seven percent of directors in the film world which is just bonkers, so good news on that front.Wonder Woman will hit theaters June 2.
1. People Are Expecting 2017 To Be Better
It’s safe to say that our perspective and outlook on life has a lot to do with how good or bad it is, so 2017 is likely to be a better year simply by the fact that a lot of people are expecting it to be. According to a survey done by the Associated Press-Times Square Alliance, 55 percent of people think that 2017 will be better than 2016, which is a 12 point improvement from the year before. Hooray for positivity! There was not an exact breakdown of who thinks this and who doesn’t based on demographics or political beliefs, but if over half of the people out there are feeling good then hopefully we can just keep increasing those numbers. Life is always going to be full of ups and downs and those oscillations take place in the natural world and in the human experience as well. That’s what makes anything worth it. We wouldn’t even know what was great if we didn’t go through a struggle here and there. Cheers to moving on up!