What. A. Year.
The voices of 2017 were anything but quiet. I consider this a year of so much passion, courage and expression for women. As 2017 comes to a close, and we reflect upon peaks and pits, I wanted to celebrate women that really did it this year. Here are the females in media that made 2017, according to My Jawbreakers:
The Shooting Star
21-year-old Youtube sensation Liza Koshy reminded me in 2017 there is still integrity in the business of social media influencers. Liza is by no means a newcomer to internet fame, racking up millions of followers through Vine and hilarious YouTube videos. But Koshy really cracked the code in 2017, sustaining over 12 million followers by creating content that is fresh and thorough. Her brand is uniquely Liza– punny, goofy and intelligent (all under her clean white-balance Instagram aesthetic).
It’s safe to say Liza has become the rising face of YouTube, landing brand deals with Beats by Dre, a hosting spot on MTV’s revamped Total Request Live and scoring a famed 73 Questions interview with Vogue. While social media success is so often fleeting, Liza Koshy reminded us in 2017 it pays to put the work in as a talented comedienne.
In 2017, Dua Lipa taught us all a thing or two about loving ourselves first. The 22-year-old London native graced us all with the highly-streamed hit “New Rules” and her self-titled album, loaded with dance tracks celebrating the vibrant female experience.
Aside from her success as a rising pop star, Dua possesses an enviable cool-girl image. Impossibly gorgeous and effortlessly on-trend, Dua Lipa was the undeniable one to watch in 2017.
Dropping one of the most personal, devastating, relatable albums I’ve ever heard this year, an entire generation became acquainted with SZA. The 27-year-old R&B singer has racked up the Grammy nominations for Best New Artist, Best Urban Contemporary Album, Best R&B Performance, Best R&B Song and Best Rap/Sung Performance all for her work on the soon-to-be-legendary album Ctrl. Recently collaborating on Maroon 5’s new single, it appears the artist is making a breakthrough into the mainstream in a big way.
The singer’s work comes from a place of truth as well as a creativity unmatched in music at the moment. SZA has been candid about her difficulty in adulthood– to her benefit, of course. Her honesty– about nearly every aspect of her life– paired with the soulful, dazed, melodic production of her impeccable album became the voice for any and all young women in 2017.
Millie Bobby Brown
Make no mistake, the title Sweetheart is not to be perceived as weakness. With another show-stopping performance on Season 2 of Stranger Things, the world fell deeper in love with 13-year-old Millie Bobby Brown. She has the poise of an industry veteran, fierce talent and a genuine attitude that seems to be so absent from young stars. Not to mention she’s on her way to becoming a mini-fashion icon all before she gets her learner’s permit.
Millie’s positivity lights up a room and her confidence is inescapably inspiring. Mark my words: she’s the next big thing.
Unfiltered. Humble. Baller. These are just a few words one could use to describe the breakout rap artist this year, Cardi B. From Vine sensation to Love & Hip Hop: New York cast mate all the way to the first #1 song by a female hip-hop artist since 1998, Cardi’s grind is undeniable.
It’s that very work ethic this that makes Cardi B so likable; she’s tough as nails and owns her past. She goes hard on her many features and all of her mixtapes– formally introducing America to the term “bloody shoes”. But Cardi B, under all the flossiness, is an endearing, ambitious young woman from the Bronx, ready to make her listeners feel as empowered as she is herself.
I’ve gone on and on about my connection to Gal Gadot’s depiction of Diana Prince. Multiple times a week I find myself thinking, if Wonder Woman can do it– so can I. I owe a lot of that strength to the resilience and grace portrayed on screen in Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman.
Gal Gadot glides like water on and off screen; she’s beauty that radiates. Both she and Diana lead with kindness; I couldn’t think of a star more deserving of the responsibility of being Wonder Woman.
The Wild Card
No one expected Girl’s Trip to be the success it was. Moreover, no one expected a black female-led film to be the top comedy of 2017. And while Girl’s Trip included appearances from fan-favorites, Tiffany Haddish was able to steal the show with half the hype surrounding her role. Written as a foul-mouthed, care-free party girl, Haddish ate the role with impeccable comedic timing– like, ab-crampingly funny.
After she hosted SNL this year, it became all too obvious Hollywood has gained a vital comedic player. I foresee upcoming films with Haddish as leading lady, because, let’s face it: Girl’s Trip was her movie. It was a film derived from the humor and community of black women and for that reason, I can’t wait to see what Tiffany does next.
Lorraine Broughton (portrayed by Charlize Theron)
The Nasty Woman
So, this one is technically cheating, but I don’t care. Atomic Blonde was, in my opinion, the dark horse of 2017 and Agent Lorraine Broughton was the even darker horse. Considered by many the female John Wick, Atomic Blonde was everything I didn’t know I needed this year in film. Espionage, German pop songs and sick neon lighting.
Oh, and Charlize Theron. Training like an Olympian for the role, she delivered raw energy to the powerhouse that is Lorraine Broughton. It was heart warming and exhilarating to follow a female assassin who was as ruthless as she was fashionable. The authentic pain and drive in Theron’s eyes completely elevated the character– making Lorraine Broughton my new favorite bisexual badass of the CIA and Atomic Blonde the most underrated thrill ride of 2017.
The Game Changer
Excluding makeup gurus from this list would be claiming ignorance to this era of makeup & beauty takeover. It would also be denying makeup artists like Jackie Aina the recognition she deserves. The 30-year-old Army vet is pro-black, pro-female, pro-empowerment– and no BS.
Jackie’s prerogative in starting her YouTube channel was to redefine beauty standards for women of color. With her inventive makeup tutorials and challenges and innovative social commentary through cosmetics, Jackie Aina is certainly achieving her goals. Join in on her 1.7 million subscribers and you may find yourself inspired.
Seeing queens reach their queen potential is so satisfying, isn’t it? If you’ve been watching Demi Lovato in 2017, you’re obviously satisfied by her total annihilation of the game. Demi isn’t new to music by any means, and her success has been at a steady incline since leaving Disney. But this year marked a year of revision for the star– an obvious dedication to her craft that resulted in an album era that slays, in every sense of the word.
And her looks. are. everything.
Demi’s latest album, Tell Me You Love Me, may have been snubbed by the Recording Academy, but the record shows tangible, artistic, sensual, personal growth from the singer. Mature, cohesive and just sexy, Tell Me You Love Me is my favorite pop album of the year.
Who Were Your Women of the Year?
This list is meant to celebrate the females in entertainment that stood out to me this year. Of course, the strength of women is transcendent– no one woman is greater than another, no matter her level of fame. I stand with Time Magazine’s decision to name 2017’s Silence Breakers as Person of the Year. Those of the #MeToo movement have bravely endorsed feminism in their fight to end sexual assault and hold assaulters accountable. And while celebrities were the ones photographed in the issue, 2017 reminded me to lift up the women with #MeToo’s in everyday life.
Who were the women that inspired you this year? pushed you? lifted you up? Leave a comment and share who would be on your list. Here’s to a new year of female advancement, representation, empowerment and sisterhood.