Let's be real for a second: Despite what Taylor Swift might have you believe, 2017 has not been a banner year for many (er, most) of us. It's been a year of turmoil, unsettling revelations, and uncertainty about the future. But there have also been some bright spots. Don't believe me? Read on for the five best moments of the year, and let's collectively cross our fingers for more like them in 2018.
While hearing the full accounts of the horrific sexual misconduct allegations against leaders in entertainment, media, politics, and elsewhere has been undeniably painful, the resurgence of the #MeToo movement (which was conceived in 2007 by activist Tarana Burke) has also been powerful and cathartic. Women from all walks of life, many of whom were highlighted in Time's "Person of the Year" issue, have finally been given a platform to speak out, and after year's of having our voices diminished, it feels like women's words are finally being taken seriously. Hopefully, in the year to come, #MeToo and similar movements will continue to lead to more concrete changes in the way sexual misconduct is dealt with both inside and outside of the workplace.
The Solar Eclipse
Remember that day in late August when everyone across America stopped what they were doing and glanced skyward? The 2017 solar eclipse was best visible in Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, but pretty much everyone got a taste of the awe-inspiring solar event.
The Celebrity Baby Boom
Is it just me or have pretty much all of your favorite people given birth this year? From Beyonce (and her epic pregnancy photo shoot) to Mindy Kaling to Natalie Portman, it feels like all of our celebrity girl crushes have newborns, and those who don't have little ones on the way (we're looking at you, Kardashians).
Photo: Splash News
The Women's March on Washington
In January, over one million women from around the world descended on the National Mall to call for gender equality, reproductive rights, healthcare reform, LGBTQ rights, and a host of other issues. Speakers included Gloria Steinem, America Ferrera, Scarlett Johansson, Janet Mock, Ashley Judd, and Janelle Monae, and coordinated marches took place in 408 other US locations and 673 abroad.
Photo: Zak Hussein / SplashNews
The Royal Engagement
Following months of speculation, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle finally took the plunge in November. Harry proposed with a ring he designed himself, which features two stones from his late mother Princess Diana's personal collection. And while the wedding won't take place until May 19, 2018 (mark those calendars!), there's still much to look forward to in the coming weeks and months, including predictions about Markle's sure-to-be-fabulous gown.