2023 saw a lot of big moments – some good, some bad. The superstardom of Shah Rukh Khan saw a resurgence, Diljit Dosanjh made Sia sing in Punjabi, we lost some much-loved actors, and also saw Bollywood couples finding their happy endings. Quite a year! So, here are the top pop culture moments of 2023 that rocked the world.
1. The grand comeback of King Khan
Shah Rukh Khan returned to the big screen after four years, and that too with three big movies – Pathaan, Jawan, and Dunki. King Khan might have been on a break, but he proved that the actor in him wasn’t chilling out during this time. With three blockbusters in his pocket in just one year, King Khan’s comeback is one of the biggest pop culture moments of the year!
2. Barbenheimer became the talk of the town
The two biggest Hollywood releases of the year were Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. And both clashed on the big screen this year. Barbenheimer was the biggest marketing gimmick as well as one of the best pop culture moments of the year.
3. “Wipe it off”
Beyond her work as an actor, Alia made the rounds on social media when she shared how her husband used to tell her to “wipe off” her lipstick because he loves the natural colour of her lips. This statement soon went viral and Ranbir Kapoor became the poster child for toxic masculinity. Of course, his role in Animal did nothing to counter that image.
4. Unexpected deaths
2023 has been a year of some unfortunate deaths including Mathew Perry, Sir Michael Gambon, and Andre Braugher. The three actors played some of the most iconic and beloved characters, namely Chandler Bing, Albus Dumbledore, and Captain Raymond Holt respectively.
5. Orry the liver
The biggest pop culture sensation of the year was none other than Orry, a man who lives and hence is a liver. The BFF to all the star kids, Orhan Awatramani aka Orry was all over the ‘gram posing with all the Bollywood big shots this year. The man has studied around the world, worked all kinds of odd jobs, and now charges 20-30 lakhs to attend events.
6. Taylor Swift and her power
We all know 2023 was Taylor Swift’s year. She just got bigger and better this year, and her epic The Eras Tour is proof of that. The singer made it to the billionaire list this year, all thanks to her music tour. Not just that, she also became the cause of a small earthquake in Seattle. During her tour in Seattle, her concert sparked a 2.3 magnitude earthquake, which was likely due to the booming sound system and the stomping and dancing by her fans.
7. The world’s most beautiful woman was fat-shamed
Aishwarya Rai, like every year, walked the Paris Fashion Week for L’oréal, and instead of focusing on how she owned the ramp, trolls flocked to fat-shame her. People were quick to point out her weight gain and reprimand her for looking the way she did. God forbid a 50-year-old woman put on a little weight, instead of looking like a stick figure.
8. Twitter becoming X
Elon Musk, in his quest to prove how much he loves the letter X, rebranded Twitter to X. The cute little birdie was shown the way out and in came a stylised logo reminiscent of a mark of a group of assassins. Right behind his heels, Mark Zuckerberg also came in with Threads, a platform similar to the OG Twitter. Unfortunately, the rise and fall of Threads happened within the blink of an eye.
9. Math found its way to Instagram trends
If you thought studying math at school was difficult, wait till you learn all about girl math, boy math, corporate math, and every other math that’s trending on Instagram. Girl Math took over the internet in a frenzy and became a big pop culture moment in 2023. Boy math and corporate math followed right behind with some success.
10. Sid-Kiara in their Ranjha era
Bollywood sweethearts Sidharth Malhotra and Kiara Advani tied the knot this year and became the topic of happy discussions. While their wedding ceremony itself was a beautiful sight, what wowed everyone was a personalised rendition of their song Ranjha.
11. Ozempic ruled the world
There was a new obsession in B-town this year. A drug to manage diabetes that also helps in weight loss, Ozempic. The drug made it to Bollywood after serving the crème de la crème of Hollywood and is now often touted as the explanation for a celebrity’s sudden weight loss.
12. India’s Met Gala
One of the biggest pop culture moments of 2023 was the inauguration of the one and only Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC) early in the year. The event saw the big shots of Hollywood and Bollywood walking the red carpet. The paps had a gala time meeting India’s damaad Nick Jiju and their new fave Jandya aka Zendaya.
13. Deepfakes made an entry
Technology went a step further in 2023, and surprise, surprise, people found a way to use it against women. The year saw a concerning rise in deepfakes with many popular targets. Actors like Rashmika Mandanna, Kajol, and Katrina Kaif became victims of this technology with their morphed videos making the rounds online.
14. The worst season of KWK
The latest season of Koffee with Karan came back more boring than ever. KJo seems to have lost his original talent for giving us a fun conversation. Instead, it’s a whole lot of talking about nothing. The only good thing that came out of KWK though was the wedding video of Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh. Their beautiful, romantic wedding video was heartwarming to watch.
15. India wins at the Oscars
2023 started with a bang because India ruled at the Oscars. India had two wins in the bag, with the Best Documentary Short for The Elephant Whisperers and the Best Original Song for Naatu Naatu. Moreover, Deepika Padukone became the third Indian to grace the stage of the Academy Awards as a presenter. She also introduced Naatu Naatu to the audience before its live performance. A great year for India on a global stage indeed.
16. World Cup heartbreak
India was on a roll at the 2023 World Cup. We hosted the men’s 50-over World Cup this year and the Indian team won match after match breezing their way into the finals. Unfortunately, in a heartbreaking moment, the team failed to lift the Cup, with Australia retaining their champion status.
17. Diljit Dosanjh became a global sensation
The Punjab da munda is quite a sensation in India, but this year, he decided to conquer the world and how! Diljit won hearts with his performance at the Coachella festival early this year and became the first singer from Punjab to perform there. Diljit also wowed us with a collaboration with Sia for Hass Hass. Now, who else can boast about making an Australian sing in Punjabi?
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