This is part of a weekly series called “Pop Opinions” where The Lantern offers its take on the week’s pop culture news.
“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.”
I first heard this supposed Eleanor Roosevelt quote years and years ago when a teacher scolded me and my friends for gossiping about a fellow classmate. It felt like a slap on the wrist for sure, but the way the teacher said it was so matter-of-fact, so haunting. It was a direct attack on my intelligence, and those words have stuck with me to this day.
People who take interest in pop culture get a bad reputation. It’s gossip, shameless and trashy — or so they say. But I disagree. I see it as a sort of study — a social experiment.
Celebrities — actors, athletes and musicians — act as societal weather gauges. The way these people act, the decisions they make and the words they say all act as indicators as to where our society stands.
The way celebrities react to pop culture events — things like the nude photo leak or the Sony hacks — shape the way we react. And the way we react, as the public, shapes the way celebrities react. Or maybe I’m just self-justifying, who knows.
Anyhow, 2014 was a great year in the celebrity world, I’d like to take a moment to share my predictions for what 2015 might hold:
- More feminism. This past year has already been heralded by some as “The Year of Feminism,” and while it’s true that women have never seen a year so grand as 2014, I have a feeling that it’s only going to get better. As more and more celebrities speak out on the injustices women face, more and more members of our society will follow suit.
- Less racism. Despite the ongoing feud between Azealia Banks and Iggy Azalea — which is a shameful disgrace on the rap world — I do think our society is becoming more accepting of all races, in all situations. Events such as the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the various violent attacks on blacks and other races in this country have rekindled Americans’ spirit of equality. White rapper Macklemore recently spoke out regarding his status as a white man in a predominantly black industry, stating: “Race is uncomfortable to talk about. White people, we can just turn off the TV when we’re sick of talking about race. We can be like, ‘No, I’m done.’”
- More Fifth Harmony. These contestants of the second season of “The X Factor” will hit it big. The girls’ first album is set to drop in February, and after dropping a few singles that made the charts, these girls are proving that they aren’t going anywhere.
- Less Taylor Swift. Not because her popularity is dwindling, and not because I don’t love her to death, but because this pop princess is soon to be going on tour. Her two biggest songs, “Shake It Off” and “Blank Space,” have already run most of their courses, and though Swift will certainly release more singles off her hit album “1989,” I have a feeling none will strike a chord the way these two songs did. Anyhow, T-Swizzle hits Nationwide Arena for two nights in September, so if you haven’t thought about buying tickets, well, think about buying tickets.
- Another ensemble-casted major motion picture. Remember “Valentine’s Day” (2010), “New Year’s Eve” (2011) and “He’s Just Not That Into You” (2009)? Those big movies with 17 main characters that schizophrenically swap from one storyline to the next and then end up all tying into one another? Yeah, we’re long overdue for one of those babies. Despite the two-to-three star ratings and the profusely negative reviews, I kind of like these movies. It’s fun to see big groups of A-listers appear on screen together, and everyone loves a good rom-com. Here’s hoping for a “St. Patrick’s Day” or “Kwanzaa” cinematic release.
- Perhaps a new Disney princess that isn’t nearly as popular as Anna or Elsa. “Frozen” was huge in 2014. It’ll still be huge in 2015, but not as much. Disney might give us a new strong female lead to fawn over, based on pure speculation, but it just won’t be the same. Our tolerance for catchy theme songs and talking snowmen has, unfortunately, grown quite thin.
- Everyone will have forgotten who Lady Gaga is.
I’ve only scratched the surface, and only time will tell what 2015 will have to offer. But I’ve got a feeling that it’s going to be a good, good year.
Correction: A prior version of this article identified Fifth Harmony as the winner of “The X Factor”‘s second season. In fact, the singing group placed third.