Real Life

9 Moments To Remind You That 2016 Was Actually Okay

There’s no denying that 2016 was a year of unforeseen change.

We bid farewell to musical legends David Bowie, Prince and most recently George Michael. We mourned the loss of on-screen heroes Alan Rickman and Carrie Fisher.

We questioned if true love really exists in the wake of Bradxit and as we rode the emotional rollercoaster that was Hiddleswift. We voted to leave the European Union and Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. Oh, and did we mention that there was a gorilla named Harambe?

It was the year that spawned a thousand sarcastic memes as we have been longing to welcome 2017 with open arms ever since, well, January.

But as the New Year approaches it's important to reflect on what made 2016 great. And we've managed to find some unforgettable moments. Seriously.

We’ve rounded up the highlights of the year to remind you that it wasn’t all bad...

1. Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar

It was the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Ever since we laid eyes on Jack Dawson, sorry Leonardo, we’ve been rooting for him. He was the first actor we plastered across our bedroom walls thanks to his goofy nineties fringe in Titanic and fruity Cuban collared shirts in Romeo and Juliet.

It was undeniably a great year for Leonardo DiCaprio

He has been nominated for six Academy Awards, four British Academy Film Awards and nine Screen Actor Guild Awards, winning one award each from them and three Golden Globe Awards from eleven nominations.

But it took over two decades and six Oscar nominations for him to receive the recognition he deserves. In February 2016, Leonardo won Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his stellar performance in The Revenant. And his speech was well worth the wait as BFF Kate Winslet welled up in the audience. Oh, and did we mention that he took his mum as his guest? So. Many. Feels.

2. The Queen celebrated her 90th birthday (several times)

She made those who celebrate a ‘birthday month’ on social media seem less irritating. The Queen celebrated her 90th birthday with countless royal celebrations (and wardrobe changes) this year. And it was a party we were all invited to.

The Queen celebrated her official birthday in June though her actual birthday is on April 21

The royals hosted endless events to celebrate the longest-reigning monarch, including a picnic on The Mall with over 10,000 guests and a black tie event held at Windsor Castle. But unfortunately for the Queen, it seemed Princess Charlotte stole the show as she made her debut on the palace balcony.

The Queen's neon birthday co-ords famously divided opinion but we loved it. How many pensioners do you know that transcend the sartorial barriers of beige?

3. Amy Schumer made history for women everywhere

Comedian Amy Schumer made a monumental dent in the seemingly unbreakable glass ceiling this year, as she became the first female to make the Forbes’ Highest Paid Comedians list.

Amy Schumer made history this year

Amy earned her spot after garnering $17 million in 2016 following the release of her debut book The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo and her debut film Trainwreck. Newly named as one of the world’s highest paid comedians, here’s to hoping Amy paves the way to more equality in a typically male dominated industry.

4. The US election was actually a milestone for women

Though we may now live in a Trump era, Hillary Clinton’s electoral loss wasn’t in vain, as there was a small triumph for women across the globe worth noting.

These women made history despite Hillary Clinton's electoral loss

Though Clinton may not have become the first ever female to move into the Oval Office, it was still a historic night for seven women in US politics. For example, the first ever Latina was elected to the Senate alongside the first Somalian-American Muslim woman legislator and the first ever Indian-American woman.

As Hillary said in her concession speech: "To all the little girls who are watching this: never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance in the world to pursue your dreams." It seems women are still making positive progress in the fight against sexism and misogyny.

5. JK Rowling gave Potter fans what they wanted

It had been half a decade since the final instalment of the Harry Potter film franchise. But after Alan Rickman sadly passed away, it was a blessing for fans across the globe when The Cursed Child debuted on the London stage back in July.

'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' was released in November this year

And if that wasn't enough to satisfy the needs of nostalgia seeking super fans, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hit the big screen in November with Eddie Redmayne as the lead.

6. Solange and Beyoncé made history together

Who runs the world? Solange and Beyoncé made headlines when it was announced that they'd become the first set of sisters to both have number one selling albums. Beyoncé has racked up six best-selling albums throughout her career, most notably this year's critically acclaimed album, Lemonade. And thanks to Solange's debut number one, A Seat at the Table, the sisters made history together this year.

Solange and Beyoncé made history together this year

Both albums explored the politics of being black in America, as they made a bold statement in the wake of Black Lives Matter. The sisters proved to be hugely influential with their breakthrough albums, so here's to hoping for a collaboration come 2017.

7. Our favourite on-screen icons made a comeback

On 25 November, we cancelled all plans in favour of Netflix, coffee and pop tarts on tap. It could only mean one thing. Gilmore Girls had returned almost a decade after the cult noughties show debuted on our television screens.

Our favourite mother/daughter duo made a comeback this year

Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life promised us four 90-minute episodes each centered around a different season. And if that doesn't constitute as a highlight of 2016 then we don't know what does.

Bridget Jones made a comeback almost 15 years since we last saw her

Oh, and then there was Bridget Jones's Baby. Almost 15 years since we were first introduced to unlikely screen icon Bridget Jones, a third film was announced. She may have returned to the big screen decked in Shrimps with an iPad for a diary tucked beneath her arm, but she was still very much the Bridget we know and love.

Mark Darcy also graced the big screen in the highly anticipated film

8. Tim Peake became the first British astronaut to walk in space

Tim Peake's flight to the International Space Station launched on 15 December 2015. He was the first British ESA astronaut to visit the Space Station and to conduct a space walk in order to make repairs. Peake spent six months in space before landing back on earth on 18 June 2016. New career goals for 2017 anyone?

Tim Peake became the first British astronaut to walk in space

9. Great Britain came second in the 2016 Olympic Games

In the 2016 Olympic Games hosted at Rio de Janeiro, Great Britain and Northern Ireland placed second in the medal table behind the United States. Team GB took home a total of 27 gold medals with the women's hockey team performing exceptionally well, as they boasted their first ever gold medal win.

Team GB's female hockey team celebrate winning gold after defeating the Netherlands on day 14 of the Olympic Games

So, keep your chin up because who knows what 2017 has in store...

Happy New Year!

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