2023 has brought us many tears, cheers, and unforgettable moments in history. With such an eventful year for women, I wanted to recap the highlights and appreciate the crucial impact they’ve made on society and gender equity.

 

FIFA Women’s World Cup

Now who would’ve thought this was going to be a major highlight of the year? When the Matildas started playing in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, I certainly didn’t expect to find myself cheering and yelling at the television in the middle of a birthday party for the Australia vs France quarterfinal penalty shootout. These Aussie athletes blew us all away, going further than any male team had been before in the FIFA tournament and in doing so, uniting a nation. Whilst Albanese pledged $200 million worth of funding towards women’s sport after the semi-finals, some people won’t realise that despite their incredible performance, there is still inequality within the sporting industry and the Matildas will only be taking home a quarter of what the Socceroos are paid. However, there’s no doubt about it, with 18.6 million Australians watching, the Matildas ignited true change for women’s sport and left a lasting legacy.

 

The Barbie Movie

What started out as a fun, light-hearted moment in pop culture – singing I’m just Ken on repeat for weeks, seeing Margot Robbie’s press tour outfits that highlighted the history of Barbie, dressing up to go to the cinema – turned into a light bulb moment of ‘wow, this movie hits HARD’ when we watched it. Coated in the stereotypical pink, and humorously fulfilling our childhood dreams of classic play time, the Barbie movie brought to light society’s deep-rooted issues of gender inequality. The film provided audiences with a new perspective on how women adjust themselves to suit the patriarchy in ways they might not even realise. Despite some critics arguing that the Barbie movie is ‘anti-male propaganda’, the movie’s message is that patriarchy harms everyone, regardless of gender, and we should all contribute to achieving gender equity. Sure, this Barbie-core trend is already fading but the impact of its message will stand.

 

Taylor Swift breaking records…again

Honestly, what can’t Taylor Swift do? With music records being broken left, right and centre this year, she’s been masterminding, shaking it off, and getting ready for it since her debut in 2006. In 2023, she was the first ever woman to occupy the Billboard’s Hot 100’s top 10 list with three songs simultaneously, which surpassed The Beatles who previously held the record. Swift is also the first woman to release number one charted albums in five consecutive years, from Lover in 2019 to Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) in 2023. Finally, Taylor is on track to break the record of the highest grossing concert tour in HISTORY at $1 billion with her Era’s Tour which would overtake Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour which grossed $939 million. This woman is a significant cultural figure to all our millennials and Gen X-ers and is incredibly talented which is why her record-breaking, history-making success comes as no surprise.

 

Here’s to seeing what 2024 brings.

Melanie Jenkins

Melanie Jenkins

Hey, I’m Mel Jenkins, your Editor of the Opus Magazine and fellow student, studying a Bachelor of Communications. When I’m not working, studying, or playing netball, you’ll find me at the beach, having a boogie at the club, or napping. I also LOVE camping and exploring new places, so if you have any suggestions for a uni girl on a budget—send some ideas my way!

Melanie Jenkins

Hey, I’m Mel Jenkins, your Editor of the Opus Magazine and fellow student, studying a Bachelor of Communications. When I’m not working, studying, or playing netball, you’ll find me at the beach, having a boogie at the club, or napping. I also LOVE camping and exploring new places, so if you have any suggestions for a uni girl on a budget—send some ideas my way!