By: Victoria Lopatka
Buzzfeed, Newsweek, and Mashable recently released their lists of the most-liked Instagram photos of 2017. Though these lists boast minor differences, superstars like Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Beyoncé remain in the public eye. These photos echo the highlights of 2017, showing what everyone was feeling, doing, thinking, and liking.
Posted on June 2
Ariana Grande visits a beaming young fan injured in the Manchester Arena attack on May 22, just after Grande’s concert. Ariana captioned the photo with a simple golden heart emoji. Fans in the comments showered her with heart emojis and expressions of pride, love and respect for the artist. The popularity of this photo reminds us of the rise of violence and acts of terrorism in 2017. It shows a message of recovery from destruction, which fans and non-fans alike will find uplifting. This message is especially important in the wake of recent terrorist attacks, such as the London Bridge attack in June or the Las Vegas Massacre in October.
Posted on August 27
Cristiano Ronaldo shares a picture of his young family. He captions the photo “Family mood” followed by multiple red heart emojis. Fans in the comments reply in an array of languages, expressing love and how beautiful his family is. Other athletes that have been in the spotlight this year include basketball player Stephen Curry and tennis player Serena Williams due to fantastic athletic performance and the popularity of their respective sports. Both of the latter also share family photos on social media, as Ronaldo does. Who doesn’t love a happy, celebrity family photo?
Posted on November 19
Selena Gomez shares a vintage-looking black and white polaroid, debuting a new short blonde bob and a Seven Heavens t-shirt. This photo garnered likes from a variety of actors, models, celebrities, and brands. The popularity of this photo may be due to an increasing widespread love of vintage things: vintage clothes, vintage aesthetics, vintage music, vintage products… We’ve seen a similar vintage aesthetic on the pages of Cole Sprouse and Kim Kardashian, as well as pages such as @vintage70s and @vintagefashion. Plus, 2017 has seen a LOT of celebrity beef and controversy, so Instagram users may just be happy to a relatively innocent, pleasant person pop up on their news feed.
Posted on May 1
This was the couple’s official red-carpet debut, and the first time in a long time that Selena had been publicly photographed wearing a lacey, feminine number. Fans in the comments argue over whether Selena is better with the Weeknd or with her old boyfriend Justin Bieber, and whether the photo should be deleted now that the couple has split. Did this photo garner such a huge amount of likes since everyone was happy Selena moved on from Justin Bieber? Or are fans just happy to see Selena happy? Most likely a mix of both, but overall, this reflect 2017’s continual obsession with people’s’ relationship statuses– especially celebrities and women.
Posted on April 15
The new couple, dubbed “Abelena”, cuddles up for a selfie at Coachella, Selena with a baby blue handkerchief around her neck and the Weeknd showing off circular sunnies. Everyone seems to love seeing and commenting on famous people, happy and in love – especially Selena Gomez. Other popular celebrity couples fans raved over in 2017 include Brooklyn Beckham and Madison Beer, Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and Harry Styles and Camille Rowe.
Posted June 29
Cristiano Ronaldo is seen holding his two new twin babies, and captions the photo: “So happy to be able to hold the two new loves of my life” followed by a praying hands emoji and a red heart emoji. Fans in the comments gush over the beautiful new babies, sending their good wishes to the family. This photo is one of three on the list that references twins, and one of five that taps into themes of families and birth.
Posted on July 14
Beyoncé is looking like a goddess in this photo, while holding two sleeping bundles of joy. The photo is captioned: “Sir Carter and Rumi 1 month today,” followed by en emoji family. Fans are overflowing with support and love for Beyoncé and the twins. Beyoncé looks beautiful and the twins are looking adorable, well deserving of the 10.3 million likes. Plus, it’s Beyoncé.Other celebrity babies born in 2017 include Mindy Kaling’s daughter Katherine, Nathan Kress’ daughter Rosie, Kevin Hart’s son Kenzo, and Mark Zuckerberg’s daughter August.
Posted on September 14
To complement this heartfelt picture with friend and kidney donor Francia Raisa, Selena Gomez’ caption describes her struggles with Lupus, the necessity of a kidney transplant, and her thanks to her donor, fans and the team of doctors that performed the procedure. Fans comment their support and wishes of strength, including one fan (@jrdalton77) sharing their own story battling Lupus, saying “Until you came public with your battle with Lupus, no one I spoke to about my illness understood what it was or that it affects your organs, especially kidneys”.
Posted on November 12
Cristiano and his wife are beaming at the camera in this lovely family photo. The caption translates roughly to: “Alana Martina has just been born! Both Geo and Alana are doing great! We’re all very happy!”. Fans in the comments congratulate him and note the competition between Beyoncé’s most-liked picture and this one.
Posted on February 1
Of course, Queen Bey takes the prize with the most-liked picture on Instagram being her pregnancy announcement. In the caption, Beyoncé thanks fans for their good wishes and expresses excitement and gratitude while fans continue to comment daily. Part of Beyoncé’s popularity comes from her image as a powerful woman – which she definitely embodies in this photo. Searches for the word “feminism” spiked in 2017, making it the Merriam Webster word of the year. From the Women’s March following Donald Trump’s inauguration to the waves of accusations of sexual violence and misconduct, feminism and women’s rights have been a year-long issue. Beyoncé herself, as well as Emma Watson, Zooey Deschanel, Ariana Grande, Will Smith, Chris Hemsworth, and many more celebrities have publically taken feminist stances. Beyoncé, looking amazing and powerful + motherhood + adorable children + pro-feminist rhetoric = a 11.2 million like photo.