2015 was a strange year. A reality TV star decided to run for president. A new Star Wars movie came out and people actually liked it. There were probably other things as well of interest. But what’s undeniable is there were a number of famous women who made quite a splash in the news last year. Here are the 15 women (and one women sports team) that were talked about the most in 2015.
J-Law will almost certainly get nominated for another Academy Award for Joy, and she finished off the Hunger Games franchise this year in spectacular fashion. But she was also making headlines off-screen this year as well. An essay she wrote about the Hollywood gender pay gap went viral, and several other notable actresses spoke out against sexism in the industry.
Ruby Rose was already a successful DJ when 2015 started, so her music career wasn’t the focus of her attention this year. Instead, it was her performance on the Netflix show Orange is the New Black, where she became a new romantic interest for main character Piper Chapman. She also led every straight woman who watches the show to question their sexuality, which is always a good thing.
KYLIE AND KENDALL JENNER
Every year it seems like one of the Kardashians makes more waves than the others. Usually it’s Kim. But this year, it was undoubtedly Kylie and Kendall. Kylie turned 18 and began to use her fame to grab some of the Kardashian spotlight. Meanwhile, Kendall earned a part in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which means she might have a lucrative modeling career in the next few years.
TARAJI P. HENSON
In 2015, the debut of Taraji’s saucy role as Cookie on Empire stole America’s heart, landed her a Saturday on SNL, won her a Critics Choice Award and made her the subject of every good GIF on the internet. National Cookie Day and fur jackets will never be the same, thanks Taraji.
In a year where gay marriage became the law of the land, transgender rights became a much more popular topic of discussion. This is partly due to Caitlyn Jenner. As the most famous trans-person in America, she created a national dialogue around the issue that had not happened before. She undoubtedly showed a ton of bravery to make the announcement when she did.
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Gina Rodriguez landed a breakthrough role as the lead of CW’s hit show Jane the Virgin but the Internet fell for her when she delivered a heartwarming speech at the 2015 Golden Globes that assured everyone dreams do come true—after all, she did become the second Latina to ever win a Golden Globe for Best Actress.
In 2015, Miley Cyrus did what Miley Cyrus does. Get naked a bunch? Check. Make out with female models and get the world to speculate about her sexuality? Check. Piss off Nicki Minaj? Check. In a world where most Disney stars fade into oblivion, Miley created a nice niche for herself in the post-Mickey Mouse world. We’d just like her to shave her armpits.
Hello Adele, we missed you. After a three-year break from music, Adele released a single right in time to have it become one of 2015’s greatest hits. “Hello” became the first song to sell over a million downloads in a week and the first video to break Vevo’s record of most views in a day, stealing the spot away from T. Swift’s “Bad Blood.“
Nicki Minaj feuded with not one, but TWO famous pop singers, including Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus. She defended herself against Swift after T-Sway hit back at her criticism that the MTV VMAs were "too white.” And then she attacked Miley for…well…just basic ignorance. We’re still waiting on the “Anaconda 2” music video though.
You had to be deserted on a far away island in the middle of a far away galaxy to avoid Amy Schumer in 2015. If you missed her steamy playtime with C-3PO on the cover of GQ, you hopefully saw her “booty” video with Amber Rose. If you missed that, you probably heard about her speech at Glamour’s 2015 Women Awards, you know, when she said: “I’m probably like 160 lbs. right now, and I can catch a dick whenever I want.” You get the point — Schumer is here to stay.
ABBI JACOBSON & ILANA GLAZER
Maybe you caught Ilana’s dead-on impersonation of Nicki Mikaj on David Letterman early last year, but these comedy vixens were barely getting started. In 2015, Broad City’s blistering second season gifted the world and the Internet with the dopest inside comedy quote of the year. “Yas, Queen!” changed GIFs and Instagram quotes for every “hip” millennial around. Thank you, queens.
Yes, Ronda Rousey got knocked out in her fight against Holly Holm, which ended her perfect record. But how many other women’s UFC fights did you watch this year? Rousey is one of the few MMA fighters to eclipse the sport. How many other female athletes can appear in mainstream action movies? Not many. Even with a loss, she’s still one of the biggest badasses on the planet.
Serena Williams is 34-years-old. This is important to note because she’s the most dominant athlete in her sport. Most athletes, male or female, are beginning to decline at her age. They might still be good, but they’re a shadow of their former selves. Instead, Serena kicked ass all year and almost won a Grand Slam. If she continues to play at this level, there’s no way anyone can deny that she’s the greatest of all-time.
US WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM
It’s easy to think that the US Women’s soccer team is the best in the world every year and it shouldn’t be surprising when they succeed. And while the U.S. has won gold in three straight Olympics, they hadn’t won a World Cup since 1999. So while it’s easy to think that winning the 2015 World Cup should’ve been expected, it’s still a major accomplishment.