The 2010s: a decade in review

The 2010s: a decade in review

As 2019 approaches its end, many are becoming more and more nostalgic about the past ten years–especially considering the 2010s are the first decade for which many Milton students have been entirely alive. So, before we ring in the new year, let’s review the most iconic moments of 2010-2019.



Trends in fashion rise and fall throughout the ages, and the 2010s were no different. Skinny jeans became ubiquitous, surpassing the more popular pant of the 2000s, the bootcut. High-waisted shorts and jeans entered the market, offering a more flattering fit for women of all shapes and sizes. The miniskirt, popularized in the feminist movements of the 1960s, rose again in popularity–whether plaid, denim or leather. Overall, athleisure (yoga pants, sweatpants, hoodies) took over the world, and 90s fashion (scrunchies, mom jeans and oversized denim) made a huge comeback.

Name-brand clothes have always been in high demand, and the brands that dominated the recent decade were Nike and adidas, as expected, and Champion–formerly a brand condemned to the clothing section of Walmart.

As for shoes, the white tennis shoe became a closet staple. Whether it was a pair of Converse, adidas Superstars, the meme-worthy white vans or the current chunky Filas, people completed their outfits with casual white shoes all throughout the decade.

However, while shoes have certainly seen their changes over the years, we will never forget the tennis shoe of our childhood: Heelies. 


Hair and Beauty

Beauty trends, similarly, were nothing stagnant. The decade began with asymmetrical haircuts and sweeping side bangs, however transient, and ended with an echo back to more “natural” looks.


Around 2015, the beauty industry decided that top knots were no longer just for the ladies, stirring the somewhat controversial man bun trend. A sleek, individualistic style or a cheesy mistake? The world may never know.

While men started to grow their hair longer, however, many women were cutting theirs shorter. While pixie cuts and similar haircuts have risen in popularity over the last decade, one of the most popular looks of the season was the long bob, or “lob.” Celebrities such as Lucy Hale, Mila Kunis and Zendaya made the new haircut a staple, slowly causing longer hair to fall out of favor.

As for makeup, Kim Kardashian introduced the world to the realm of extreme contouring, where a wide nose bridge or a soft jawline could be adjusted with just the right combination of shadow and highlight. Bold, boyish brows replaced the thinner, high-arched brows of the 2000s, and bold, matte lipsticks surpassed sparkly lip glosses. This being said, a recent demand for “soft glam” suggests that those lip glosses might be returning, after all.



Many hits from the 2010s dominated the Billboard charts for months on end, such as Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk,” which was #1 on the charts for 14 weeks straight after its release. Here are some of the biggest hits of the decade. Do you remember them all?

Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars (2014) 


Party Rock Anthem –  LMFAO ft. Lauren Bennett, GoonRock (2011)


Gangnam Style –  PSY (2012)


Shake it Off – Taylor Swift (2014)


Somebody That I Used to Know – Gotye ft. Kimbra (2012)


Happy – Pharrell Williams (2013)


Thrift Shop – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Wanz (2012)

TiK ToK – Ke$ha (2010)


Cruise – Florida Georgia Line (2012)


Need You Now – Lady Antebellum (2010)


Rolling in the Deep – Adele (2010)


Old Town Road – Lil Nas X (2019)


Firework – Katy Perry (2010)


Radioactive – Imagine Dragons (2012)


Fancy – Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX (2014)


Stay With Me – Sam Smith (2014)


Airplanes – B.o.B. ft. Hayley Williams (2010)


Rather Be – Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne (2014)


Grenade – Bruno Mars (2010)


Super Bass – Nicki Minaj (2010)


Trap Queen – Fetty Wap (2014)


Riptide – Vance Joy (2013)



The 2010s were a golden age for teen and children’s television. Whether you were more into drama, paranormal romance, or comedy, there was something for everyone. Take a look at some of the decade’s most beloved young adult shows:


Wizards of Waverly Place (2007 – 12)


iCarly (2007 – 12)


Victorious (2010 – 13)


Good Luck Charlie (2010 -14)

Pretty Little Liars (2010 – 17)


Teen Wolf (2011 – 17)


The Vampire Diaries (2009 – 17)


Gossip Girl (2007 – 12)


Stranger Things (2016 – )


Riverdale (2017  – )


One Tree Hill (2003 – 12)


Phineas and Ferb (2007 – 15)


Shake it Up (2010- 13)


Jessie (2011- 15)


Gravity Falls (2012 – 16)


Austin and Ally (2011 – 16)



Several highly influential movies, both for youth and for adults, came out in the last ten years. Some made us laugh, some made us cry, most made us do a lot of both. Here are some of the decade’s most cherished films:


Bridesmaids (2011)


Inside Out (2015)


Inception (2010)


La La Land (2016)


Get Out (2017)


Teen Beach Movie (2013)


Lemonade Mouth (2011)


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2010 – 11)


Tangled (2010)


Despicable Me (2010)


Frozen (2013)


Boyhood (2014)


Moonlight (2016)


The Avengers Franchise (2012 – 19)


Politics/ Global News

Over the decade, much has happened both the global and national scales. Natural disasters tore countries and cities apart but brought people together, such as the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and Mexico City in 2017. The disastrous earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku, Japan in April 2011 caused an explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, resulting in the most severe nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Similarly, hurricanes swept Caribbean coastlines, such as Hurricanes Irma (2017, affected Florida, Puerto Rico), Harvey (2017, Texas and Louisiana), Sandy (2012, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bahamas) and Maria (2017, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic).

Unnatural disasters plagued the decade as well. Terrorist attacks in Europe took countless lives, such as the 2016 Brussels bombings, 2015 Paris attacks, the 2017 Manchester arena bombing, and the 2017 Barcelona attacks.

Here in the States, we were afflicted by a different plague. Mass shootings–the Sandy Hook, Santa Fe High School, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, Orlando nightclub, Las Vegas and El Paso shootings to name a few out of several more–surged over the last few years. Americans, namely students, spoke out against gun violence, making it one of the most hotly debated topics in the political circuit.

Speaking of politics, the last decade saw the reelection of former president Barack Obama in 2012, as well as the election of President Donald Trump to take his place in 2016.

Across the sea, Great Britain made moves to finally leave the EU after years of discussion. However, it looks like Brits and the world alike will have to wait until at least January 2020 to hear the decisions regarding Brexit.



The decade was a memorable one for sports, as well. After the allegation that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady ordered the deliberate deflation of the footballs used in the 2014-15 NFL Playoffs, the media lit up with the new controversy, earning it the nickname “Deflategate.” In 2016, our very own Atlanta Falcons played in Super Bowl LI, the first time the team had advanced that far since 1998.

Football was not the only sport worth watching, however. Also in 2016, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series for the first time in over a century. In basketball, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant announced his retirement after a 20-year career with the NBA. All-star basketball player LeBron James created waves of debate when he left the Miami Heat to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, only to join the Lakers in 2018.



How has technology evolved since 2010? Well, before the Xbox or the Playstation, the game consoles of choice were the Nintendo Wii (2006), DS (2004), 3DS (2011), or the Gameboy Advance (2001). Some games of note were “MarioKart,” “Super Mario Bros.,” “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Kirby Epic Yarn.”

Additionally, with the improvement of the iPhone (the iPhone 4 coming out in 2010) mobile apps became part of everyday life. In its brief run, people fought and even killed over the mindless game Flappy Bird. Easy leisure games like Angry Birds, Geometry Dash and Temple Run took the app stores by storm.  

Perhaps the culminating digital pastimes of the last ten years, however, were virtual worlds like Poptropica, Club Penguin, Animal Jam and Moshi Monsters. What better way was there to spend a weekday afternoon, after all, than completing online quests?


Internet and Pop Culture

Finally, as long as the internet exists, so will a thriving internet culture. Challenges swept through the public forum, such as planking, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and the Cinnamon Challenge (thank you for demonstrating, Glozelle.

Memes spread in waves, like the “troll face,” and others, such as these:







Similarly, you couldn’t go online without running into the Annoying Orange videos, and by clicking on any link you risked being rickrolled.  

A picture of a dress posted in February 2015 sparked a controversial question: black and blue or white and gold? Three years later, an audio recording would stir a similar debate when the internet exploded with  questions of whether an automated voice said “yanny” or “laurel.”

In January 2013, the social media app Vine came out, creating a brimming culture. The six-second videos and the creators behind them quickly became a pinnacle of young humor. However, less than three years later in December 2016, the app was discontinued due to competition with Instagram. The internet filled with “RIP Vine” compilations, and many former Viners turned towards other platforms such as Instagram and YouTube.

Now, however ,Vine has taken a definite backseat to the current video app of the times, TikTok. What began as an upgrade of the lip-syncing app has spiraled into one of the main avenues for comedy and culture. Whether or not their TikTok will get on the For You page is now a common concern among teenagers. 

So, whether we’re talking about Vine, or fashion trends, or television and film, the 2010s was certainly a decade to remember. It should be interesting, thus, to see what lies ahead in the 2020s.


By: Jessi Rich

Images: Know Your Meme, Haircut Inspiration, Inside the Magic, Netflix, Rotten Tomatoes, Imdb