The 2017 Celebrity Glow-Ups We Didn't Know We Needed

You know how it goes with New Year's resolutions. They are fun to think about and write down, but getting them done over the next 365 days is another story. I’ve found that it’s more useful to spend New Year's reflecting on the previous year, figuring out what I can build on for the coming year and what I deserve to celebrate. Sometimes you might find that you’re just happy to have survived the year. And in other cases, the last 12 months may have seen a complete glow-up.

The same can be true for celebrities. Even though the bar on success is already set higher for the upper echelon, they too can make noticeable changes for the better that are worth acknowledging. 2017 was no exception. This year, we saw some of our favorite names in entertainment switch it up in the best way possible, with people of color leading the charge. We didn’t even know we how badly we needed this inspiration, but boy am I damn glad we got it anyway.

So click through our slideshow to get into the glow-ups we didn’t know we needed.

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Cardi B.
“You can’t fuck with me if you wanted to…” was the refrain heard around the world this summer. It’s the first line to her number one hit, “Bodak Yellow,” which marked a peak in Cardi’s glow. The single was nominated for a Grammy and became the first song by a solo female rapper to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart in over 20 years. And Cardi seems to be doing just as well in her personal life. Migos member Offset, whom Cardi had been dating, popped the question in October.
I know what you’re thinking, what else is there for Bey to do after the success of Lemonade last year? Well, she broke an Instagram record with her pregnancy announcement, gave birth to twins, and then made the decision for everyone that curves are in by flaunting her baby weight in the best way possible. Oh, and then there’s the fact that she’s the highest paid woman in music. Just saying.
Celebrities are judged by their looks on a near constant basis. So when Rihanna gained a few noticeable pounds, the comments began to pour in. She took all of the commentary in stride, even offering a few funny memes on the topic. Plus, she had more important things to worry about, like executing one of the most successful beauty launches off the year with Fenty Beauty, meeting with the French President and First Lady about global education, and getting the street she grew up on in Barbados officially named after her. That Rihanna reign just won’t let up.
Jordan Peele
Had Jordan Peele just directed a horror movie, it would have been good. If he made a movie about race it would have been great. But Peele made Get Out, which combined both and completely shifted the genre and our conversations about race. He also had his first child in the middle of all the hoopla.
Obviously, Jay joined his wife in welcoming two new babies into their family. And with his album 4:44, he earned his first album of the year nomination for the 2018 Grammys. He also made public amends to Bey, but more importantly, started a conversation about Black masculinity, emotional well-being, and mental health.
I like to think that with the release of Ctrl, her sophomore album, SZA became to music what Issa Rae is to television. She is unapologetically Black, and leaning into the fact that she doesn’t have all of her shit together in the relationship or life departement. The result of this vulnerability got her several Grammy nominations.
Tiffany Haddish
Girls Trip’s secret ingredient was Tiffany Haddish. The comedienne delivered a breakthrough performance in one of the most successful films of the year and has since followed it up with a Showtime special and a hosting stint on Saturday Night Live!.
Barack Obama
Without the citizens of the United States stressing him out, Barack Obama appears to be living his very best life, and he deserves it.
Selena Gomez
If anyone deserves to be on this list, it’s Gomez. Her best friend donated a kidney that saved her life. And then Gomez managed to get back with her ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber (at least, that's how it appears). Not many people get a vital organ and a rekindled flame in the same year.
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