2013 was the year of the cultural reset

10 years on, Laviea Thomas remembers some of 2013's seismic cultural moments.


Formerly known as the Bound 2 era, 2013 was a year of cultural weight. Jam-packed with break-the-internet moments that remain just as shocking as they did 10 years ago – from Miley Cyrus’ disastrous live performance at the VMAs to the Jonas Brothers announcing their split – it’s a year that saw gossip mills turning at quite the rate.

As the world becomes an increasingly depressing and serious place, thankfully, Instagram accounts such as velvetcoke and Loveofhunsx to are keeping the essence of silly-core alive as they dive deep into the vortex to capture some of the best pop culture moments from the late ‘90s and 2000s. 

In celebration of the 10-year anniversary of 2013, we’ve selected our top ten favourite cultural reset moments from a truly iconic era.


Miley Cyrus at the MTV Video Music Awards

There’s so much to unpack from Miley’s performance that night. From her twerking on stage, to vigorously grinding on Robin Thicke and using an almost full cast of Black performers as props for her own entertainment, Miley’s messy VMA performance is categorically one of the most ridiculous snapshots from 2013.

Lady Gaga Performing ‘Venus’ with The Muppets 

There’s something so brilliantly camp and bizarre about this performance. After belting out ‘Applause,’ Gaga’s smoother-than-butter rendition of ‘Venus’ featuring The Muppets is such a gag. We dare you to suggest any other artist that could replicate this level of stupidity with such a sophisticated flair – there isn’t one. 

The Year of Kimye

2013 really was the year of Kimye. There was no other celebrity couple that anyone wanted to be more than them. From Kanye hiring out San Francisco’s ballpark to propose to Kim, to their hyper-sexualised ‘Bound 2’ music video, there are so many hilariously enticing parts of the ‘Kimye’ relationship that had everyone hooked.

Beyoncé brings on Destiny’s Child at her Super Bowl Performance

Finishing off her bass-heavy Dutty Wine sequence and into the ‘Bootylicious’ single, the sudden iconic harmonising and synchronised power stances as Destiny’s Child members stood on stage with Beyoncé was a jaw-dropping moment for everyone that night.

The Jonas Brothers announce their split

Just three years after their performances in Camp Rock 2, the Jonas Brothers announced their split and there was hell to pay from there onwards. Their breakup was a gut-wrenching moment for everyone, as most of us questioned: what would this country do without agitating ear-worm singles such as ‘Burnin’ Up,’ and ‘S.O.S.’ now that Jonas Brother were no longer together?

Reciting in an interview with ABC News “we choose to be brothers first” – this was a statement that at the time felt extremely profound, but since reflecting on it is absolutely ridiculous. 

Beyoncé releases a surprise self-titled album 

Self-titled albums can go one of two ways. They’re either a complete miss, or provide a flip-of-the- switch moment. In this case Beyoncé’s self-titled project is the latter. Giving us hit singles ‘***Flawless [Explicit]’ ‘Drunk in Love [Explicit]’ and ‘Partition [Explicit]’ to list a few, ‘Beyoncé’ was a real moment of the Mandela effect, as the artist dropped it as a surprise album via Parkwood Entertainment and Columbia in the early hours of December 13, 2013.

Prada casts their second-ever Black model in 2013

While a very important and culturally significant moment for 19-year-old Malaika Firth who at the time featured in an advert for their 2013 autumn/winter campaign, it’s bewildering to imagine a brand with such a high status would take this long before casting its next Black model. Previously casting Naomi Campbell in a campaign in 1994, Firth’s casting in 2013 quickly changed the trajectory of how the world perceived Prada as a brand.

Oprah’s interview with Lindsey Lohan

This interview clip was not only completely imposing, but unnecessarily dramatic. It goes without saying, but Lindsay Lohan deserves so many apologies for the sheer level of dehumanisation and explosion she has encountered throughout her career. 

You can’t help but cringe when rewatching this clip as Oprah forces to-the-point questions towards Lohan about her drug addiction. This is one of the sadder and more frustrating cultural reset moments that has shaped 2013. 

Disclosure’s ‘White Noise’ had everyone in a chokehold

Sitting at the top of the electronic-pop food chain between 2012-2015, Disclosure not only presented us with anthemic deep house cuts ‘Latch’ and ‘You & Me’ but also landed the most nostalgic-sounding electronic garage-inspired hit ‘White Noise.’ A song that had everyone in a chokehold in 2013, if you got the chance to enjoy this track at a nightclub you were probably living your best life.

David Beckham retires from football

Prized as a true football baddie and the nation’s full-time heartthrob, Beckham’s retirement at the ripe age of 38 in 2013 was a culturally significant moment that not only had him in tears but numerous teammates and fans. 

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