Actress and comedian Meredith Stepien has been taking the same new year hair photo for 11 years. Since 2008, she has artfully formed her hair into the year that is being celebrated. Each Instagram hair photo is different in its own way, but one thing remains constant: Stepien’s dazzling smile.
Stepien’s new year’s hair is an annual tradition. The years of hair are almost always created by her best friend Mar (2013 and 2015 are the exceptions). Stepien notes on her Instagram that the look is almost always created “with a chunk of [Mar’s] own hair sacrificed to make a number look perfect.”
The new year hair in each photo is impressive enough, but Stepien’s audience has also noticed that she has barely aged from 2008 to 2018. The hair may change, but the eyes and the smile appear to stay the same. Maybe there is something about the years of hair that allows her to look the same age for the rest of her life.
2008: Meredith Stepien’s new year’s hair is sprinkled with confetti. Barack Obama had just been elected president, China was hosting the Olympics, and the Marvel movies were kicking off with the release of Iron Man.
2009: This year Stepien appears to be looking off-camera. Maybe she’s distracted by all the major events coming her way, like balloon boy and the passing of Michael Jackson.
2010: This Instagram hair photo takes us into the new decade. Surrounded by streamers, Stepien looks ready for the opening of the Burj Khalifa and the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
2011: This photo of Stepien’s new year hair looks cozier than the others, but Stepien still radiates happiness as she heads into the year of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s marriage and the end of the Iraq War.
2012: Barack Obama is re-elected, the world does not end on December 21st, and Meredith Stepien shows off her new year hair with a big smile.
2013: Stepien’s new year hair for 2013 looks much more sparing, but her smile is as radiant as ever. It’s been six years and she still looks the same so far.
2014: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappears, but Stepien’s smile and new year hair remain. This year also saw Scotland vote to remain in the EU.
2015: The world didn’t get the hoverboards or self-lacing Nikes promised in Back to the Future Part 2, but it did get Princess Charlotte and the eradication of rubella from the Americas.
2016: Okay, 2016 was definitely a rough year. When Meredith Stepien took this year’s Instagram hair photo, she looked very optimistic, and the world needed all the optimism it could get.
2017: Meredith put on a big grin for 2017’s new year hair photo. She might just be happy to be getting out of 2016 but might not have known that 2017 was not much better.
2018: Here’s hoping that 2018 is as sparkly and special as this final (for now) Instagram hair photo. We should all be like Meredith and look forward with a smile and unflinching optimism.
We’ll all be looking forward to Meredith Stepien’s 2019 new year hair. For now, we’ll all be hoping that 2018 is a great year that marks a lot of positive change in the world.