2017 was kind of the worst year ever. Like, I don’t even want to provide you with some playful anecdotes about why it was a shitstorm. We all know why. However, if there is one shining takeaway from these 12 months of sheer awfulness, it’s the rise of the thirst trap. 2017 was the year we collectively stepped up our Instagram game, which is definitely something to celebrate. We all really discovered our best angles, sought out the best lighting, and came up with some amazing captions. To reminisce, let’s take a look at some of the most legendary celebrity thirst traps of the year.
(Side note: this listicle is 100 times more entertaining if you read the Instagram handles and captions aloud in the same voice as the guy who announces the nominees at the Academy Awards. You’re welcome.)
@kimkardashian: it’s really hot today
Kim really took no time pretending this wasn’t a thirst trap. She didn’t even put her face in it, bother to make it scenic, or try to have a witty caption. It’s literally just a body pic. Ballsy move, but well executed.
@nickiminaj: Just having some Barbie fun in my Barbie Dream House between looks
Starting a thirst trap caption with the word “just” is always an attempt to make your hotness seem effortless. Nicki Minaj def has a glam squad, but she still succeeded in looking v chill in this expert thirst trap.
@iamhalsey: when ur in Cannes and ur single and make ur @DonsLens pretend to be ur boyfriend for the gram
Halsey’s thirst trap is genius on many levels. First, it’s aesthetically perfect. Secondly, she has a cool beach outfit on and gets to flaunt her ass tat. Third, she pulled off that relationship photo everyone would love to have, but forced her photographer to participate in it, which allowed her to get the shot while also drawing attention to her (previous) single-ness.
@bellathorne: Beautiful skies you have #cannes
Bella Thorne, one of the founding mothers of the thirst trap movement, has pioneered a very successful thirst trap approach. The trick is to find somewhere super scenic and write a caption that makes it seem like you’re all about that travel lifestyle, but to actually make your own body the center of attention.
@jordynwoods: sorry if my curves offend you
There are literally two rolls of toilet paper visible in this, and Jordyn Woods still pulled in almost half a million likes. Glad someone’s doing the legwork while Kylie hibernates.
@demilovato: (no caption)
Nothin’ thirstier than a photo in bed with no caption. *Golf clap*
@iamcardib: Shmoney Green
In this thirst trap, Cardi really served us a perfect example of the classic “In Front of a White Door Because I Didn’t Have a Better Backdrop” strategy. If you’ve never done this, just delete your Instagram. This tactic is tried and true for a reason. It just works.
@bellahadid: I Know I’m Your Favorite
This thirst trap has it all. From the bomb one piece to the ambiguous cabana backdrop, it’s the level of thirst trap that most of us can only dream to someday achieve. The caption is vague, but seeing as it was posted in August, it definitely feels like it has the potential to be the Instagram version of a subtweet towards Selena and The Weeknd. (Why don’t we have a word for that yet, btw? Does anyone subtweet anymore? If you do, you should stop.)
@winnieharlow: Gym Bunny
Want to elevate your regular workout thirst trap? Find a pose that makes it look like you’re in the middle of taking off your clothes.
@arielwinter: Happy #MemorialDay
Another fundamental thirst trap tactic is to use a holiday as an excuse to post a photo of yourself, just as Ariel Winter did on Memorial Day. The photo has literally NOTHING to do with the holiday. That’s kind of the point.