Thursday, February 27, 2014

Discussion Post: Why the 90s Were the Best

Thursday, February 27, 2014 7:23 AM with 27 comments



Discussion Post: Why the 90s Were the Best

There's a couple of things that have prompted this post. I've been kind of reading this nonfiction book called Sexy Feminism (because kind of is how I always read nonfiction. I'll pick it up and read a chapter or two, put it aside for days, rinse, repeat. I'm lame, I know), and it made me think about my teen years when I was a pretty gung-ho feminist (not that I'm not now, but definitely not with the same energy that I was when I was 15 or 16--although I don't do anything with that kind of energy any more) that was spurred on by the awesome magazine that existed back in the day called Sassy. Reflecting on Sassy made me reflect on all kinds of other things that made the 90s an awesome decade to be a teen. These are just a few:

Sassy Magazine

Sassy Magazine was this insanely awesome magazine that existed from 1988-1994 which were my most formative preteen/teen years. Everything about Sassy rocked. It put real girls on its covers, and every issue featured work that real teens had sent in from poetry to short stories. It introduced me to books and music outside of the mainstream. It showed me a world that was so different from the one I was living in small town Wyoming. It recognized that not every girl was a blonde cheerleader (and even though I was a blonde cheerleader it wasn't the only thing I was). It talked about feminism in a way that made me proud to start identifiying myself as a feminist. It introduced me to the Riot Grrl movement and bands like Bratmobile and Bikini Kill.

I still have a stack of the magazine in a crate with my books--much to my husband's dismay, but I just can't get rid of them. The magazine went completely downhill after Jane Pratt, the editor, left and the magazine got taken over by a different publisher who immediately turned it in to every other teen magazine that has ever existed (Teen/Seventeen/YM, etc). It, of course, folded shortly after because the publisher obviously just didn't get the point: What made it so cool was its uniqueness. It was cool in that leather jacket, pack-a-day, bad-girl way we all admired, but kind of feared.

Jane Pratt eventually moved on and founded Jane magazine just in time for my 20s. Jane was pretty awesome, too, although maybe not quite as awesome as Sassy.

My So-Called Life

  

How to explain my love for My So-Called Life? I plan on doing a full review of the first, and only season, so I'll try to keep this as brief as possible. My So-Called Life aired during the 1994-1995 TV season and spoke directly to my soul. Everything about it was amazing. It was just so real. The friendships, the crushes, the parents (and mad props to actually giving the parents a real story line, too). Jordan Catalano. I was Angela Chase in high school, down to dying my hair bright red and having an obsessive crush on a guy in my algebra class for way, way too long. I recorded, and kept, every episode of this show on VHS and watched them over and over until the tapes stopped working. And then I bought it on DVD when the box set came out. I can literally recite whole episodes. I cried when I heard it got cancelled. Worst decision ever.

If you've never seen this show, you need to rectify this immediately. If you have seen it, than I know that I'm just preaching to the choir. 

P.S. I'm working on that full review. It will be up sometime this Spring. 

 



The Music:
 


 

Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Hole, Dave Matthews Band, Smashing Pumpkins. These bands, and many more, made up the soundtrack of my teen years. Shit, they make up my soundtrack now. Angst-y, loud, and made of awesome.

The Movies:

   
 


Clueless, Reality Bites, Empire Records, Singles, and Election are just a few of the movies that I watched over and over and over again when I was in high school. Other movies that teen me loved were 80s gems like Pretty in Pink, Say Anything, and Heathers, but I didn't think it was fair to include them seeing as how this is about how the 90s ruled. 

The Fashion:

 

Oh, Grunge. So fun, so comfortable, so full of plaid. 

The Books

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I'd feel remiss not mentioned any books in this post, but this is a hard one. I absolutely loved The Secret Circle series and read the series repeatedly. It's when I first discovered Bret Easton Ellis (although I haven't been able to stomach anything he's written lately. Anybody else read the sequel to Less Than Zero? It made me want to cry). I picked up The Robber Bride after reading a review of it in Sassy. To this day, it is probably my favorite novel of all time.

You Could Disappear:
 

There were no cell phones and social media. I know that cell phones make life easier, but I cannot even imagine having to deal with mean girl shit on FB/Twitter/whatever site the kids are into these days. It seriously makes me break out into hives just thinking about it. The worst I ever had to deal with is three-way calling attacks.


No Caller ID or *69:

You could stalk (ahem, yeah no, stalk is the right word) that cute boy all you wanted. But you know he knew it was you.  

In other words, the 90s were totally awesome, and I'm so happy that I got to spend my teen years in that decade. 

As always, I'd love to hear from you. Are you a 90s girl, or did you grow up earlier or later? Want to make a case for your decade if you did? Did I miss anything? Let me know! 






27 comments:

  1. I most definitely am! The music is incomparable and revolutionary. I wasn't much of a reader then so I'm not that adept at the best reads of the 90s. You also can get away with looking sloppy and call it grunge when it comes to fashion!

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    1. I was a huge reader when I was younger, but I really had to do some reflection about what I was reading. There were these YA romances that weren't related, but at least one came out once a month and I cannot freaking remember what they were called for the life of me. Grunge. Man did it make fashion easy. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Yes! I am a 90s girl and I LOVE the music, the movies, the fact that there's no twitter, Facebook, or instagram. I mean being a teenager is hard enough….I can't imagine having to deal with all the social media crap that they have to deal with today. It's got to be tough! I was obsessed with My So Called Life and Jordan C. I just re-watched the show last year….fantastic! I also just broke out my old DMB and Third Eye Blind CDs….good times! :) Great discussion post!

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    1. I'm still huge into DMB. I've seen them a bunch in concert and plan to see them again this summer. MSCL. Just the best show ever. Like I said, I have the box set and just break it out whenever I need a fix. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. My So Called Life...best show ever! Jordan Catalano...absolutely adored him (and I loved how they could never say his name without saying his whole name). That show and Freaks and Geeks are two incredible one season shows and it's so sad the crap that stays on the air for years and those shows get canceled.

    And you're right about the social media...I can't imagine being a teenager now and never being able to get away from people. Total nightmare.

    Fun post! ~Pam

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    1. Jordan Catalano. Has there ever been such a cuter boy? I love how they always said his whole name, too. Lol. I never got into F&G. I don't know why. I think it is on Netflix. I should do a binge.

      Social media. What a nightmare for teens. Thanks, Pam!

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  4. I love that this post is a thing! Seriously, the 90s were amazing! I still dress kind of grunge, I just can't seem to put it away. Also the music was amazing! And those teen movies, gah, so freaking good! I'm basically fangirling over this post right now!

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    1. Lol. Thank, Chris! I had so much fun writing this post. Weren't they the best. I seriously had to limit myself to how much I wanted to put in here. Especially the music. I could have gone on and on. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Sassy!!! My So Called Life!!!! Reality Bites!! I feel like an old lady reminiscing about the good old days...
    Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. Right? It was so fun to think about all the things I wanted to put in this post. The 90s ruled--even if it does make us old. Lol.

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  6. MY SO-CALLED LIFE!!!!!!! I remain crazy obsessed with that show! Absolutely perfect. I can still rematch eps and find more layers. Huge yes to this whole post! 90s was the best!

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    1. I remain crazy obsessed, too. I can literally recite whole episodes. Best show ever. What's interesting to me now is the marriage. I mean, I'm still swooning over Jordan and identifying with Angela, but I love how they gave Graham and Patty such a meaty story line, as well. Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. I am a 90s teen as well, and I could not be more thankful. The music, the fashion, the movies, the TV shows...people wish they could be us. :D

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    1. People definitely wish they could be us. The 00s had some good moments, too, but nothing that can really compare, imo. Reality TV and social media just took over when I was in my 20s. Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. I was born in '89, so I wasn't exactly a teen in the 90s, but I wish I had been! I remember watching my older cousins be into this stuff (I'm the oldest out of my siblings) and being SO jealous I wasn't allowed to watch/participate in any of it. And now I feel like I must watch My So-Called Life immediately!

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    1. You do. Immediately! It's just human nature to be jealous of the older kids--especially relatives when you're a tot. I was so jealous of what my sister got to watch/experience in the 80s. She's 4 years older which is significant when you're small. Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. OMG, YES! Kids these days don't know what they're missing! My So-Called Life was the best show ever! I really couldn't believe that they cancelled it after only one season. Kids NEED shows like that in their lives instead of the drivel on today. The movies, the music, the culture...I miss it all. I'm glad to have grown up in the 90s, too. =)

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    1. MSCL truly is the best show that has ever existed. I was practically inconsolable when it got cancelled. There were so many places that show could have gone. Concur on the drivel. There are still some quality shows, but I feel like most are geared towards adults. Obviously not having kids, I don't really focus on what's being put out for kids, but shows like Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries, while possibly entertaining (I don't watch either) don't really seem as quality or thought-provoking. Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. I was younger in the 90s, hitting my teens right at the turn of the century, so I was a little young for the things you mentioned. Still, I do remember the 90s quite fondly! And it's hard for me to fathom that it was actually 2 decades ago now and not just one! Eep!

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    1. I know. I'm definitely aging myself here, but I couldn't resist. I have fond memories of the 80s which were my kiddie days. Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. The 90s was my childhood. Some of my most favorite things ever came from that era (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Empire Records, Batman: The Animated Series, Mortal Kombat). It was a great time to enjoy your youth.
    Empire Record is a great movie. I am always so happy to see others remember the film.

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    1. Empire Records is the best. I loved Liv Tyler soooo much back then. I never got into the Power Rangers, but I do remember them. Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. The 90s were awesome, I totally agree! The music was better, I adored Clueless, Empire Records, and Election (and now I'm going to look up Singles).

    But, I never saw MSCL, I'm not sure if it was shown on tv here or if I just missed it but I am determined to see it soon!

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    1. Singles is awesome. I hope you can find a copy. And for real, Mandee, you have to find yourself a copy of MSCL. It is hands down the best show that has ever existed. The music was so awesome, too. I'm glad I'm not the only one who remembers it fondly. Thanks for stopping by!

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  13. I was a kid in the 90s, I was in 6th grade for Y2K lol, but yeah, I remember how awesome TV was -- I would sneak watch a lot of shows like The X-Files and Beavis and Butthead because I wasn't allowed to watch them. And every friday I would watch TGIF on ABC and Saturdays were for SNICK and Are You Afraid of the Dark. That's basically how I remember the 90s, all the tv I watched.

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    1. Beavis and Butthead. Lol. That show was hilarious...in very small pieces. I never got into the X Files. I know everybody loved it, but I just never watched it. I think it was on Friday or Saturday nights, and I made a point to get my ass out of the house whenever possible on the weekends because I was a moody teenager and all. Thanks for stopping by!

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  14. I am SO 90's!!! LOVE everything about the 90's... except maybe the giant scrunchies. Those I could have lived without. I totally agree with it being so much easier growing up without cell phones and social media. When I was in junior high and high school, if I wanted to talk to a boy I had to call his house and risk his mom answering and me feeling all awkward. It would have been so much easier to be able to text the guy, but at least you knew if someone made the effort to call your house it wasn't just out of boredom. Plus god I can't imagine the bullying that goes one over social media and text. It makes it so much easier hiding behind your technology. I loved Sassy and also YM!! I had a Sassy board game!! I would add Fear Street to that list of books! Those were my favorite 90's books. And to this day Clueless is my favorite movie. The 8th grade me who saw it at the movies was in heaven!!! (I'm also a big Empire Records fan... it's Rex Manning day!!!)

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Hello, there! Thanks for taking the time to comment. I read each and every one and will do my best to respond--usually on your blog instead of on mine. I will, however, always answer direct questions. Due to serious time restraints, this blog is now an award free zone, but I appreciate the thought!