Listen up, mums. The frighteningly sophisticated and grown-up TikTok teens of today don’t have anything on us cool cats who were teenagers in the 90s. RIGHT? And because we all love a trip back down memory lane … way back down … here’s a throwback to all things 90s teenagers!
I might be generalising A LOT, but my social feeds are filled with 15-year-old teenagers looking like they’re 20 something-year-olds, all filtered to perfection, sporting Victoria Secret runway-worthy hair and outfits to match. There’s not a matching tracksuit or scrunched sock to be seen for dead. This TikTok trend has me dead because it’s SO TRUE.
@amyjosimpson90’s teenagers were hardcore 🤣♬ original sound – Bex
Come with me for a trip down memory lane folks, for being a 90s teenager was THE BEST. Long live 90s teenager memories, ahhhhh the sweet nostalgia. #throwback
1. We had BIG hair and no cares about it
In stark contrast to sleek, balayage styles of today, in the 90s there were many cycles of big hair. We teased and backcombed that fringe to lofty heights before securing it with a headband. There was crimping, chemical-laden spiral perms, coated with a thick layer of crunchy foam mousse before maturing with a ‘Rachel cut’ and flat irons. Foiled highlights? Forget it. It was a frosting cap and a crochet hook for a scalp piercing win.
Raise your hand if you asked the hairdresser for the ‘Rachel’ cut! via GIPHY
2. Friendships were heartfelt and genuine
Without the flippant text and instant messaging of today, friendships did actually require a level of effort to maintain. A memorised phone number and phone calls that lasted for hours on end, letter writing and showing up on each other’s doorstep unannounced were common occurrences and we LOVED IT. Friends for life!
3. Posters were our room décor of choice
Our 90s teen bedrooms were far from serene or Pinterest worthy. If Hanson, Simon Baker Denny or Leonardo DiCaprio weren’t acting as wallpaper and stuck with enough Blu-Tack to sink a ship, were you really decorating? No.
4. Photos of you were just … photos
A time before digital cameras. If anyone took a photo of you, you had to wait for the film roll to be finished, wait for someone to take it to the local chemist for them to send it off to be developed, be returned to the shop and then be collected. IT WAS A PROCESS. No one was lugging around a photo album for anyone to see or comment on them. What blissful times!
5. We could mix a cassette tape like a boss
Regardless of if you recorded music from another tape or recording from the radio, making a mixed tape was serious work. It was an art that required a DO NOT DISTURB note on your bedroom door, dedication and fast fingers for that four-second gap between songs but when you nailed it, boy, the seratonin flowed!
You HAD to cut the radio announcer off VERY quickly. PAUSE. via GIPHY
6. We scrunched everything
We wore BIG fabric scrunchies in our freshly scrunched hair and we scrunched our socks *just right* for school. The only time in my life I hunted high and low for knee-high socks for maximum scrunch and ripple factor.
7. Outfits were next-level creative and highly flammable
Parachute fabric tracksuits, double denim, preppy blazers, tartan everything and a side of dark grungy goodness and slip dresses over T-shirts. We wore what we felt good in without a care in the world – MC Hammer style harem pants and velvet ribbon chokers? No worries. Tartan blazer and stirrup pants? SIGN ME UP.
ALL the tartan on the body at one time, thanks to Clueless circa 1995. via GIPHY
8. What song lyrics we didn’t know, we made up
A decade of absolute bangers from Daryl Braithwaite to INXS and all the Spice Girls if you wanna be my lover…. in between. A time without Google for song lyric checking, we simply made up the words to songs on the radio. If you were lucky enough to buy the tape, you could whip out the printed lyrics from within the plastic casing sheet, but otherwise – you’re on your own, kid.
9. Dolly magazine was our go-to intel
We had a certain air of ignorance as 90s teens because the internet didn’t exist for us just yet. Without Google or the world wide web in our pocket, our most valued information came from Dolly magazine or if you could get it past mum, a CLEO mag. Saucy!
10. Overall, 90s decade was GOLDEN
From the launch of mega-hit TV shows Beverley Hills 90210 and Friends to nursing the original first reality pet, Tamagotchis. And don’t forget trying to track down the near-impossible to get Furbies … it was a time never to forget. And speaking of never forget, I can still do the macarena dance moves well into the night, guys. Just so you know.
Were you a 90s tween or teen? What did you love MOST about this decade? Add your favourite memories into the comment section below, we’d love to hear them!