By: Hailey Sands
You’re walking down the street when suddenly you hear the lyrics, “Come as you are, as you were, as I want you to be,” playing from inside your favorite thrift store. Now, look at your mood ring, now back to me. Now back to your mood ring, now back to me. What does your mood ring say you’re feeling? Nostalgic possibly? For me it does, and I only got 6 glorious years being a 90’s kid. We could wear butterflies clips in our hair without judgment, and purposefully got up early on Saturday to watch cartoons. During the last 10 years of 1900’s, we perceived the 21st century would be like Zenon’s life. And as much as I wish saying Zetus Lepetus would have stuck, it didn’t. In truth, the last ten years of the 20th century are rich in history, culture, and crisis.
The 90’s were a decade that truly pushed towards educating the youth on social issues. The Rock the Vote campaign that launched in 1990 set out to build the political power of young people. Endorsed by celebrities, like my boy P. Diddy, that encouraged the youth not only register to vote but to learn about the power they had in deciding who and what affected the future. It became cool to be socially aware on a global scale. Television shows like, “The Real World” also largely impacted the attitudes of the 90’s generation. Season 3: San Francisco was specifically responsible for the education on the HIV/AIDS disease. Homosexual cast member, Pedro Zamora’s put a face to what it looked like to be HIV positive and captured the hearts of viewers. His commitment ceremony to his boyfriend was televised, again putting a face to modern homosexuality. His death only one day after the season finale created a desire in the youth to begin getting STD tested and engages in safe sex.
Teenager’s ruled the 90’s. It was truly at time period were high school was the quintessential aspect of what was cool. Music played a huge impact on the 90’s as far as culture. With the MTV being a channel that blended together music, television, news, and fashion it was easy to find out about the coolest up and coming artists. The biggest music trend was arguably the grunge, which adapted into it’s own style of fashion. Artists like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Red Hot Chili Peppers had everyone wanting to be angsty, moody, and develop a sudden deep voice. Seattle, the birthplace of grunge, became the coolest city in America and teenagers from all over were piercing whatever body parts they could, and buying whatever flannels they could find. The suicide of grunge’s god, Kurt Cobain, in 1994 truly shook the world. He was idolized by millions and remains idolized today.
In a decade that glorified Drew Barrymore as a style icon, Lindsey Lohan as a role model, and *NSYNC as heartthrobs, generation Z was born and changed the world as we knew it. So dust off your cassette tapes of Clueless and pay tribute to the decade that survived the Y2K bug.
- About (n.d.). In Rock the Vote. Retrieved October 8, 2014, from http://www.rockthevote.com/
- Flores, F. (n.d.). Back to the ’90s. In DIG Magazine . Retrieved October 8, 2014 http://digmagonline.com/2139/feature/back-to-the-90s/
- Francis, M. (n.d.). 90’s Flashback: Real World. In Philadelphia Magazine. Retrieved October 8, 2014, from http://www.phillymag.com/news/2013/04/01/mtv-real-world-san-francisco-pedro-zamora/
- Kiger, P. (n.d.). What Did The 1990s Mean?. In National Geographic. Retrieved October 8, 2014, from http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/the-90s-the-last-great-decade/interactives/what-did-the-1990s-mean/
- Mayberry, S. (2008, March 12). The Rise of Underground . In The History of Grunge. Retrieved October 8, 2014, from http://grungehistory.wordpress.com/about/