STOP PRETENDING THE 90s WERE COOL!

All this nostalgia for the ’90s is pushing me to the brink. I think the last straw was when Sophie Dahl made a Blur playlist for her (probably fake) dinner party on her cookery show cos, like, There’s No Other Way was totally the soundtrack to the ’90s, right? NO IT WASN’T! The sound of the ’90s was a gruesome mash-up of Chumbawamba, Mark Morrison and B*witched. I think every decade is 80% tragic and 20% cool, but the only bit that people choose to remember, reference and revive is that 20% (see: Blur).

Look at those quintissentially '90s eyebrows and that 'curtains' hair - see? not cool.

Look at those quintissentially ’90s eyebrows and that ‘curtains’ hair – see? not cool.

Tavi has tapped into this nostalgia for our teenage years – whether she meant to or not – on Rookie which is why she has millions of 30-something women as fans as well as her own peers. She presents a perfected version of teenagerhood where everyone is quirky-indie-cool in a wry, grungry, riot grrrl-listening, My So Called Life-watching way and those of us who wish our teens had been that cool lap it up.

That’s all very well. But let’s be real for a moment here: come on, admit it, the ’90s were a bit shit.

We wore handmade capri-jeans and pinstripe bootcut trousers :/

We wore handmade capri-jeans and pinstripe bootcut trousers :/

Oh don’t get me wrong, we had fun, but we were most definitely not cool in the way that everyone’s getting all misty-eyed for now – that never happened.

Growing up in the suburbs (which aren’t dreamy and pastel-coloured like in Edward Scissorhands btw) you weren’t admired for being into Britpop and wearing Adidas Gazelles, you were ridiculed (and this still happens today, as I discovered when I was called ‘four-eyes’ by a mean girl in school uniform in Epsom the other week. I’m THIRTY TWO by the way, this should not bother me, but it does).

Jen's Elastica/Vaseline tee is probably worth a fortune now

Jen’s Elastica/Vaseline tee is probably worth a fortune now

We had ‘curtains’ hair, wore unfortunate bootcut cords and were into Ocean Colour Scene and Shed 7 as much as Blur and Pulp – no-one mentions THAT do they? Oh no, it’s all Pixie Geldof prancing in flatforms and bumbags.

I can only assume that people who came of age in the ’80s found me and my pals, pretentiously gambolling around Hoxton in day-glo leggings and asymmetric haircuts, equally irritating and I would like to apologise to them now. We were odious, I’m sorry, I’ve grown out of it now, I promise.

I know that youth tends to reference and revere the style of bygone days and it’s simply the fact that I’m growing old and bitter that means I find this newfound enthusiasm for the ’90s disconcerting. But it just feels like people are trying way too hard to find edginess and beauty in a decade that was pretty darn minging. For every supermodel in a Calvin Klein commercial there was a Timmy Mallet. We weren’t wearing gloriously trashy Versace, but rather those Red or Dead black plimsols that got smelly really fast.

Anyway, I don’t need the ’90s to be cool. Let the kids have their faux-nostalgia, I’ll stick with the real, saddo, deal.

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phoebe

Co-founder and co-editor of Pamflet. Bookworm, bluestocking, Brown Owl. Loves Garconnes style, reading, writing, ranting and raving. Gin snob.
About phoebe:

Co-founder and co-editor of Pamflet. Bookworm, bluestocking, Brown Owl. Loves Garconnes style, reading, writing, ranting and raving. Gin snob.

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