Who doesn't love a good throwback? This week, FN threw a big nod to the '90s: the trends (that are making a comeback), the memorable game-changers in the fashion industry, the cartoons that made waking up early on a Saturday morning super worthwhile, the TV icons we all wanted to be like at one point or another, the TV hunks who all made us swoon, and a couple of home staples that are considered "vintage" by now. Here, the FN team talks about what makes the '90s utterly memorable.
Myra, managing editor
If this were the '90s, I would be listening to a Spice Girls cassette tape through my walkman, and I would pause abruptly to play side B. If I need to take a break, I would watch MTV, and pray to high heavens that they would play a video of the Backstreet Boys or Hanson, instead of those dreary grunge stuff (which I would come to appreciate a decade too late). Maybe I would flip through an issue of Tiger Beat or Bop and learn that Nick Carter is only five years older than me, so our age gap wouldn't be much of a difference when we get married. If I have an entire day to myself, I would probably devour three The Baby-Sitter's Club books and would end up daydreaming how perfect life could be if I were Kristy Thomas. I would also revel in the fact that I'm wearing "high-waist" pants with a loose shirt (or a neon dress paired with tights, if I'm feeling extra girly) because nothing could ever be so laid-back chic. I would be raving about how awesome Les Miserables is (the culprit behind my lifelong love for theater) and how thankful I am that they aired the 10th anniversary concert on national TV. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Nippon animation cartoons that were aired either in the morning or afternoon: Sarah, Cedie, Remi, Jo, The Von Trapp family, and that poor fellow Nelo whose story has scarred me for life.
It's already 2013, but I'm still desperately stuck in the '90s. An ideal weekend for me would be spent with Dr. Frasier and Murphy Brown (Ally McBeal, Sex and the City, The X-Files, and Seinfeld are all next in line). Cher (from Clueless, who else?) convinced me that pairing skirts with tights or knee-high socks will always cool, and I'm giddier than ever because '90s trends are making a comeback. I'm still gaga over Leonardo DiCaprio, especially when he played Jay Gatsby in Baz Luhrmann's (yes, this feels a bit too Romeo + Juliet) hip adaptation. The '90s was a great decade to be young, with its explosion of pop, rap, and grunge movements that all merged into one schizo (but fun) culture. In retrospect, I think what I loved the most about the decade was being able to grow up in a world where instant gratification was unheard of. The Internet wasn't yet a household staple, and we were taught to patiently wait for a week to catch another TGIS episode, for our favorite artist to release another cassette tape, and for our crush to finally have the balls to say he likes us back (LOL). Good times, indeed.
Jen, staff writer
During the '90s, I was quite the moody middle child, but that didn't stop me from loving everything that a '90s kid loved: the Spice Girls, the Backstreet Boys, and The Land Before Time (listening to Diana Ross's "If We Hold on Together never fails to make me teary-eyed). I also had a habit of getting classmates to sign autographs, filling out autographs in return (because it would be rude not to), and collecting stationaries and stickers, which I would trade or sell at some point in the year. And as I never learned to cross-stitch (a pastime that was oddly popular back then), I found myself reading a lot of Sweet Valley and Goosebumps books (yes, I cheat at choose-your-own-adventure books!) These days, I don't have a lot of free time to get attached to a movie, a song, or even a book, and perhaps that's what I miss most of all.
Pat, assistant fashion and beauty editor
Like most people born in the tail end of the '80s, the '90s were a time when I could afford to be carefree and easygoing. As a kid during the decade, my worries mainly consisted of homework, exams, and swimming lessons (which I flat-out refused to attend after one session). The rest of the time was devoted to reading (Sweet Valley Kids and Twins, and The Baby-Sitters Club), watching TV (Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Saved by the Bell, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and playing with toys. Needless to say, life was good.
My personal style, on the other hand, was more of an afterthought. I really couldn't be bothered with dressing up, and my mom and I would often battle it out when it came to my outfits on weekends. I suppose I only began to have an inkling of what's cool when cousins from the States came to visit us one year. My Ate Katreena, in particular, was the epitome of hip. Suddenly, I wanted to deck myself out in a pair of denim overalls, tie a jacket around my waist, and pull on some Dr. Martens boots. CK One became the fragrance du jour, and TLC's "Waterfalls" the soundtrack to that visit. I had no clue back then that I was participating in trends whose scope reached farther than anything I could, at that time, imagine. To my young and naive self, I was just absorbing what I liked and making them my own—which essentially is still what we do with trends these days.
There are a few things I like about the '90s. During that time period, you couldn't get things in an instant. Most of us didn’t have these gadgets that we have now. Everything we did was personal. During that time, children could be seen in the streets playing patintero and tumbang preso, inside of staying cooped up inside the house tinkering around with their tablets. With photography, you really had to have the technical know-how since your film only had 36 shots, and you wouldn’t know the outcome until you get your roll developed. Now, people just rely on their LCD screens to check if their photo looks okay.
Mars, editorial assistant
I was born in 1990, making me a tad too young to appreciate a lot of aspects about the decade’s culture. One thing I did love about the ‘90s, though, would be the toys that were produced during the time. I adored them all: from Troll dolls, Power Rangers action figures, to the legitimately pocket-sized Polly Pockets. However, my parents were the type who wouldn't buy me toys unless there's an occasion, so unlike some of my grade school schoolmates, I wasn't able to amass a barkada of Sky Dancers or a Lisa Frank-filled room. As a result, the toys I did get, I deeply cherished, to the point where I didn't allow my 2001-born sister to even touch them--a good move on my part, as the relics of my childhood are still in relatively good condition until now. I consider my surviving '90s-era toys and paraphernalia as some of my most prized possessions, and I still count playing the Red, Blue, and Yellow versions of the Pokemon Nintendo game as one of my favorite pasttimes (Have I mentioned that I’m already 22?). No matter how fancy the playthings of today are, in my heart, the toys of my childhood will forever be better. Trust me, all the iPad apps in the world will never be able to match the sheer joy a Polly Pocket village can possibly bring to a seven-year-old girl.
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