What Your Early-2000s Boy Crush Says About You

1. Justin Timberlake

Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

Let’s be honest, you didn’t have a lot of imagination. Having a crush on Justin Timberlake in 2003 was like having a crush on Ryan Gosling today. Like, congratulations on having eyes. Also, you probably enjoyed Hollister, drawing dolphins on your notebooks, pb&j on white bread, and every other choice that fell right in the middle of the bell curve.

2. Nick Lachey

Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com
Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com

First of all, can we talk about the dollop of Limited Too frosted lip gloss that Mr. Lachey is sporting in this picture?? Is this contouring for males with plump lower lips?? Anyway, I think it’s safe to say that if you were into Nick Lachey, you were kind of basic, even at the age of 13. You wore Aeropostale shirts, and had crushes on the not-super-smart guys with good abs, and had at least a few items of inflatable furniture filled with feathers in your bedroom. (And there is a decent chance that you’re into Channing Tatum today.)

3. Jesse McCartney

s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

Jesse McCartney, aka the emotional lovechild of Aaron Carter and Zac Efron, was truly the thinking 12-year-old’s crush. You were interested in guys that weren’t afraid to show their soft side, and whose luxuriously frosted tips did not mean the brain underneath them was superficial. You frequently wrote love letters that you never sent to the boys you liked, and played MASH with your friends over and over until you got the answers you wanted. Basically, you had a lot of feelings.

4. Lil’ Bow Wow

Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

First of all, God bless this hairdo and the paint-huffing stylist that allowed it to happen. And second of all, if you were obsessed with Lil’ Bow Wow back in the day, it meant that you were into all things ‘just-edgy-enough.’ You loved that rebellion that was home by bedtime, and riding a Little Tikes car around the hallway of your mansion. You probably argued with your parents on more than one occasion about being able to wear a crop-top, lace-up basketball jersey to school. You also shopped a lot at Wet Seal and/or 5-7-9.

5. Brandon Boyd

Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com
Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

You either smoked a lot of weed, or thought guys that smoked a lot of weed were really sexy and mysterious and deep. You used to listen with great admiration as your longboard-wielding crush talked to you about the universe and asked if you could steal some of your mother’s Virginia Slims for him.

6. Deryck Whibley

s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

There is a 110 percent chance that your parents didn’t even fucking understand you at all, and that you tried to buy one of Avril Lavigne’s tee shirts from a music video with their credit card.

7. Chris Evans-circa-Not Another Teen Movie

Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

You have great taste. Then, now, forever.

8. Drake-circa-Degrassi

Degrassi
Degrassi

You didn’t exactly know what he would become, but you knew that he was something special. You were into guys whose typical-hot-guy appearance was a cover for their deep, lyrical feelings — he was the dark horse who truly paid off. And let’s be honest, when he couldn’t get it up for Ashley, you were like “Wait, no, let me.”

9. Nick and/or Aaron Carter

s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

The Carters, circa 2003, were nothing short of a dynasty. Nick, the Justin Timberlake of the Backstreet Boys, was slowly passing the torch off to his vaguely Joffrey Baratheon-esque younger brother. One made guilty pleasure pop songs, the other, fully humiliating rap songs. If you loved them, you fully embraced every bit of your youthful bad taste. You liked going to Six Flags, balling up packs of Gushers and eating them all at once, and wearing those airbrushed tee shirts with you and your boyfriend’s name on them in graffiti writing.

10. Freddie Prinze Jr

Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

The classic early-2000s crush, Freddie Prinze Jr was the mark of a refined, tasteful 13-year-old. You appreciated the finer things in life, and would go on to a rich 20-something life of drinking the third-least-expensive wine, dating emotionally stable men, and appreciating the look of a good wire-framed pair of glasses.

11. JC Chasez

Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

There was something almost spiritual in your preference of JC over Justin. It was about not following the crowd, not going with the obvious choice, and seeing the good in the path less traveled. And although you were definitely a chill pre-teen to hang out with, let’s just say I wouldn’t trust you with handling my portfolio. You don’t make the best investments.

12. Daniel Radcliffe

Sam Aronov / Shutterstock.com
Sam Aronov / Shutterstock.com

You are a cornball who hasn’t stopped talking about Harry Potter since approximately 1998. And don’t even get me started on your Tumblr. TC mark

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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