When I think of pre-Clinton era female-marketed technology, it seems pretty dark. Feminine Mystique-inducing home appliances, suspiciously-vibrating fitness machines, straight-up heated hair shenanigans – still weirdly interesting, but glad they’re not our only options anymore. The ‘90s brought a new generation of young girls growing up in a computer information age. If we’d had a handbook, it would’ve been titled Our Screens, Ourselves and written in a Curlz font. Below are the electronic accessories, on-screen heroes and online destinations that defined the oft-confusing era of “geek to chic.”
1. Casio’s My Magic Diary
With its message zapping, fortune telling, love matchmaking, and personalized face-creating phone book features, this PDA was like a dinosaur iPhone preloaded with every girly app for preteens. Boys were legitimately jealous of the device.
This site had an appealing design and not only offered cool, easily digestible content for teens, but actually did a good job of community-building and engaging with their audience. I know a lot of girls who made their first web pages and email addresses through the super easy-to-use gURL.com services.
3. Clarissa Darling
When the Pearl Jam-loving narrator of Clarissa Explains It All broke the fourth wall, she really brought the house down. Not only did she also have a killer wardrobe, but she designed her own video games to work out her problems with her friends and family.
4. Foxy Zine
Keva Marie had already founded the skater-chick clothing Poot! (they made those awesome girls kiss ass! shirts, and vegan canvas “choes” ) before making Foxy, the first online teen girl presence. It was the mecca of ultimate cool-girl voice-y pieces for creative, thoughtful and active chicks that were never covered in mainstream teen mags.
5. Cher Horowitz
The charming Clueless star showed how you could combine computers and fashion and be incredibly chic. Her computerized wardrobe was not just impressive but showed how she could more accurately express herself through her style.