1. We watched Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake present the Mickey Mouse Club.
Both Britney and Justin were ‘Mouseketeers’ from 1993 to 1995. None of us could imagine that 20 years later they’d be the hot pop idols they have become. Same for Christina Aguilera and Ryan Gosling. They’ve come a long way since those days!
2. We watched FRIENDS as it was being shown for the first time.
Starting in 1994, Friends was one of those shows that a whole generation grew up with. It was so good that apparently everyone thought it was a good idea to keep airing it for years and years afterwards. At this point I don’t think there is anyone alive who hasn’t watched the entire series at least three times from start to finish.
3. The Harry Potter books had not been written.
Sometimes dubbed as the Harry Potter generation, we had the pleasure to grow up with this book series. Starting from 1997 with the Philosopher’s Stone, we waited till 2007 to find out the ending, with year long gaps between books.
4. Ring Pops and Bubble Tape were the sweets we spent all our money on.
Despite tasting just like any other lollipop or bubble gum, those two treats were what kids were obsessed with. Frankly, it was the unusual shape. Scientifically speaking, how your food looks is an important part of how it tastes. At least that sounds better than saying kids will buy anything, as long as it looks pretty, and saves me some face when I admit that even as a 23 year old I’d still be a massive sucker for this candy diamond ring. If you know anywhere I can still get one, please let me know!
5. Plastic chokers were the must have accessory.
I owned three of those, a black, a blue and a red one. Don’t ask me why, I can not give any legitimate answer other than ‘that is what you did’. All the girls were wearing them and, in general, chokers look sexy, although I bet most ten year olds were not particularly aiming for sexy at the time. We just had to have them. By the way, if you dig through the depths of my teenage room hard enough, you will probably find them somewhere.
6) We thought thin eyebrows and dark lip liners looked good
Freakishly thin eyebrows paired with brown lipstick and particularly dark lip liner: the 90s idea of beauty was a little disturbing. These eyebrows made women look like Maleficent and I firmly believe that, unless you have a very specific skin tone, you should stay away from brown lipstick to avoid looking like your anus is located on your face.
7. GameBoy was the top handheld console and our top games were Super Mario and Pokemon
Being a girl, I was a little late on the bandwagon, so I started with a yellow GameBoy color and Super Mario Bros Deluxe. Compared to modern 3D animated games, these pixelated antiques with their repetitive midi soundtrack look like dinosaurs. However, they did manage to hold our attention for countless hours at a time and make us ignore the homework we were supposed to be doing instead.
8. The computer was used for Paint and Minesweeper
The other endless means of procrastination was the computer. Of course, at a time when internet was a thing you heard about but never actually had, the big desktop computers were used for games like Minesweeper and Paint. Those unlucky people that made the mistake to install Windows Millennium also had Pinball, probably the only redeeming thing about it.
9. NOKIA 3310 was the phone you wanted to buy.
Talking about technology, the 90s were when the first mobile phones came out. Their main selling point for us kids was not texting or making calls, but Snake. That was also the time when NOKIA was actually a leader in the field and people rushed to buy their latest products. To be fair, any NOKIA owner can confirm that their old phone still works in 2014. And has generally survived a level of abuse and mistreatment that makes modern iphone look like a wimp.
10. Music and films came in tapes.
Having a cassette recorder/player and a VCR was a must in every house. You played tapes from start to finish, with no way to skip songs other than pressing ‘fast forward’ manually and wasting significant time trying to get to the right spot. Such a pain! It also damaged the tape if you forwarded and rewinded too much. When CDs and DVDs came out it was like a whole new world!
Such was the wonderful and strange world of the 90s!