Every decade has it's share of the good and the bad. We all get nostalgia fever thinking about our childhoods or some decade that happened to be awesome for us, but lest the rose colored glasses cloud our judgement, every decade also comes with it's fair share of things that we look back on and cringe.
1. The High Platform Shoe
Spawned largely from "The Spice Girls," women and some men, rocked these monstrosities as normal everyday footwear. They came in flip flop form, boots, shoes, and various chunky heels. Great if you hated having to balance in a pair of high heels, but if the trade off looks like you are interning for Herman Munster, than we all should have seriously passed on this one. I wasn't immune to this fad unfortunately. I had a pair of big black platform boots which I wore religiously. At a doctors appointment, my doc asked me out of sheer curiosity about the stupidity at my feet, if I could remove my shoes and weigh them on the scale. They weighed 4lbs. SMH.
2. The Pain And Suffering of AOL/Dial Up Modems
You whipper snappers of today have no idea what we went through with dial up modems. Imagine you're on your computer right now, and someone calls, and your internet just cuts out because you have just one landline hooked up to your internet. This happened all the time. Also AOL was a serious thing back then, and just about every month, they would send you a free disc in the mail which included 500 free hours of internet, 1,000 free hours of internet, and so on, and you would put that disc on and then have to sit there for sometimes hours trying to just get on to the web. If you lived through that era, the above picture gives you low grade PTSD.
3. Zubaz Pants
Let's make a distinction here. Today, a woman who walks around in and outside of the gym wearing her Capris or tights might very well look under dressed or dressed for the wrong occasion, but most guys can agree that at least she still has the ability to look hot in a pair of those skin tight second skins. Not so for Zubaz pants. They were the horribly patterned 90s equivalent, except not awesome. Tight at the waist, ballooning at the thighs and back to tight at the ankles. It was not a good look. It was also the go to uniform of your local meat head at the gym. Something about his thighs being able to breath in them or whatever was used to justify this much pattern in this much daylight worn that often.
4. Frosted Tips/Highlight Overload
Lance, I'm looking at you buddy. Actually I'm looking at most men in 90s boy bands and the terrible trend in men's hair that followed. The most natural looking thing in life is to decide to just frost (actual name for this process) the tips of your hair. No...
Ladies, you weren't immune. This is skunk hair. Way too much highlighting, and then when you add extra color on top of that that isn't even found in nature, oh boy.
5. Batman and Robin
When something is beloved and iconic and already has a pre-scripted formula for continuing to make it so, how on earth do you make something this bad??? Everyone in this film from the directors to the cast admit this was trash. George Clooney as Batman??? We started there???
6. Chain Wallets
If you take your wallet and attach it to a chain, "no one" will steal it. It just lets everyone know, you're a dude, who's got a wallet, and he's not afraid to draw a big long stupid leathery arrow to it for all to see.
7. Backpack Purses
There are things in life that should not be combined and these two words are such a thing. It just looks like all those parents who walk their kids to school and sling their kids backpack over their shoulder so they won't have to carry it until they get there. It's the wrong size for you I want to scream. Plus what happens when you have your actual purse or backpack on you...isn't it all a bit redundant?
First of all, calm down, it's just a soda. For some unexplained reason (probably drugs) the 90s introduced us to IN YOUR FACE TO THE MAX EXTREME marketing. You couldn't have skates, they had to be skates to the max. The commercials had pulsing lights, stuff being thrown directly into your face, lots of close ups and shots of people jumping, running, and punching through things with a soundtrack that included intense music and screams or thunder. Your coffee was meant to be so extreme, you'd get a whole days work done in a few minutes by drinking it. No sport was a sport unless it was near death...and did we mention everything had to be...TO THE EXTREME. It is way way too early for all of this at any time of the day.
9. Heroin Chic
No, no, no, Calvin Klein! It's just the idea that someone took an actual crippling addiction, put thousand dollar clothes on it, and then turned around and marketed it to the very people who were most in danger of succumbing to drugs and the real pain and suffering behind faux pictures of emaciated models lying in doorsteps and propped up against sketchy warehouses, their eyes and lips darkened and saying, this is cool, buy into this. No, an ad can't make you do drugs but there are better things we should be encouraging young people to do in ads, like eat at McDonalds (sarcasm).
People like the following who seemed to emerge from the 90s suddenly claiming to be hardcore thugs and inventing personas for themselves not actually based in any type of reality to help them appear cool, but really they were stupid and ridiculous and sometimes even racist.
11. Straight Edge
Not really new in the 90s, but rather re-invented for the decade, you stood around with your punk heavy metalcore band friends drawing the symbol of choice, an X on your hand, and you proclaimed you were straight edge, swearing off sex, drugs, alcohol, smoking, and meat and picking up on some cause or other for social justice and change. Doesn't sound all that bad, in fact, sounds good to a lot of people (your parents), but as with anything starting off with good intentions, people frequently lost their way, the movement got twisted as to its meanings, some people took it WAY TOO EXTREME (see number 8 ) and became militant and violent and overly conservative with their need for others to submit to the cause. Now you probably have a few regrets from that straight edge tattoo you thought was awesome when you were barely legal.
No not the type that has you cursing the day leg day was born, but the kind where usually young punk teens would abandon their perfectly wonderful Midwestern life in the burbs, to go live in an old graffitied and dilapidated rat infested asbestos having abandoned tenement always on whatever east side of town existed, so they could live without rules and play music at 3 am and do drugs because having parents that love you, a warm bed, food in your belly that wasn't found in a dumpster, and working a/c in the summer was just way harsh, you know?