Grunge, short shorts, and cartoons: Students reflect on the 90s
Ahhh, the 90s. A time of little worries, a lot of TV and electronic pets in all different forms.
Remember Furbies? How about Tamagotchis? And no one can forget our boys, Keenan and Kel.
When people would say “sup?” or the label for being cool was “the bomb.”
The 90s provided many students with some of the best memories growing up. Whether it was the toys, television or yearly fashion fads, the 90s are a time to remember, and for most students, never forget.
Saginaw freshman Cheryse Burns said 90s cartoons captured her attention as a kid.
Burns said she also appreciated 90s chick flicks like “Never Been Kissed” and “Bring It On,” although not for any lofty reasons.
“I love how cheesy they are, strangely,” she said. “I enjoy them because of all the hip words and phrases that were popular back then. The moral or theme of the movie was always very blunt and obvious. They were definitely girly films.”
According to Burns, while she did enjoy them because of their cheesiness, the movies weren’t exactly quality.
“They weren’t really bad movies,” Burns said. “But in comparison, to say, ‘Gone with the Wind,’ they’re just not award winners.”
In contrast to the movies and cartoons of the era, Burns believed 90s fashion was not enjoyable in the slightest.
“The hand-me-downs I got from my sisters’ 90s phase were all short cropped and not flattering for women at all, in my opinion,” she said. “There’s really no one word to describe it, but it just looked sloppy and tacky in comparison to fashion now.”
David Cornish, a Saginaw graduate student, said he didn’t enjoyed a different kind of 90s fashion. Particularly, basketball short shorts.
“Watching replays of pro and college basketball games, compared to today, I definitely cringe at the shorts back then,” Cornish said.
While most NBA basketball players began taking to longer shorts in the 90s, Utah Jazz superstar Jon Stockton kept wearing the mid-thigh shorts until he retired in 1999.
“He was probably just going with the uniform,” Cornish said.
While most students think of the 90s as a more peaceful, joyful, and perhaps innocent time, Allyson Winget, a Dryden sophomore, said the 90s represented a bad music video.
“Grunge, the ugly cut off plaid shirts, the sweatshirts tied around the waist, the 90s were basically a really bad Third Eye Blind music video,” Winget said.
Winget said the perfect embodiment of the 90s could be found in a combination of Third Eye Blind’s 90s smash hit “Semi-Charmed Life” and any Alanis Morissette video.
While the popular alternative artists of the time at least gave Winget a slight sense of nostalgia, other artists gave her no such pause.
“I hated boy bands. Hated them,” Winget said. “Frosted tips and white linen clothes? No thanks.”
Winget had even harsher words for the popular 90s boy band, Hanson.
“I thought they were girls for the longest time,” she said.
Houghton Lake junior James Dunn said he felt that although the 90s were a somewhat more peaceful and moral time, due to the absence of any prolonged wars, and a less violent and sexualized media, he also believed that we have improved in many aspects since that decade.
“The biggest thing that comes to mind is civil rights issues, especially within the LGBTQ community,” Dunn said. “President Clinton passed the Defense of Marriage Act. Lots of violent hate crimes happened against openly gay people (in the 90s).”
That was not the only way we have improved since then, he said.
“Technology, especially computers, have come such a long way since the 90s. Higher education is more valued now than it was then,” Dunn said. “We’re much closer to finding new sources of energy now than we were 12 years ago.”
Winget said the reason the 90s are so nostalgic is because that’s the natural reaction people have to the time period of their childhood, and not neccesarily because the 90s were better times.
“If you go back to a time you think is better, the people in that time period want to go back to a time they think is better, and so on,” Winget said. “Why go back at all? Basically, everyone in their own generation hates it, but in retrospect — the 90s were pretty freaking awesome.”
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