Don’t let the 90s way of life reemerge: culture needs to leave the last years of the 20th century in the past

The 90s are making a comeback. It’s undeniable. Countless trends, from television shows to clothing to music, are revived in today’s culture. Most of us students were too young to experience these trends initially—even the seniors this year were born in 1992 or 1993—but the latest fad is present nonetheless.

For example, we take a look at the recent Netflix release of the entirety of the TV sitcom, “Friends,” which has caused a surge in viewership. Matthew Perry, who plays the role of Chandler in the show, said in a recent interview that he is suddenly being recognized by a whole new generation of fans—something he credits to the Netflix release.

The popularity can be attributed to nostalgia for the generations who grew up watching it, but it can also be attributed to the growing resurgence of 90s trends among the younger generations.

Along with TV shows, 90s clothing has also returned. Walk around campus and you will see plenty of students rocking these trends that originated nearly two and a half decades ago—choker necklaces, crop tops, high-waisted jeans, Doc Marten boots, platform shoes, the middle part hairstyle, and umpteen more examples.

Some people love these trends, but there are others who think they went out of style for a reason. No matter which side you’re on, fashion trends exist because they are fun to experiment with, and unless you’re wearing a crop top to a formal function, they are harmless forms of expression.

A similar trend is present with the return of 90s music. A pop radio station from my hometown runs “Throwback Thursdays,” where it only plays hits from between 1990 and 2005 on every Thursday. Even in Diversions or Oppenheimer, where the students working select the music that plays, throwback jams are popular choices. Who doesn’t love hearing a bit of Destiny’s Child or Third Eye Blind or N’SYNC and reminiscing on childhood?

Some trends, however, should stay in the nineties. Nineties pop figures, for example, have no business cropping up in today’s media.

Let’s take Hilary Duff as a case study. We all know her; we all loved her growing up. She came onto the scene as Wendy in Casper Meets Wendy (1998) and then quickly became one of our favorite Disney darlings as Lizzie McGuire in the TV series of the same name.

She was Wendy, Lizzie, Sam (A Cinderella Story) and Terri (Raise Your Voice) and then she disappeared from our lives, and then our hearts.

But in hindsight, are we mad? No, not really. I don’t think anyone was truly disappointed that she disappeared.

For some unfathomable reason, however, Hilary has recently cropped up again, re-emerging from the shadows of living a normal married life and back into the spotlight. Or, at least that’s what she’s trying to do anyway.

She is starring in a new TV series, reportedly has a new album coming out, and has been giving interviews about her secret “bad girl” past.

In light of her reappearance, I went back and watched some of her old stuff—music videos, interviews, an episode or two of Lizzie McGuire. I thought, “Well, if they’re letting her back into the industry, she might still have it, right? I liked her once, maybe I’ll like her again.”

No, this was definitely not the case. When re-watching her old music videos and TV series, I came to the realization that 10-year-old me is not nearly as good at spotting talent as 20-year-old me.

When I was little, I thought Hilary was the bee’s knees; I had a poster of her in my room and everything. However, I now realize that she is just painfully mediocre. What’s more is that she’s so mediocre, she’s in this weird in-between area of talent where she’s not bad enough to trash talk, but not good enough to warrant actually watching or paying attention.  She’s not bad; she’s just not good.

Hilary recently said in an interview with Cosmo that she was not the “good girl” everyone believes her to be in her youth. She was sneaking into clubs and staying out late as a teenager.

Hilary. No one cares what you did a decade ago. You’re 27 years old with a child; the time for teenage scandal is gone. Also, you weren’t even doing anything that extreme. You’re definitely not the first underage kid to have a fake ID and use it.

She also said recently in an interview that she’s scared that her son will grow up “getting his picture taken all the time and feel different.”

Hilary. You are barely relevant, what makes you think that people are going to be craning their neck to get a look at your kid? Like, calm down, you didn’t birth Suri or Prince George.

The early 1990s are making a come back with a vengeance, but some of it—specifically the people in it—is better left in the past.