We were told to spice up our lives, lived in constant fear of a Tamigotchi’s sudden death then had to contend with the millennium bug but despite all of this, we still hold fond memories of the 90s and claim it was the best decade to grow up in. Born in the mid-eighties, I experienced the nineties as both a child and teenager – so there was plenty for me to remember! Without further ado, here are…
10 Things Only a 90s Child Will Remember Fondly
(This is a paid post, written in collaboration with Walkers to celebrate their new TV advert)
1. The Body Shop
I know, The Body Shop still exists today, and has done since the 70s, but in the 90s The Body Shop took on a life of its own – all thanks to its bath beads, fruit-shaped soaps, body lotion and dewberry perfume. My favourite, bath beads! They were the shit – pearls filled with oils that slowly crumpled and dissolved when thrown in a hot bath (I can only describe them as today’s equivalent of a Lush bath bomb, but ten times naffer) and soaps shaped like fruit (even endangered animals!). I guess it was similar to Lush, bath pearls came in a whole range of colours and sizes and were stored like prized possessions until it was time to treat yourself. Even if you didn’t shop at The Body Shop, you wanted a carrier bag to proudly sport – even if it was just to carry your PE kit in!
2. The Sweater Shop, Fruit of the Loom, NAF NAF
And while we’re talking about shops, do you remember any of these 90s brands? Back then, it wasn’t slogans making a statement but brands, and especially brands on oversized sweaters. Not just to be hidden on the label of plain t-shirts ready to be printing, brands had a life of their own. Think embroidered sweatshirts with garish prints all while brand names were stitched on top and brightly adoring them -all for a hefty price tag.
3. Teen Discos
Back then, it could days or preparation just to get ready for a night out at a teen disco – and by night out, I mean a couple of hours spent dancing to Aqua, Five, B*Witched and nervously avoiding the eye of ANY boy who happened to look your way. Oh the effort we’d go to – brightly painted toe nails adorned with nail stickers and lashings of glitter, gold eye shadow, MORE glitter and blue mascara on base of tan foundation and then HAIR. Anxiously twisting your hair into sections of fake corn rows and securing with butterfly clips, then finishing off with (you guessed it) MORE glitter.
4. Hair Tint
And while we’re talking outlandish hair, wash-in-wash-out hair toners anyone? Always in vibrant hues – always a disappointment. I’d apply (inadvertently also colouring the bathroom while I washed it into my hair), leave it on longer than was recommended and expect to be transformed. Even in the sunlight, it looked no different. No wonder my mum never minded me ‘dying my hair’.
5. Tazos & Pogs
The idea was similar to each other; each Tazo or Pog supposedly held a score value (although, this is hotly contended between my husband and I) and a game was played to capture your opponent’s Tazo or Pog, but you’ll admit to never playing with them (especially Tazos – they could be rare) instead building a Collector Album, all whilst eating as many crisps as your parents would let you get away with in the hope of finding more Tazos to swap.
6. Dummy Necklaces, Trolls
90s toys – which weren’t really toys? We’d wear plastic dummies stacked and chained around our necks and wrists, collect trolls on bedroom shelves (some with jewelled belly buttons) but never, never would we play with these things. Merely collecting and collecting.
7. Recording the charts
Sunday evening, where else would you be but eagerly waiting for your favourite chart hit then sneakily recording it on your ghetto blaster. With sweaty palms, you’d try to achieve the careful balance of getting to the end of the song while trying to cut it off from the dreaded radio presenter just in time. Once taped, you’d listen to your curated mix on your Walkman turning it round and round, switching the tape over and over (and if someone had a crush on you, you’d even pretend to listen to the mix tapes they made you!) Just think, today’s youth will never know the stress of creating the perfect mix tape nor taping the radio.
8. Saved By The Bell, Gladiators, Friends, 90210, Sister Sister…
“When I wake up in the morning and the alarm gives out a warning, I don’t think I’ll ever make it on time…” If you also rhythmically sang that in your head before carrying it on and building to the chorus – I salute you. In the 90s, TV was not only part of your routine, but a reason to cancel your plans. I’m not alone when I can say I could name each Gladiator and constantly struggled with my top 3, or felt the adrenaline rising as someone neared the other podium in hang tough. Saturday TV was worth staying in for! If you couldn’t wait until Saturday, there was always American TV to keep you entertained after school. Nickelodeon never failed to disappoint.
9. Getting Married in the School Playground
I bet you still remember to this day, who you married, what time of year it was, who your bridesmaids were and how long you had left to celebrate before the school bell rang! Returning to class, it was always the gossip and exciting news until your next lesson started then all was forgotten. That was, until one person moved on and created scandal. Why did we do it? Why did we feel the need to re-enact a wedding? Who knows, but I bet you did it too!
10. Spice Girls Memorabilia
Finally if all that wasn’t enough to keep us busy, in 1994 the Spice Girls launched onto the scene bringing with them spice mania and shaping popular culture forever. With them, they brought a whole host of hits and not only that, a range of collectibles! Collectible press photographs, key rings, stationery – you name it. One of my biggest memories is being obsessed by collecting 20 Pepsi ring pulls until I’d saved enough to send off for their unreleased single, ‘Step to Me’.
To celebrate their new ad with the Spice Girls, Walkers have invited us to be nostalgic and remember, not only the 90s, but the magic of the Spice Girls now they’ve burst back onto the scene. Thanks to Walkers, I’ve unleashed a number of 90s memories and had many interesting conversations with family and friends that also remember the 90s fondly too! So, can you relate? What’re your favourite memories?