By George Flynn | Opinions Editor
As a child of the 90s, I am enamored by the era of my youth. It is quite obvious that I am not the only one who misses the decade. The subject of the 90s is constantly brought up by websites such as Buzzfeed and Tumblr, in retail stores such as Urban Outfitters, and from the clothing styles we see everywhere. Although the calendar reads 2013, remnants of a simpler decade can still be seen in this day and age.
If you have the internet and are a member of a social media website, you probably have seen images of 90s past. Images of Tamagotchi’s connected to young boys’ and girls’ backpacks and Pokémon cards scattered across coffee tables are constantly popping up on blogs across America. These significant objects strike cords inside each and every 90s kid and bring us back. But toys aren’t the only things that cause infectious nostalgia..
GIFs of Will Smith singing the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song cause us to yearn for the past. This significant imagery reminds us of what American television once was. These television shows returned many memories, that back in 2011, Nickelodeon returned some of these old hits to TeenNick.
A New York Times article by Brian Stelter, discussed research compiled by Viacom, proved that adults wanted to see their old shows again on television. The article stated “The first day of the company’s rebroadcast of 90s shows on TeenNick doubled the channel’s prior ratings in the midnight to 2 a.m. time slot.” Former viewers’ comments of reminiscing about old shows were what inspired the return of beloved and cancelled shows back to syndication. It goes to show that many people just cannot let go of a past that was so good. And why should they?
The internet and television are not the only mediums that constantly remind us of our favorite decade. The physical world does as well. Some of our favorite retail stores sell items which cause yearning for a 90s child.
Urban Outfitters is a commonly accessed store amongst young adults in Pittsburgh. It has great clothes, amazing jewelry, and funny gag gifts – all for a ridiculous price which can only be bought on my credit card. But the fashion items are not what make the store so appealing. The store is infamous for inspiring a longing for a sentimental time close to the hearts of the consumer. The retailers offer nostalgic items for every decade: record players for children of the 70s and prior, bags with prints of the Velvet Underground for children of the 60s, and most relevant to our generation: polaroid cameras and film for children of the 90s. Polaroid film is expensive though, as much $30 a pop for 8 frames, but UO knows that its nostalgic costumers are willing to pay the price. The look of film provokes yearning for the past with a grainy image that can usually only be seen in one’s baby pictures. This form of photography brings a sense of delight when correlated to our childhood.
Inspiration from the 90s has also pulled fashion back into a time warp. High waisted shorts and jeans can be found at almost every retailer. Crop tops and halters which remind us of Melissa Joan Hart in Drive Me Crazy can be picked up at vintage stores. Hopefully jelly sandals are next in line to return.
Fashion was an innovative time for the 90s, but there were many sad events from the mighty decade. It was a very special time and we experienced events which we can always remember.
Princess Diana and Kurt Cobain are icons who were lost in the decade, but they also defined the era. When thinking of grunge, Nirvana is one of the first things that come to mind. Princess Diana turned the world’s view of HIV upside down when she worked with HIV plagued villages.
It’s 1994 all over again. Instead of listening to Katy Perry on the radio, I will be playing my old Britney Spears CD’s. The 90s are the place to be and I am taking full advantage of reminiscing about my perfect past.
George Flynn is a senior English major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.