When the 90s seeming reemerged several years ago, people began reflecting on celebrity culture with a great deal of nostalgia. We started seeing public reminiscing for The Rachel Haircut and wishing couples like Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder would just get back together already. With a renewed focus on celebrity, this got me thinking: Who gets to be the nostalgia?
It’s easy to see why famous people, blockbuster movies, and successful bands are poster children for their time, regardless of the decade. They are the most visible representations of a generation.
It’s more legwork to uncover the lives of everyday people. However, it’s worth trying to understand how the everyday person felt and lived. This doesn’t make celebrity culture any less relevant, especially because it reflects the values and beliefs of the time. It’s only to say that people living average lives reflect the time as well.
A generation is more than just its fashion
Like any decade, when looking back, many people think more about how celebrities styled their hair or what styles they wore. These things matter, too, as they reflect what was below the surface.
It’s also a misstep to leave out race and economic class when examining the past. For example, the 1920s roared, but for who? The 1950s were quintessential, but for who? With every year that passes, we see a time period with rosier and rosier colored glasses. This leaves out a lot of the story.
The 1990s were complicated. Just like every decade before and after it. This time period deserves a closer look beyond the superficial. If only so we can learn more about life today. I know this is a complicated topic to touch on in a short blog post, but I wanted to better lay the groundwork for what I want to talk about on Can’t Hardly Dress. Thanks, as always, for reading.