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It could be nostalgia kicking in or it could be this $8 bottle of red wine that’s mostly empty, but either way I’m about to revisit some of my favorite shit shows fashion choices and beauty looks from the best 1990s music videos.
1. “JUST A GIRL” — GWEN STEFANI (1995)
Oh, Gwen. Where do I even begin with you? Perhaps with the semi-culturally offensive red jewelry in the middle of your forehead? The fugly giant hair barrettes? Or the men’s track pants you’re wearing? Please also keep in mind that this person has a very successful FASHION LINE today, which I can only imagine Twitter is responsible for. Gwen’s style is something I’ll understand about as much as I understand clear plastic boots, which is to say I don’t fucking get it. Let’s also not let this moment pass without discussing how Gwen’s eyebrows are thinner than my will to live. They are actually making me so uncomfortable. I need an adult.
2. “MMMBOP” — HANSON (1997)
Seeing prepubescent boys with better hair than me makes me want to heavily drink. Seriously, shouldn’t you be getting head lice from kids on the playground, not giving a grown woman hair envy?
3. “I WANT YOU BACK” — N*SYNC (1997)
I mean seriously wtf were we thinking? To be fair, this music video actually features some of the less offensive fashion choices from their time in the spotlight. Shocking, I know.
Also #neverforget JT’s ramen noodle hair. I love that since Justin went solo and didn’t become a has-been like the rest of the band, he thinks he’s better than everyone. Like, you might be married and successful and actually pretty funny anytime you appear on , but you still wore a JEAN SUIT to the American Music Awards. Know yourself.
4. “(HIT ME )…BABY ONE MORE TIME” — BRITNEY SPEARS (1999)
An iconic Britney moment that forever made me want to dress like a baby prostitute. Thanks for giving us years of slutty Halloween costumes. You the real MVP, Brit.
5. “SAY MY NAME” — DESTINY’S CHILD (1999)
You know I had to add in the Queen here. And I guess I have to mention her backup singers band mates too. Aside from the fact that the lyrics in this song are fire and I use them in daily in my life, Beyoncé also looks like a fucking goddess in this music video. Groundbreaking, I know. I’ll even forgive her for those gold hoops because we all know hoops are Regina’s thing. An important note, though: If your skin burns in the sun, you should absolutely, under no circumstances, attempt her hairstyle at home.
6. “GOOD VIBRATIONS” — MARKY MARK AND THE FUNKY BUNCH (1991)
Fuck, this boy is ripped talented. The original fuckboy, his signature look was not wearing a shirt, touching himself, and giving white people hope of becoming a rapper. 10/10 would hit that.
7. “DIRRTY” — CHRISTINA AGUILERA (2002)
While not *technically* a 90s song, I’m still including it because Kylie Jenner made this video relevant again. Those dirty AF blue hair extensions, the assless chaps, THE BODY JEWELRY—she made slutty chic. Not all heroes wear capes, people. She was also single-handedly responsible for every dress code violation phone call my mother received about me from grades 8-12. *starts a slow clap*
8. “ALWAYS BE MY BABY” — MARIAH CAREY (1995)
Aka the reason I thought butterfly hair clips were a statement piece. She spends this entire music video swinging over a lake in a classic jean-on-jean ensemble, looking as angelic as her voice sounds.
9. “WANNABE” — THE SPICE GIRLS (1996)
The original Plastics, these girls are responsible for stereotypes in cliques and my hideous metallic mini dress in middle school. Also for giving my boyfriend an excuse to “get with my friends.”
10. “AARON’S PARTY (COME GET IT)” — AARON CARTER (2000)
Again, not exactly a 90s song but I couldn’t not include this one. First of all, Aaron Carter is, what, 9 in this music video? Maybe? And he’s throwing fucking ragers while his parents are out to dinner? I applaud you, son. Also the fact that a third grader is rapping on a bicycle in a fur coat while middle school girls grind up on him. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be one of those middle school hoes. And you’d be lying too.
Anddd now I have “Aaron’s Party” stuck in my head. Brb I’m just going to do something productive bang my head against a wall until I stop singing rap lyrics written by and for a 12-year-old.