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Amy Hansen Headshot

The 1990s Are, Like, So 2012

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I think that everyone gets a little nostalgic when they think about the time period in which they grew up.

"Times were so much simpler then," baby boomers exclaim when reminiscing. Hippie children from the 60s feel a little misty eyed when they see a peace sign, and kids of the 80s may still be asking, "where's the beef?".

I grew up in the 1990s, a loud time of neon colors, stirrup leggings, and boy bands. And okay, I guess some other things were happening too, like the explosion of the Internet and a slightly better economy.

With this week's news of a 98 Degrees reunion and a possible Spice Girls documentary, it looks like it's time to break out your finest pair of stick-on earrings and pump up your Walkman. Dudes and dudettes, the 90s are back!

It looks like the time period has actually been making some under-the-radar appearances. @90sgirlproblem and @90sboyproblems tweet multiple pop-culture references to their combined half a million followers. Tia and Tamera have made a television comeback, a popular Pandora station plays "Summer Hits of the 1990s", and you can still catch up with the Bayside High and John Adams High gangs on cable stations daily.

Much like a brightly colored Lisa Frank trapper keeper, the resurgence of a decade gone by is right in our faces. You can't miss it. The popularity can be traced to two main factors. First, Generation Y practically rolled out of the womb with the Internet, or at least a Tamagotchi. Being fortunate to grow up in the technology age, it's second nature for us to spread information via the Internet. Of course, when we want to reminisce about building the perfect Lunchable pizza or playing a solid game of 7-Up in elementary school, we turn to the web. Strength in numbers quickly applies, and faster than Jessie Spano moved while singing "I'm So Excited", 90s trends become worldwide trends. In fact, it was that strong online fan base that urged Nickeloden to bring back some of its popular shows from the time period.

It's easy to pinpoint why the 90s are making a comeback. It was just great entertainment. Perhaps I'm a little biased, but the shows had some substance and the music was catchy. Things were much simpler. We didn't have over the top animations, yet we were able to be amused for hours by watching our 2-D friends like Doug Funny, Pepper Ann, and Arnold. C'mon, it doesn't get much more basic than our favorite popsicle -- Stick Stickly. We rooted for the Blue Barracudas, threw our thumbs up with Mary Kate and Ashley, plotted our future with games of MASH, turned green with envy over Cher's closet in Clueless, found our favorite new books with Reading Rainbow, and poured over our collection of Beanie Babies.

Life lessons via pop culture were abundant in the 90s. It was easy to start new friendships by trading BFF heart necklaces and Pogs slammers. We learned that differences, even when it came to the firm line that separated Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC fans, were okay. Our brains were strengthened by learning every single word to the Fresh Prince theme song. Lengthy AIM buddy lists showed us the importance of keeping in touch (and also, not to make your friends too angry -- they can warn you, after all). Competition, whether exhibited in a fierce game of Sonic the Hedgehog or Pretty Pretty Princess, was a healthy emotion we cultivated over time.

I, for one, am happy to see even the smallest glimpses of my childhood reappear. In my current reality of worrying about student loans, trying to climb the corporate ladder, and just dealing with the current state of the world, it's a welcome release to enjoy brief flashback moments to when life was a little more fun.

Now pass me my scrunchie and turn up my boom box. After all, I just really, really, really, wanna, zig-a-zag, ahh.