I am very much a product of the 90s. These were my key development years where I was consumed by everything I saw or heard. Where the lessons I learnt became the gospel truth. IS IT ANY WONDER I’M SINGLE? THAT I’M PART OF THE CAREER WOMAN GENERATION? THAT WE’RE MARRYING LATER OR NOT AT ALL? Quite frankly, no.
This is why…here are 3 bad love lessons that we were all taught in the 90s:
- “If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends.” ER, WHAT? This is a line from the classic Spice Girls song “Wannabe” (like you need me to tell you that!!!) It was the anthem of my youth. Aged 6, I’d prance around my bedroom in some ill-matched outfit that my mother had cruelly made me wear, probably ordained with huge daisies and involving as much brightly dyed corduroy as was physically possible. I would sing this song at the top of my lungs, declaring each and every lyric with affirmation, faux understanding and a pretence of knowledge and experience. I had none, I was six. My best friend and I, both with matching bob haircuts; mine brunette, hers blonde- made up a dance to fit the song and divided the verses line-by-line as if we had solos. We’d have that odd tiff over which Spice Girl we were, both desperately wanting to be Scary Spice. (I once made her cry telling her that because she was blonde she HAD TO be Baby….slowly tears fell down her little angry pink cheeks and as they did, I smiled nastily and told her “see….you really are a baby, you have to be Baby.” She then sobbed at this and ran off to tell my mum and her mum what I had done. After that she was always allowed to be Scary and I was downgraded to Sporty Spice.) The friendship traumas began then and perhaps we would have known it inevitable, had we understood that one of the lyrics we were singing with absolute conviction, encouraged our future spouses to “get with” our friends.
- We will never fall in love if we don’t change ourselves. This is the message that the chick flicks of the 90s told us time and time again. I’m talking Clueless, Never Been Kissed, She’s All That…the basic theme is that the kooky, nerdy, somewhat quirky girl doesn’t get the cute guy until she has a make-over and becomes superficial, pretty, trendy and popular. WHAT KIND OF LIFE LESSON IS THAT HOLLYWOOD?! Change who you are to get the man of your dreams? Intelligence, wit, being a good person counts for bugger all when you can just be a pretty version of yourself? This is baaaaad advice- it’s no wonder we are obsessed with being a size zero, smothering ourselves in fake tan and applying a tonne of make up!
- Being a single parent is okay and motherhood is easy, like a game. Dolls that cry? Yep, we had them. Aliens in eggs that can apparently reproduce (did we ever get that scientifically confirmed?!) Either way, based on that assumption we ALL went out and bought them and tried damn hard to breed our gooey aliens for little alien offspring. Seahorses that we reared ourselves? Very odd…many a Christmas was spent discovering some aunt who was clearly stuck for present ideas had settled on the seahorse present. Tamagotchis- feed, play, look after generally…get bored. That was generally the life cycle of the poor Tamagotchi that had the misfortune for being under my possession. Sims- playing God. I can create your family, your appearance, your home, your job, your friends, your hobbies. I can make you have sex (mildly rape-y if you ask me!) and I can make you die in a whole manner of ways (my personal favourite, was to encourage them to go for a swim and then to remove the swimming pool stairs until they drowned.) this isn’t a very natural nor normal approach to parenthood!
What hope is there? Bad advice when it comes to the whole “mates before dates” thing/ the encouragement of changing who we are to get the guy and a warped approach to parenthood…is it any wonder that we’re all a little bit screwed up in 2014?!? I think not!