7 Ways We Expressed Our Angsty Feelings In The '90s

by Megan Grant
Miramax Films

When you're young and full of emotions, you're constantly looking for an outlet because you have so many feelings. There were a number of ways we expressed ourselves in the '90s, most of which were very dramatic. The reason for this was simple: we weren't expressing ourselves merely for our own wellbeing. We also needed everyone else to know just how happy, sad, angry, or dead inside we felt. Highly sensitive creatures, we were.

If your childhood was anything like mine, it was a rollercoaster of feeling absolutely elated, full of life, and in love with everything one minute, to hating yourself and everyone around you the next. Your raging hormones were partly to blame. Also, we were young and immature, so why wouldn't it feel like the end of the world when you realized your favorite tie-dye t-shirt was in the wash on picture day? Life was so hard and nobody understood you.

As we get older, we learn to play it cool. We grow a thicker skin and try not to let things bother us; and when they do, we keep it bottled up inside and silently curse the people we don't like in our minds. But when we were kids, we had all sorts of ways of letting it all out.


Mood Rings

We took mood rings very seriously in the '90s. It was science. If it was blue-green, it was because you were happy and relaxed. Pink meant you were loving and affectionate. If it was black, like your soul, you felt empty inside. Never mind that mood rings respond to body temperature and don't necessarily reflect your feelings; but whatever. Minor details.


The CD You Played In The Stereo

If you were having a girls' night, just chillin' out maxin' relaxing all cool, it was "Wannabe" from Spice Girls. If you were in love, it was "All My Life" by K-Ci and JoJo. If you just got your heart broken? "Bye Bye Bye." It felt so good to get angry and sing that song. You'd even do the choreography from the music video.

Sometimes, when the 'rents weren't around, you'd play something inappropriate from Salt-N-Pepa or Ginuwine. Suck it, ma!

And if you didn't know how you felt, you had to change the CD (manually, of course) every few songs, because none of them felt quite right.


Your AIM Away Statuses

Nothing got the point across like a passive aggressive away status. You'd leave something mysterious like, "Why?" or "Whatever," or one of my personal favorites, "So over it." People would whisper/instant message amongst themselves speculating about the meaning behind it. Your AIM statuses when you were in a good mood were far less dramatic, and therefore, probably less interesting to your AIM friends. They didn't care if you were "feeling fantastic!" They wanted the drama, man!


The Magazine Clippings You Taped In Your Locker

If you felt like pushing the boundaries a little and seeing how much the principle would let you get away with, you taped cut-outs from the latest Abercrombie catalogue, because nobody was the boss of you. Usually, though, it was more PG clippings of JTT from Tiger Beat or the Backstreet Boys or Sarah Michelle Gellar, because Buffy is life.


What You Doodled In Your Notebooks During Class

When life was rainbows and butterflies, you'd dot your i's with hearts and doodle your crush's name across your notebook. But when you were in a bad mood? Oh boy, look out. It was sketches of crying faces, dramatic poetry, flames, daggers, and whatever other violent and depressing things you could think of.


Our Nail Polish

Many girls of the '90s had an impressive collection of Hard Candy nail polish, mostly because we wanted the rings that came on the bottle. Sky Blue and Oh So Pretty Pink were your go-tos for happier days. But only Blackout could accurately express your feelings when nothing was going right in your life.


The "Keep Out" Sign On Your Bedroom Door

You knew your family was dying to get a peek of your diary, so a decorative (but totally serious) "Keep Out" sign was always firmly taped to the outside of your bedroom door. Sometimes it was covered in pretty hearts and flowers that you hand-drew with your Mr. Sketch scented markers. Other times, it was written in big block letters and filled in with black permanent marker and nothing else. Everyone knew what that meant: Seriously. Don't come in here, or there will be consequences.