This article was originally published on March 13.
As '90s kids (at least some of us!), we grew up with a slew of the best and cheesiest pop music ever created. We saw the epic return of girl bands and boy bands. We owned the entire Spice Girls Limited Edition Barbie Collection (maybe that was just me). But, my point is that our highs and lows growing up had a pretty impressive soundtrack. As a 27-year-old adult, hearing these songs again reinforces a sense of teenage naivety only my delusional 14-year-old self can relate to. It’s safe to say that perhaps we weren’t receiving the best advice from our beloved pop idols.
Spice Girls, "Wannabe"
“If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends.”
For the love of Harlequin novels, if you want to be my lover, please do not ever get with my friends. This will surely be a deal breaker of epic proportions.
No Doubt, "Don't Speak"
I know just what you’re saying
So please stop explaining
Don’t tell me ‘cause it hurts…”
Hey, you know when you’ve got something important on your mind and you have to talk to me about it? I don’t wanna know. Oh, and if you think I should know but it might hurt me, don’t tell me. I wanna pretend like it’s not happening. Let’s resolve our issues by reading each other’s minds then walking away in silence.
Tracy Chapman, "Give Me One Reason"
"Give me one reason to stay here, and I'll turn right back around."
Actually, this is a really toxic relationship, so you need to give me a lot more than just one reason to turn right back around. Like maybe a job and a new personality.
Mariah Carey, "You'll Always Be My Baby"
"You’ll always be a part of me
I’m part of you indefinitely
Boy don’t you know you can’t escape me
Ooh darling ’cause you’ll always be my baby”
Thank you Mariah, for making women all over the world believe that when we set a man free and let him "fly," he’ll eventually come back because he just can’t escape our love. Lies. He never came back. Our love did die. And I went through an entire Costco-sized value-pack bundle of Kleenex. Damn you and your beautiful hair and ageless face for making us so naïve! (I’m sorry. I love you. You single-handedly shaped my teens with your songs.)
Britney Spears, "Oops! I Did It Again"
"I think I did it again, I made you believe we’re more than just friends.”
You know that saying guys and girls can’t be friends? Well, it’s true. How are we supposed to be friends with men when the queen of pop wrote an entire song dedicated to the art of "accidentally" leading a man on to think you want something more? And how are you not supposed to believe a pretty blonde girl in a skintight, shiny, red bodysuit?
*N Sync, "Tearin' Up My Heart"
“It’s tearing up my heart when I’m with you,
And when we are apart I feel it too
And no matter what I do I feel the same,
With or without you.”
Welcome to clinical depression. It’s hard to believe that Justin Timberlake went on to create an immaculate solo album and get hitched after such deep heartache. This only goes to show that there really is love after love, even if at the time it feels like your whole entire world is collapsing and you might literally keel over and die without this person. Let’s have a moment of silence for *N Sync. And this song. And the ’90s. And the end of Justin’s single life.
(And the fifth member of *N Sync whose name I never knew. And Lance, for coming out of the closet a few years after everyone figured out he was gay. And Joey, for attempting to act. And JC, for failing miserably at a solo music career). Okay, I’m done.
Image: Via Britney Spears Vevo
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