The ‘90s were a pretty amazing time to grow up. For a lot of reasons. But, for girls, it was an especially ideal time. I mean, what other decade offered its female youth amazing things like Girl Talk, an entire plethora of boy bands to choose from, and a stretch of years where loose fitting flannels were cool? But, in addition to these incredible additions to any true ‘90s girl’s life, there were also a ton of decade-defining movies that came out right in the middle of our upbringing. As a result, there were a ton of '90s movies characters every girl wanted to be.
The characters in those movies were incredible. It was like a continuous stream of girl crushes and style icons being thrown at us as we struggled to define ourselves. It was helpful as we all struggled with our identities to have so many to emulate. What true ‘90s girl didn’t want to be some impossible combination their favorite female movie characters, even if it meant being a bookworm who loved fashion and had a serious drug problem?
Because, let’s face it, these ‘90s women were complicated. But even a tragic backstory or a dead mother or two couldn’t stop you from leaving the theater and hightailing to Deb for a catchy little skirt suit so that you could look just like she did. Just check out the list below. You know you loved these characters like they were your best friends, and that you wanted to be like them more than anything.
1. Rose Dawson From Titanic
Like you didn’t pretend your bed was the door, and your carpet the cold Atlantic Ocean in which your true love was floating. Every. Single. Night.
2. Cher Horowitz from Clueless
Dead mother aside, you wanted everything that Cher Horowitz had, down to the white Jeep and rotating closet. In fact, this may or may not be where your psychotically organized clothing system started.
3. Veda Sultenfuss from My Girl
Veda was all of us, and we all wanted to be her. Down to her creepy household, her awesome relationship with Thomas J., and her amazing peasant tops.
4. Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction
For those of us who went through darker days, Mia Wallace may have been our guide to cool. That sharp haircut? Those blunt bangs? The amazing way she moved? Yes, yes, yes. Near overdose aside, she was definitely an inspiration.
5. Sidney Prescott from Scream
Aside from the dead mother and the homicidal boyfriend, Sidney was someone we all wanted to be. Personally, I wanted her amazing house on the hillside, but I would have taken the high stakes and super fun parties.
6. Torrance Shipman from Bring It On
She was fierce, but she was flawed. That opening with the nightmare about dropping her top? That showed that she was vulnerable, even if she was the most popular girl in school. Don’t deny that you spent the next year after that movie came out practicing cheers and dreaming about trying out for the team.
7. Angela Hayes from American Beauty
OK, this character was a little minx-y for most of us, but Mena Suvari was, like, the it girl of the ‘90s, and you totally wanted to be anyone she played.
8. Kat Stratford from 10 Things I Hate About You
Yes. Yes, yes, yes.
9. Vivian from Pretty Woman
You were probably so young when Pretty Woman came out in 1990 that you didn’t understand what a prostitute was, or why she was kneeling in front of him while they watched reruns of I Love Lucy. In which case, Vivian was all about standing up for herself and embracing her natural beauty. That and the stacks of cash and shopping sprees didn’t hurt either.
10. Tracy Mills from Seven
Because you wanted to be Brad Pitt’s wife more than anything. Even if it meant you ended up with your head cut off and put in a box at the end of Seven . It’s the price any of us would have paid for ‘90s Brad’s love.
11. All Of The Girls From The Craft
Like you weren’t playing Light As a Feather, Stiff As a Board at every sleepover for all of eternity after seeing that movie.
12. Skylar from Good Will Hunting
Anything to spend two hours with Matt Damon circa 1997.
13. Annette from Cruel Intentions
Why did we all want to be virginal girls with dead mothers? Thank God we all grew out of that real fast.
14. Corey from Empire Records
You know Corey from Empire Records was the inspiration behind the fuzzy sweaters and short skirts you wore for the rest of the ‘90s.
15. Jenny from Forrest Gump
I guess it depended on the decade. I’m not sure I wanted to be drug-addled like Jenny, but I definitely wanted to be a hippie running-through-the-reflecting-pool like Jenny. And I also wanted to be college Jenny, because her little half updo and hair flip was the cutest.
16. Dr. Ellie Satler from Jurassic Park
Dr. Satler may or may not be the reason behind your rock collection and your secret obsession with skeletons. She was the first female scientist you wanted to be just like, and that was good for everyone.
17. Juliet Capulet from Romeo and Juliet
Because who didn’t want to be loved to death at the age of 14?
18. Belle from Beauty and the Beast
Belle gave you something to aspire to. And she also sparked your furious love of books and men who were total softies on the inside.
19. Matilda from Matilda
Horrible home life aside, Matilda could do all of the things that we wanted to do: read fast, stand up for herself, and make magic happen with the wave of a finger. I still sometimes stare at something really hard, hoping to make it dance around the room to a Rusted Root song.
Admit it, as much as you forged your own path and became your own person, these characters deeply shaped who you are. Or at least who you wanted to be when you were 12 years old.
Image: Giphy (19); Paramount Pictures