12 Professions Every '90s Girl Wanted To Do When She Grew Up
There was a very specific set of professions that girls in the '90s aspired to be when they grew up. Call it something in the water: we all wanted to be nearly the same thing, and we all at least contemplated our futures from a very select pool of potential future jobs. There were, of course, deviations. I wanted to be a race car driver or Jesse Owens for a minute there, for instance. But I also wanted to be at least 10 things from the list below as well because it was the '90s and that's what we did. We wanted to do the cool '90s jobs on this list.
I don't know what girls these days aspire to be. Some are totally woke and probably want to be social justice warriors. Others probably just want to be a Kardashian (no shame, they've got mad hustle). We were much the same, except that woke for us involved dolphins and Ricki Lake was our Kardashian. That is to say, some of our aspirations were noble, and some were reality TV based. So while the job titles might have changed, the basic spirit of being a girl has not. We range from the altruistic to the tacky, proving that there's really no such thing as "like a girl". Here's what every '90s girl wanted to do when she grew up (and probably some '90s boys too, the girl perspective is just because I was one myself!).
1. Marine Biologist
I don't know what it was about the '90s, but if you were awake and thinking about your future it definitely involved marine biology. Every single girl I knew in the '90s at some point decided she wanted to be a marine biologist one day. It was the trendiest future profession going around. We really loved the marine environment as '90s kids. Side note: I don't know a single one marine biologist today. Big dreams of marine biology, it seems, never came true.
2. Dolphin Trainer
If it wasn't a marine biologist, it was a dolphin trainer. You would find a way to be around dolphins, damn it! The main aim for a lot of girls in the '90s was to somehow find a way to be around dolphins. We loved dolphins. Dolphins were the buzz animal of the '90s.
4. International Spy
It not our fault. Carmen Sandiego got into our heads and subliminally made us want to be spies. She was just so chic in her red trench coat and hat, and so clever and mysterious in how hard she was to find.
5. Vampire Slayer
Between both Buffy the Vampire Slayers (Kristy Swanson and Sarah Michelle Gellar, movie and television, respectively), Vampire Slayer became quite a covetable profession. I used to practice forward rolls in my bedroom, coming up at the end and pretending to stab invisible vampires with wooden stakes (one in each hand). It wasn't that normal, but I'm fine now, as are most other '90s girls, so maybe wanting to be a killer of monsters that don't actually exist wasn't that bad for us?
6. Record Store Employee
If Liv Tyler in a fluffy cropped sweater, tartan skirt and combat boots, dancing around Empire Records didn't make you want to be a record store employee some day, you were doing the '90s wrong.
I think a lot of us didn't realize that being a casual babysitter as a grown up wouldn't exactly be lucrative. Fifteen dollars an hour for four hours on a Saturday night does not make rent, and the Babysitter's Club mania blinded us to actual childcare careers. We just wanted the absolute glamour and drama of casual babysitting life, yo.
8. Witch And/Or Magic Shop Owner
From Practical Magic to Buffy's Willow, being a witch and/or magic shop owner seemed like the jam. Grown up life revolving around spells and crystals? Yes please!
I suppose girls throughout time have always wanted to be journalists and writers, but there was a very specific type of Samantha girl (Gaby Hoffman grown into Demi Moore) who just wanted to wear black, smoke cigarettes, and write, man.
10. FBI Agent
X-Files fans were inspired by Agent Scully to no end. We just wanted to wear boxy, ill-fitting pantsuits and solve both crimes and the mysteries of extraterrestrial activity, all while having magnetic sexual tension with our brooding partner.
11. Something To Do With Fashion
When Rachel went into fashion on Friends, we all thought, "Yeah, I could do that!" Not that anyone really knew what Rachel actually did in fashion, just that she was in fashion. We wanted to be "in fashion" too. Not that we knew what that job would entail.
12. Talk Show Host
Two words: Ricki. Lake.