There was enough angst in the '90s to fill several thousand era-specific history books. The '90s was a period of narcissism, nihilism and introspection. It was a time when Ethan Hawke waxed on about existentialism in multiple movies and Mallrats taught us the virtues of wandering aimlessly at the mall while speaking poetically about life's mundanities. It seemed so badass at the time, but really, it was kind of soft. A lot of our melancholy and infinite sadness in the '90s was pretty lame, and as a consequence, a lot of our rebellious acts were fairly weak. I mean, we thought Gwen Stefani was the ultimate bad girl for a second there, which should tell you everything you need to know.
When we were rebelling in the '90s, we listened to music too loud. But it was kind of lame music. We did seances. But those were kind of lame too because someone was definitely pushing the glass. Rebelling in the '90s was about showing people you were deep and profound, but in a fairly soft way that wouldn't actually intrude on your study, friendships, or anything else like that. Of course, there were really extreme rebellions too — I can say I partook in one or two myself. But there were also a lot of ones we though were tough, but simply were not. Here are 12 things you did to rebel in the '90s that were actually kind of weak.
1. Shouting "F*ck" In "You Oughta Know" Really Loudly
It was the dirtiest word you knew at the time, and you couldn't say it in front of your parents... Unless Alanis mandated you too. You'd sing all the lyrics to "You Oughta Know" like you were being the naughtiest person to ever live. It was cute.
2. Prank Calling People's Home Phones
How badass did you think you were when you were prank calling your friends, enemies, and crushes? I'm guessing pretty badass. In actuality, you were just being an idiot, not a rebel without a cause.
3. Modeled Your Whole Persona On Every Winona Ryder Movie You Could Get Your Hands On
The original manic pixie dream girl was your role model in the '90s. You thought she was so bad, especially in movies like Heathers, Reality Bites and Edward Scissor Hands. She really was just cute and twee, but she hung around bad types, and got involved in some weird business, so that was enough for you.
4. Wore Dr. Martens
As if shoes could make you the ultimate rebel, you wore your very trendy, timelessly chic, Dr. Martens' boots like they made you the roughest twelve year old on the block. You got extra points for taking out the standard laces and put in neon multi colored ones. REBEL.
5. Dyed Your Hair Like Shirley Manson
Of course this was a little naughty because you probably did it without permission. But having flame red hair was the epitome of badass back then. If only you could see how far multi-colored hair has come since ...
6. Plucked Your Eyebrows Into Super Thin Lines And Then Covered Your Lids In Bright Blue Eyeshadow
Again, this was naughty because your parents probably banned you from doing it, but overall, a little pluck and some eyeshadow doesn't really scream "wild child".
7. Sucked On Lollipops and Lollipop Rings All The Time
A lot of being a rebel revolved around looking like a rebel in the '90s, and rebels always sucked on lollipops or those huge lollipop rings. Rebelling with sweets was very rebellious when you were a child.
8. Wound Your Chewing Gum Around Your Finger
Again, chewing and sucking were signs of a rebel. You'd pull your gum from your mouth in stands and with one end between your teeth, you'd wrap the other end around your finger and twirl. More gross than rebellious.
9. Colored In Your Converse
After begging your parents to buy you expensive sneakers, the first thing you'd do was take your gel pens too them. Rebellious, not really. Ungrateful, probably definitely.
10. Wore Stick On Earrings If Your Parents Wouldn't Let You Get Your Ears Pierced
Somehow, being banned from getting your ears pierced was the worst thing your parents could do to you. So to get them back you'd wear stick on earrings. You, 1; Parents, 0.
11. Made Thumb Holes In Your Sweaters
Destruction was the calling card of the rebel, but for you in the '90s it was only very minimal destruction. Like putting little holes in the sleeves of your sweater through which to stick your thumbs.
12. Started A Witch Coven
After watching The Craft you decided the best way to rebel was to start a witch coven. You and your friends would get together and try to do "light as a feather, stiff as a board." It never worked, but you felt badass anyway.