Throughout the '90s, my obsession with teenage hearthrobs knew no bounds. I had a subscription to every single teen magazine and would go through them each month with an X-ACTO knife, carefully carving-out the faces of my many, many crushes — it was almost ritualistic and maybe a lotta bit creepy now that I think of it. I couldn't simply have them in a magazine, it was not nearly intimate enough for me. I had to surround myself with my #1 babes.
So with those pictures, I did a lot of weird, crafty things from the privacy of my own room. It wasn't until I was older and would visit my friends at their homes during holiday breaks, that we'd go through each other's old things — revealing the various and vast ways in which we crafted, using the faces of our favorite teenage heartthrobs as our medium. Oh, the weird things we did! If only J.T.T. and Devon Sawa knew the half of it. When I left for college, my mother sent me a photograph of an entire garbage bag filled with my heartthrob crafts that she was clearing out of my room to make space for a treadmill.
If you were majorly into the likes of '90s heartthrobs, you might have had a few of these bizarre "art" projects hiding in your closet, too:
My mother was always collecting shoe boxes for me, in case I needed them for dioramas in school. I'd take these shoe boxes and glue together little scenes with cut-outs of heartthrobs in the background. Devon Sawa would be stuck to the inside of a shoebox with an "I love Kaitlyn" speech blurb drawn next to him.
I'd buy a photo album and then cut out pictures of my crushes, glue them to white pieces of paper and slip them into the album as if they were real pictures. I'd flip through it as if there were personal pictures. Josh Hartnett drinking a milk shake, Joey Lawrence posing in a backwards hat, oh good times we had. Yup.
Sometimes, if I was feeling really crafty, I'd cut out my heartthrobs and glue them to popsicle sticks so that I could use them as puppets and make them talk to each other. COMPLETELY NORMAL.
Ah, the good old shrine. Magazine cut-outs made great backdrops for shrines. Behind my 'NSYNC candle and 98 Degrees lunchbox were cut outs, taped to the wall.
At some points in my earliest teen years, I taped every single magazine poster I had to the wall. There was literally no sign of the wall behind it. My walls were covered.
Cut & Paste
On a particularly rainy day, I'd cut out my favorite heartthrobs and glue them into my diary where I'd write about them. I uncovered a few diary entries that listed my favorite qualities about each heartthrob, you know, just in case I forgot.
I loved to read the interviews with my crushes in the magazines. It was the only glimpse into their personalities that we could get. I'd go through their answers and highlight my favorites. You know, just incase I ever met them, I'd know what to talk about.
All of my binders in middle school had a collage page. Usually it was the inside cover and if consisted of dozens of pristinely taped-down pictures of all my crushes. I had no shame.
A good amount of my friend's birthday cards in middle school were home made and included J.T.T. with a speech blurb that said "Happy Birthday - Love, Jonathan Taylor Thomas". Yup, I did that. You can judge me now.
Images: BOP Magazine, Giphy