When you were a kid, or maybe a teen, there were certain things you did to be a badass in the '90s. Of course, not all of them actually were badass. Some of them were downright lame. Who am I kidding? All of them were pretty lame, although teen badassery is generally lame no matter what the decade. Most of the things you did that were "bad" were modeled around pop culture at the time. Kind of like a teen badass might take a sexy Kylie Jenner-style selfie and post it to the Internet in a bit to show how cool and tough they are and how little f-s they have to give, so too did we follow the actions of our idols in the '90s. But back then those idols were Wynona Rider and the cast of 90210.
Being a badass in the '90s wasn't just grunge style floral dresses and plastering your room with Shannon Doherty posters. There was a lot of work that went into it, including using the limited technology around you to prove how badass you were. Whether you were leading a candle lit seance or swapping the laces in your Dr. Martens with your friends so they'd mismatch, here are 14 things you did in the '90s to be a badass.
1. Watched The Craft And Then Tried Light As A Feather Stiff As A Board
All true '90s badasses watched The Craft religiously. The slightly less badass badasses then spent hours trying to make "Light as a feather, stiff as a board" work.
2. Wore Combat Boots (Bonus Points If They Were Purple Or Green)
You know how I know? Because I had purple Dr. Martens, and my bestie had green ones, and we were total badass wannabes. All the actual badasses at our school wore them too, which I think is where we got the idea.
3. Hung Out In Record Stores Listening To Grunge Albums
You saw the cool kids doing it in The Bible, I mean, Empire Records, so you emulated that.
4. Bought CDs With Parental Advisory Stickers On Them Behind Your Parents' Backs
If you want to talk about being naughty in the '90s, every badass worth their salt would find ways to buy CDs with parental advisory stickers on them, sneak into the house, and secretly listen to them. If you were able to burn or tape copies and distribute the among your friends you got extra bad ass points.
5. Purposefully Murdered Your Tamagotchi
You knew it was wrong, but there were basically no repercussions. Every '90s bas ass murdered their Tamagotchi at least once.
6. Secretly Got Your Belly Button Pierced
I was always trying to figure out ways to get my belly button pierced, and I'm so glad I wasn't badass enough to go through with it. (Props to those who were brave enough to see this through.)
7. Made Prank Phone Calls
You thought this made you a badass, but really it just made you a little brat. Side note: remember how much you couldn't wait to use the phone in the '90s, and now you freak out if anyone tries to place a voice call to you?
8. Shouted The Swear Words In Alanis Morissette And Offspring Songs
All the biggest badasses in the '90s shouted all the swears in "Bad Habit" and "You Oughta Know".
9. Dyed Your Hair Shirley Manson Red
There was literally no other color for badass hair in the '90s.
10. Adopted Riot Grrrl Feminism — Or If You Were More Pop Oriented, Gwen Stefani "Just A Girl" Era Feminism
Discovering feminism in the '90s was the most genuinely badass thing you did.
11. Crushed On Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain, before his death, was the most badass guy you could crush on in the '90s. He hated the establishment, and was a grunge wild child. Your parents would most certainly disapprove if you ever bought him home for dinner.
12. Wrote Dirty Words In The Commands Of Floppy Disk Computer Games
Remember those games, like Kings Quest and Hugo's House of Horrors, you had to type commands into (i.e. "Walk out of the room") and the pixellated character would obey? To be badass, you'd type all the swears you knew in there too.
13. Plucked Your Eyebrows Into Thin Lines Even Though Your Mum Banned You From Touching Them
The best way to get your face to say "I'm a badass" in the '90s was to have pencil thin eyebrows, à la Drew Barrymore.
14. Always Chewed Hubba Bubba, Which You Also Always Blew Into Bubbles And/Or Wrapped Around Your Finger
What was it about gum that made you look so badass in the '90s? You'd be constantly popping big pink bubbles and leaning against walls after school with your uniform shirt untucked, twirling the gum around your finger and quoting things like "We are the weirdos, mister".