What Was Cool In The '90s Vs. Now


Today's pop culture proves without any degree of uncertainty that what was cool in the '90s versus now are vastly different things — at least, that's the conclusion we can draw from a recent survey conducted by Google called, "It's Lit: A guide to what teens think is cool." 1,100 teens between the ages of 13 and 17 — AKA Gen Z — participated in the survey, coming together to remind us that we're old farts and we don't know anything about life or what is hip. Also, the word "hip" is not cool.

The study looked at the differences between genders and explored topics like music, TV and movies, fashion, technology, and celebrities. If you think young people today are still obsessed with jelly shoes and LiveJournal, you need to clean off your glasses and open your ears, because they're actually busy Snapchatting and listening to Chance the Rapper. I'm not entirely sure I even know who that is. And I still don't understand Snapchat. Where are my slap bracelets? What happened to my Cabbage Patch Dolls? Who scratched my Spice Girls CD? Mommy!

The '90s got left behind and traded out for matte lipstick and selfies with bunny ear filters. According to the It's Lit survey, "cool" today looks a whole lot different...


Celebrities We Obsess Over

In the '90s: We were in love with JTT, Freddie Prinze, Jr., and Drew Barrymore. Many of their posters adorned our bedroom walls.

Today: Teens think Selena Gomez, Emma Watson, and Ariana Grande are the definition of cool. I can't entirely disagree, because Emma Watson rules all.



In the '90s: Food was an experience. We assembled Lunchables pizzas, mastered the art of dipping with Dunkaroos, and stuck Bugles on our fingertips and pretended we had really long nails.

Today: Teens voted for pizza, Oreos, chips, and ice cream. All right, Gen Z (or whatever the heck we're supposed to call the post-Millennial generation). You're not all that bad.


Music We Listen To

In the '90s: We knew all the lyrics to songs by the Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, and Britney Spears. Forget what they say about being yourself — we wanted to be Britney Spears.

Today: Youngsters are listening Beyonce (yes.), Drake, Coldplay (I'm sorry, what?), and the Beatles. I'm skeptical about this last one. Teens, I challenge you to name the original Beatles drummer without Googling it first. Because back in my day, we didn't even have Google.


Social Media

In the '90s: Um... what's that? You mean LiveJournal and MySpace?

Today: Instagram and Snapchat are the champs for today's teens. Only 26.6 percent of Gen Z-ers are on Pinterest. You people don't know what you're missing.


Beauty Must Haves

In the '90s: Our drawers and Caboodles were jam-packed with all the essentials: Bonne Bell, Lip Smacker, Hard Candy, Urban Decay, and Manic Panic.

Today: According to It's Lit, teens are hooked on the likes of MAC, Maybelline, Tarte, and Too Faced. Also, according to a survey I ran in my head, teens today must have access to a lot more money.


Fashion Savvy

In the '90s: No ensemble was complete without matching friendship bracelets, a tie-dye shirt, and light-up shoes.

Today: Apparently, shoes are the "it" thing for Gen Z. Their favorite brands are Jordan, Converse, and Vans. (But do they light up?)


Video Games

In the '90s: Is anyone else singing the Super Mario Bros theme song in their head right now? They just don't make them like this anymore.

Today: According to "It's Lit," video games are largely the boys' domain, and they prefer The Legend of Zelda, Grand Theft Auto, and Pokemon. OK, so the '90s haven't been totally lost.


What's Cool, Period?

In the '90s: Scratch 'n sniff stickers. End of story.

Today: For boys, it's video games. For girls, it's clothes, fashion, and beauty. Which one of these do scratch n' sniff stickers fall under?