The Fashion, the Attitude, the Teen Culture of the 90’s

Do you remember a time when the schoolgirl look became hip? When girls ran to the malls to buy super short A-line skirts, knee-high stockings, and a pair of stacked-heeled penny loafers? Some of you might be too young to remember, but I do. It was the fashion craze of the late 90’s inspired by hit chick flick Clueless. Every girl wanted to emulate Cher (Alicia Silverstone), the primary character in the movie. They wanted her computerized closet, her clothing allowance, and her fashion sense.

The popularity of this movie, however, did not only inspire a new fashion trend, but it also inspired a change in attitude. The film promulgated the hip, young, beautiful lifestyle of the Beverly Hills crowd; a lifestyle defined by teens owning expensive cars, constant cellphone usage, and non-stop shopping. It also portrayed the beauty-before-everything-else attitude of California teens. This was a lifestyle that every girl wanted or at least dreamed of, and it was a lifestyle they tried to live. Another remnant of the movie that is part of teen culture is the use of the expression “whatever” and the hand gesture that went with it. The movie had a great effect on the teen culture of the 90’s.

It is amazing how one film can create such a big change. Films can influence daily lives and everyday characters, whether we want to admit it or not. Their influence can be so great that they inspire an entire movement. We often try to remind ourselves that it’s just a movie, it can’t be real. However, we do find a way to make it real. What so funny is that the portrayal of the characters from the movie Clueless was an exaggerated parody of reality. . .a parody that became all too soon actual reality. That shows you how influential a flick can be, especially for those chicks who wanted to be Cher.

2 thoughts on “The Fashion, the Attitude, the Teen Culture of the 90’s”

  1. Clueless a popular film but I feel it was a mirror of a trend that was occuring not that the film caused desires in young girls. the desires I believe where there and clueless just expressed what was already going on.

  2. Maybe movies distill preexisting trends, but give them back to us in a more concentrated form, taking those trends from the local or regional to the national or international?

    Interestingly, CLUELESS is based on Jane Austen’s EMMA. And Austen is the wellspring for so many chick flicks.

    If you haven’t seen the recent, Joe Wright-directed PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (with Keira Knightley), see it, it’s a pure chick flick. Also a very robust, energetic piece of filmmaking. The UK version is better, because it lacks the USA version’s dreadful, tacked-on, non-Austen epilogue, which is like chick flick self-parody.

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