How 1990’s pop music videos gave me unrealistic expectations of love




During the golden era of blond bubblegum pop- what I like to call Britney/Christina/Mandy/Jessica-madness (Spears, Aguilera, Moore, Simpson, respectively), through the dissemination of moving images set to music girls of a certain age (i’m going to say 8-14) came to expect certain behaviours from their male counterparts. I was one of those girls.

During this era- which devastatingly coincided with my chubby/awkward phase, I expected that sweet, innocent, tweenage love would simply come my way. All I needed to do was wait eagerly on a pier/at a fun park/in my pink bedroom conveniently located at the front of the house, and a non threatening jock/teen heart throb/boy-band member would arrive in a Jeep Wrangler (or in Mandy Moore’s case, on a Vespa?!) wearing chinos and a white t shirt and give me a nice non-suggestive hug.

The rest of my days would be spent driving around with my equally pretty girlfriends in my Jeep Wrangler/convertible VW Beetle, dancing, drinking milkshakes, choosing outfits, watching the jocks/skaters/surfers pursue their interests at their respective stomping grounds.

It didn’t matter that I had a monobrow, the BMI of a heavyweight champion, and normal (read: non teen model) friends. I was of the complete belief that none of these things would preclude me from any of the above god-given rights.

But like so many other times during my tween-years, I was wrong. Backstreet Boy lookalikes did not come bearing jewellery they’d fished out from the Titanic wreck. Nor did they drive Jeeps, wear chinos or have perfectly chiseled abs. Or offer to worship me in return for a hug, some hand-holding or the odd peck on the lips. Eventually, the fantasy faded.

As did the fabulous shiny lives of Britney/Christina/Mandy/Jessica. Unfortunately the once unstoppable foursome now offer far more realistic images of life; career slumps, divorce, custody battles, prescription drug/alcohol abuse, weight fluctuation and mental breakdowns (or was that just Britney?!). Nevertheless I am thankful for the golden era, I may have developed unrealistic expectations of what love is and looks like, but one can only begin to imagine how screwed-up the tweens who take inspiration from Lady Gaga videos are going to be.

All images curtesy of YouTube

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4 Responses to How 1990’s pop music videos gave me unrealistic expectations of love

  1. sarah says:

    for completeness, you really should post a photo of you mid awkard phase. Preferably one that doesn’t implicate me.

  2. i was just thinking the same as Sarah…now i’m really curious to see how you looked as a teenager, haha!
    but gosh, those good ol’ times. I remember exactly these videos and how I wanted to be wearing a white tummyshirt (or whatever it’s called in english) like the one Britney is wearing. Oh or that “put one pant leg up and keep one down” like Christina did (this I actually DID myself when performing Genie in a Bottle at a school disco, oh how I would like to see some photos of that)

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