Written by Isabel Alvarez
Before a time when I heard my high school teachers telling me, “Isabel, please put that phone away or it will be confiscated,” came a much younger me hearing my elementary teachers say, “Isabel please put that Giga Pet away or it will be confiscated.”
I remember sitting in class with my hair pulled back with five-too-many multi-colored butterfly clips, obsessing over my virtual pet, making sure I fed it; took it for a walk; and cleaned after it. Because God forbid my virtual cat, dog, or dinosaur die...regardless if just seconds later, a new pet would pop up to replace the over- or under-fed one that no longer existed.
There are so many trends, cool gadgets, and toys we grow up with that, with the passing years, just kind of fade away. Well, lately I've been tapping into some of my childhood memories and wondering what ever happened to Hungry, Hungry Hippo, Pogs, the Spice Girls, platform white sneakers, scrunchies, overalls, eye and lip glitter, or the Macarena?
Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be caught dead with any of those items now. And the only way I'd be dancing the Macarena was if I went to a party with a “retro” theme.
But when I wasn't spending my time playing with my Giga Pets, I was dancing and singing along to the Spice Girls. They were the coolest thing on Earth to me. I wanted to be just like them when I grew up. It's a good thing things didn't quite work out that way.
Playing with Pogs was probably one of my favorite pastimes when I was about 10 or 11. You'd walk out to the school playground and all you could see were kids huddled up on the sidewalks snapping their Pogs to see how many could be flipped over. It was such a craze (editor's note: for the second time around). Anyone who was anyone in the playground was “Poging.” Kids got super competitive over the game. It's even been suggested that the competitiveness almost sparked World War III. OK, well maybe not so much, but there was definitely cattiness involved!
It's always fun, and sometimes embarrassing, to look back and remember some of the crazy trends and goofy fashions we followed in our youth. Overalls and glittery lips might have made me one of the cool kids back in elementary, but you probably wouldn't catch me in a pair now, unless I decided to stop taking pictures for the magazine and became a stylish farmer. With glittery lips.
After all, Henry David Thoreau once said, “Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.”
He might have been talking about social norms, and not particularly fashion as it pertains to clothing, but it still works to prove my point.