Monday, January 19, 2015

Typical White Girl - Origins and Beginnings

On Twitter, you can find a seemingly unlimited amount of accounts that chronicle the life of what is now commonly referred to as the “Typical White Girl”.  I don't really get why it limits the stereotype to "white" girls, I see girls of all ethnicities that fall into this category!  You know the stereotype…Starbucks addicted, sparkly Uggs and yoga pants wearing, perfect guy chasing chicks.  Well, my millennial friends…I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you girls are not the progenitors of this “typical girl” philosophy.  I won’t claim that the Gen Xers are either because there have always been those certain groups of young ladies….the valley girls, the flower child, and so on….but this post is dedicated to my girls that found themselves a little late to be a valley girl but none the less emphatic about fitting in with the trends of the late 80’s and early 90’s.

I totally had this one
 1.  Swatch Watches.  It wasn’t enough to just have one, you had to have at least two and wear them at the same time.  You can’t forget the face guard, either.  If you were going out with a boy, it was just natural that you allowed them to wear one of them.  I lost at least one, that I can remember, to a dishonest ex that didn’t play by the “give it back when we break up” unspoken Swatch rules.  And, although I wasn’t lucky enough to have one, they also made the huge Wall Swatches, too!

2.  Aqua Net/Rave.  In the era of the mall bangs, a girl needed a good weapon against hair deflation.  She found it in Aqua Net and Rave hair sprays.  If you were an Aqua Net gal, you probably either bought the lilac colored can or the white one.  If Rave was your thing, it was likely pink level 4 that kept you bangs closer to the ceiling.

This was, by far, the best smelling shampoo...EVER
3.  Salon Selectives/Vibrance.  And when you wanted to rinse out the crunch before starting all over with curling in hand, you stepped into the shower and lathered up those locks with the apple-tastic Salon Selectives or the can’t-quite-put-your-finger-on-it wonderful smelling Vibrance in the orange bottle.  Seriously, do you know where I can get my hands on a bottle of Vibrance??

Where's the cropped top with the suspenders?
4.  Merry Go Round/Au Coton/Contempo Casuals.  Once you were showered and coiffed, you stepped into your closet to pick your brand of the era and it was probably from one of these mall staple stores.  Merry Go Round was your one stop shop for all things I.O.U. and Guess and Girbaud and Z. Cavarrici.  If you were more of a soft and pastel kinda girl, you frequented Au Coton.  But if you were all about the cropped tops, your go to was Contempo.  Who could ever forget the first time they wore their guy’s I.O.U. sweatshirt with a pair of brightly colored jeans?

Just looking at these makes my sinuses hurt
5.  Liz Claiborne.  Your choice was simple…do you get red, blue, or yellow.  If you wanted to smell grown up, this was the way to get there.  Strong and floral, you knew as soon as you saw the signature triangle that you were making the right statement.  Of course anyone stuck in an elevator with you probably didn’t agree.

6.  Bath and Body Works/The Body Shop.  If you weren’t into smelling like a 40 year old woman, chances are high that you wanted to smell like candy.  Bath and Body Works was a haven for the fruity, candy scented hat trick of female grooming – shower gel, body lotion and body spray.  Cucumber Melon, Pearberry, Strawberry Lemonade, Sparkling Pear, they were all ripe for the picking.  If you were lucky enough to live near a mall that had The Body Shop, you could opt for the higher class perfume oil in Strawberry or, my personal favorite, Dewberry.

Try and find one of these bad boys now, good luck
7.  Esprit.  Every girl who was anyone carried one of these iconic bottomless pit tote bags around school.  Black or white with rainbow logo or red, mint green, lavender, pink, or yellow with white or black logo.  With the outside pocket that really wasn’t good to hold anything securely.  I do believe that, somewhere in my house, I still have a well-worn black one that saw me through my freshman and sophomore years at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School.

I really enjoyed this time capsule of the typical 14 – 18 year old girl of my generation.  I hope it brought back some 90210 worthy memories for you guys, too!
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