In praise of our '90s fictional lady-crushes
When it comes to celebrity crushes, the ’90s were a stellar decade for emerging women in entertainment. A lot of them helped shape my awkward teen (and somewhat adult) years through phrases like “as if” or “my buns, they don’t feel nothin’ like steel.” Over the years, girl crushes of the fictional kind have come and gone but there are a fearsome few that are as relevant and kick-ass as they were 15-plus years ago. Because it’s #tbt and because there’s never a bad time to talk about the ’90s, here are my absolute biggest girl power crushes from way back when:
Rachel Green (and ‘The Rachel’) from Friends
Even though my hair was too unruly to give it a solid go, we should probably have a whole category on ‘The Rachel’ because it really was that incredible. As for Rach, she had rockin’ fashion jobs, a no-nonsense approach to all things friend-related, and though there was that time Ross and old high school friend, Will Colbert (Brad Pitt), penned the “I Hate Rachel Green” club, she’ll always be my lobster.
Joey Potter from Dawson’s Creek
Who couldn’t love a character named after a fictional mom’s favorite heroine, Jo March, from Little Women? Don’t answer, it’s rhetorical, because Joey Potter was a smart, sassy, tomboy who never left provincial Capeside but somehow always expressed exactly how I was feeling at any given melodramatic time. The inner turmoil, the angst, the jealously over new girl, Jen Lindley (Michelle Williams), who would steal Joey’s BFF, Dawson. What I loved/hated/loved the most was JP’s inability to settle on either Pacey or Dawson for more than a semester (Team Pacey all the way). But by the end of the series, I was really just glad to never again sing that Paula Cole song in my sleep.
Cher Horowitz from Clueless
Um, hello? Cher wasn’t clueless, she was so before her time. She was a total Betty, gave great speeches in debate class, and wasn’t interested in high school boys or sub-par Espresso roasts. To this day, I strive to find my forever Dionne and Tai so that I, too, can be just as gloriously clueless.
Kat Stratford from 10 Things I Hate About You
Oh, Kat, how I love thee. Let me count the ways (literally). I love how you stand up for what you believe in no matter who’s trying to knock you down, I love how you read Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar in your free time to “counter the male-dominated literature from English class,” I love how you’re not impressed by anyone, even fellow outcast Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger), but most of all, I love how you’ve experienced something personal that made you stop and think about your choices when it comes to sexuality, prompting the anthem “my body, my rules.” Bravo.
Amanda Beckett from Can’t Hardly Wait
There is more to Amanda Beckett than you think. She’s not just the insanely gorg Prom Queen, people. She has feelings, and her sweetheart, Mike Dexter (Peter Facinelli) broke her heart and tried to humiliate her AT A PARTY! Forget him, A. You’ve got secret admirer, Preston Myers (Ethan Embry), to find and dreams to pursue, whatever those are.
Sidney Prescott from Scream
The girl is tough as freaking nails. Even in dealing with her own fears and traumas after finding her mother dead, she’s still in school and still tight with BFF Tatum Riley (Rose McGowen). Plus cool peeps like Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) and Deputy “Dewey” Riley (David Arquette) have her back so there ain’t no way that mask is making it’s way into a sequel, let alone four.
Brooke Davis from One Tree Hill
Much like Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill had me all “Team Peyton or Team Brooke?” By the time I finally made my decision, the show had ended. I guess this is my way of saying, “I’m sorry, OTH. I choose Brooke.” Mostly because her drama-filled high school years seem so much more exciting than mine.
Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Born a slayer whose sworn duty is to fight evil (how awesome is that?!), she’s come back from death, TWICE, and still managed to be a semi-normal high school student at Sunnydale, becoming both Prom Princess and Fiesta Queen, all while slaying vampires and the like. Um, rule much?
Nicole Maris from You Drive Me Crazy
Of course she has her sights set on the star basketball player and of course she’ll hash a fiendish plot with guy next door neighbor, Chase Hammond (Adrian Grenier) for her to get said star basketball player, and OF COURSE Nicole and Chase will fall for each other instead (!) but I don’t care because I’m pretty much always going to be obsessed with this (You Drive Me) Crazy video with Britney Spears. So do your thing, Nicole.
Laney Boggs from She’s All That
Although the very foundation of Laney’s character is that she be a “dorky, solitary, unpopular art student,” I always thought she rocked just the way she was before the stupid bet cocky Dean Sampson Jr. (Paul Walker) made with super popular dude, Zack Siler (Freddie Prize Jr.). The bet? Turn “any random girl” into Prom Queen within six weeks. Hello? Open your eyes, man. She’s already all that.