Sunday, January 23, 2011

The three girls that middle school boys were into during the mid-90s AKA The three girls I hated during the mid-90s AKA The three girls I desperately wanted to be during the mid-90s

I preferred Topanga during the first season of Boy Meets World. You know, when she was super into metaphysics and crimped hair. (That shift from loony to normal at the start of the second season was never explained to my satisfaction). But it wasn't until the BMW gang started high school that Cory Matthews began to see her as fodder for his wet dreams/the kind of girl he could eventually marry, stifle, prevent from attending Yale, etc. 


What was so great about Topanga? Well, initially, I think it was that prodigious mass of hair on her head.
Because even though she had those pouty lips, that hair was kind of extraordinary. (I can only assume that--like Alec Baldwin--she was injecting steroids into her hair follicles while subsisting primarily on a diet of Mane 'n Tail.) But as the character aged, I think the main draw was her chest. Which was huge. She had big boobs.


During the first couple of seasons of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Ashley was just Will Smith's impressionable little cousin and kind of faded into the background. Sure, she was cute, and every once and a while Tevin Campbell would sing to her or whatever, but no one was really pining after to her.
But then she turned 15 or 16 and became this mega hot chick--10 times hotter than her sister Hilary, who I think was supposed to be the hot chick. I erroneously believed that I'd undergo a similar transformation when I entered high school.
 Even though, I always wanted to have hair like hers, the thing I was most jealous about, when it came to Ashley Banks, was that she--well Tatyana Ali--was dating Jonathan Brandis! I still remember how inconsolable everyone was when that news broke--I'd liken it to the day that JFK was shot. 


Since The Secret World of Alex Mack aired on Nickelodeon, Alex had to have a higher caliber, cable network-worthy kind of cuteness. And because of that, she's the mid-90s teen girl that men my age really seem to carry a torch for. She was a total tomboy with no boobs to speak of but still, supremely adorable.
In the first episode of the show, a top secret chemical (GC-161) was dumped all over her, giving her the ability to turn into a puddle--a power that was far more useful than you'd think--and even in liquid form, she was totally cute.
Any jealousy I might harbor is superseded by awe--she had the absolute best 90s wardrobe.


I wanted to be this girl when I was 12 and I still want to be this girl at 27.




Tatyana Ali photos [via]

25 comments:

Laura said...

I still watch episodes of Alex Mack on youtube. And I agree, she had the best wardrobe ever AND never matched. I credit her for inspiring me to own apple green skate shoes in jr. high and having a wicked hat collection that I still add to now. I miss those shoes :(

Allison said...

I too thought it was weird when Topanga became a hot chick. I always had a little crush on Ryder Strong - the bad boys always got me :P

The Shanner of Attention said...

I wanna bang-a Topanga!

P said...

I always wanted to be Larissa Oleynik because she was so pretty. I still have a bit of a girl crush on her, and I blame Alex Mack for the whole thing.

Simon said...

You can take comfort in knowing that Alex Mack, at least, isn't doing much.

Also, reruns of these things seem to live on ABC Family, don't they?

C said...

Oh, Topanga.

To be back in a confusing time when I was forced to question my sexuality before I realized that girl crushes are acceptable, even for straight chicks.

BMW 4-EVA

MJenks said...

Goodness! Cousin Ashley! She blossomed well after I stopped watching the show. Goodness!

And, yeah, Topanga's boobs was the only thing that caused me to watch that show.

Never saw the Nickelodeon Puddle Chick, so I have no input on that.

beanditch said...

I thought Larisa Oleynik was so pretty and I desperately wanted to be like her. There was a girl that rode my school bus that looked super similar to her and I had this secret fantasy where she was actually the real deal and just lived in our tiny town as a front. Jeez, I basically invented Hannah Montana at the age of 12.

Amiee said...

That hair is inspiring!
Yes I too thought Alex was adorable and she could rock many a hats I couldn't!

Catherine said...

lol, I'd like to see a picture of you once you BECOME the puddle! =p

Mia said...

Tatyana Ali and Jonathan Brandis dated? How do I not remember this? Was I so traumatized that he was off the market that I blocked it from my mind?

Also, I miss when teen actors looked like actual teenagers (or 30 year old men. I'm talking to you Luke Perry!) Now they all look like 23 year old supermodels who spend most of their time shopping at Dolce and Gabana.

Amber said...

Laura: I just downloaded the entire 2nd season of the show. It's like Heaven.

Allison: I was definitely into Ryder Strong. I wonder if anyone liked Cory...?

P: I clearly still have a girl crush on Larisa but only as Alex Mack. I thought Julia Stiles was my fave in 10 Things...

Simon: BMW is on ABC Family all the time. I think I've seen every episode 45 times.

C: Yeah, I don't think the term "girl crush" was even coined until I was in college, so 1990s adolescence was a confusing time, for sure.

MJenks: I'm glad you confirmed the Topanga boobs thing. It's nice to get the male perspective.

beanditch: There was a suburb area that looked like Alex's neighborhood in Paradise Valley right off the freeway by my grandmother's house and I desperately wanted to go there so that I could live as Alex lived. So I guess we were both kind of weird.

Catherine: I'd like to see that as well.

SP said...

You forgot Kelly Kapowski. The 90s were totally about big, beautiful hair.

Megs said...

I liked Topanga way better as a Luna Lovegood style fruitcake. Much more likeable. Also, that bitch was the reason I kept waiting for big beautiful breasts to appear overnight (still waiting).

I would have had Kelly Kapowski on my list (expected high school to be so, so different than it actually was) and possibly Clarissa Darling.

Purtle said...

Clarissa Explains it All? Anybody? She had the best collection of boots in all the colors of the rainbow with a little lock on the laces! And she had a wicked hubcap collection. She had a significant impact on my girlhood. That and Kelly Kapowski. You decide which was the better female role model.

Ali said...

Remember when Ashley used to wear those terrible floral frocks (I wouldn't even call them dresses) in the early "just mind yo bidness!" years? Thank goodness Vivian got her some new clothes.

The break up must have really taken a toll on Jonathan Brandis.

(I'm going to a baaaad place. Lots of fire.)

Nicki said...

Never saw the Topanga appeal. Was always kind of horrified from it.

Now Alex Mack/Dawn from BSC? YES. There was a look I could subscribe to. Plus, who didn't have the urge to sink down into a puddle during impending humiliating situations?

Nicki said...

P.S. I had a three mega-burrito feast yesterday and immediately thought of you

Tabs A. Geek said...

Hahahaahah. Awesome. I never wanted to be Ashley, but oh my goodness was I ever infatuated with Topanga and Alex. Those two girls were my role models growing up.

Plus, I kinda had a thing for Corey Matthews.

Angie said...

OMG I thought for sure you'd mention Kelly Kapowski, or Jesse Spano!

Jessi Haish said...

TOPANGA!!

Georgina Dollface said...

Oh, I guess I didn't own a TV in the mid-90's because I have no idea who these tarts are. Ok, Ok, I'll admit it, I did have a TV, I'm just old. My green-eyed raging TV monster lived in the mid-80s when I wanted to be/hated/adored Alyssa Milano (Who's The Boss), Nicole Eggert (Charles in Charge, not Baywatch) and Lisa Bonet (The Cosby Show.) - G

Chelsey V said...

I looked a lot like Alex Mac when I was 11, but with more acne and glasses. Also, nobody I talk to seems to remember the show. I was sort of obsessed with it. I even had the books.

Sadako said...

I always hated how bitchy Ashley got when she became older, though.

Also, I still think Hilary was at least as hot. (I have a soft spot for Hilary. Whenever I watch reruns of Fresh Prince, I kind of want to be her. Or at least have her attitude--and collection of little hats.)

Sammy V said...

I had the biggest grade-school crush on Topanga. Great memories.