Oh, the '90s. Can I go back to those days? The days of Dunkaroos, Adidas shower sandals, hemp necklaces, and Clarissa explaining it all — if only I'd known how good I had it. Before the days of the Longchamp totebag, the girls of the '90s had Jansports that were filled with even more iconic '90s items. And, if we're being honest, there are some things every '90s cool girl had in her backpack. My own backpack was full of gems, to the point that most of my friends compared my powder blue Jansport to that epic carpet bag Mary Poppins carried around.
Although I've retired most of these glorious items to the land of nostalgia, I still get a kick out of telling the young folks of today all about them. They really missed out on scrunchies and metallic pens. What do they have now? Ballpoint pens and plain ponytail holders? The kids of today don't know it yet, but their school supplies are missing a certain je ne sais quoi; a touch of neon, '90s flair. And though I may not be able to convince my brother to attach a Tamagotchi to his backpack, I can take solace in the fact that most of these items are still available for purchase on the internet, if you do enough deep research. (Thank you, eBay, for keeping the '90s dream alive.)
1An Epic Scrunchie
Why did scrunchies go out of style? They were the only way to put your hair up in a ponytail without leaving that dreaded pony-kink in your hair for the rest of the day.
2Bonne Bell Lip Smackers
Watermelon, Dr. Pepper, ooh, girl. Nothing soothed chapped lips like a good dose of Lip Smackers. Nonus points if you kept them on a necklace
3Gap Dream Body Splash
What's that smell? Oh, just the scent of every middle schooler on the block. Before I was allowed real perfume, there was Gap Dream body splash.
I always had a Delia's catalog in my backpack, in case I finished my Social Studies homework early and had time to peruse the pages of this hallowed 'zine.
5Gelly Roll Pens
Specifically, metallic Gelly Roll pens. Remember how you could take an eraser to the metallic ink and it would transform into a bright ink? Remember how mad your teachers would get if you used a metallic pen on a pop quiz?
Picking the perfect color or Lisa Frank pattern trapper keeper was harder than picking your outfit for the first day of school.
The travesty of having to spend $100 of your back to school budget on a calculator. But at least you had that one friend who could program a few games into it to get your through Algebra, right?
Don't even try to pretend you were too cool for a Tamagotchi. You know you were dying to feed that pet during Language Arts, just like I was.
9Peace Sign Accessories
Keychains, stickers, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, rings, doodles on your trapper keeper, you name it, it had a peace sign on it.
Did you ever fall asleep with butterfly clips in? Beauty is pain, babe. Beauty is pain.
11Roll On Body Glitter
Forget the loose stuff they sold at Club Libby Lu (just kidding, I love you Libby Lu), the rollable glitter was where it was at. No glitter explosions on your backpack. Just precise application near your eyes, and above your v-neck.
12Cucumber Melon Lotion
Another landmark scent of the '90s, courtesy of Bath and Body Works. I smell this stuff and still have flashbacks to my middle school hallway.
Eventually this accessory was banned in most schools, because is was deemed too distracting and also deemed as a possible weapon. But if you were a rebel, then you'd hide it in your backpack.
And maybe some extra embroidery floss, just in case you needed to make one on the fly for a new member of your girl gang, right?
If you didn't have one of these hanging off of your backpack, you just weren't cool.
Embrace the nostalgia, ladies. And instead of wallowing in the fact that the kids of today will never know or understand the glory of the '90s, hold tight to the fact that you got to live in them, and you got to love them.