“A person born between January 1, 1982 and December 31, 1991 who lived more than half of their childhood (years aged 3-12) in the glorious decade of the 1990s. Some people born slightly before or after that range might consider themselves 90s kids too as long as they can remember part of their childhood in the 90s. This demographic would have enjoyed the golden age of Nickelodeon shows, the Disney Renaissance, Goosebumps books, Tamagotchi, Beanie Babies, and Sega Genesis/SNES and later PlayStation/N64. Kids born in the late 90s are under the mistaken impression that they’re 90s kids because they were simply born in the decade even though they have no real memory of living in it.” –Hooded Stranger, Urban Dictionary contributor
via Urban Dictionary
- What it means to be a ’90s kid
- Why the community formed
- The question: Are you a ’90s kid?
Ever wonder if you’re truly a ‘90s kid? Or if your child is considered a ‘90s kid? The concrete definition states that one must be born prior to about 1991 to be considered a ‘90s kid. But, what about the kids in college now? They were born around 1995, are they ‘90s kids?
Before it can be figured out, the belief system behind the “‘90s kid” culture must be identified. What makes a ‘90s kid special?
The popular basis for being a ‘90s kid centers around television, music, and toys.
Did you watch:
- “Kenan and Kel”
- “Rocket Power”
- “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”
Were you a master of:
Do you remember every lyric from:
- ‘N Sync
- Aaron Carter
- Britney Spears,
- the “Now That’s What I Call Music” album?
If so, you’re probably a ‘90s kid. If not, you’re a wannabe. At least that’s the mindset of the ‘90s kid culture.
Definitions out there
The Urban Dictionary has several definitions of a “‘90s kid.” Some are obviously written by a member of the generation, others by people who find the entire notion overrated.
“Someone stuck in the 90s, a few of them not being from the 90s but into 90s shows and culture. Most 90s kids did grow up in the 90s but don’t realize half the stuff they ‘remember’ is stuff kids from the 2000s also remember. They’re stuck in a decade and won’t let go of it.” – GreyNeon, Urban Dictionary contributor
“A self-administered term which implies that the person thinks [their] age group is superior to children of the other decades. Also implies that children of the following decades were not exposed to things such as 90s cartoons and video cassettes.” –Kislev, Urban Dictionary contributor
Kids at the cusp
“Personally,” said environmental engineering first-year Ali Odabashian, 18, “I think a lot of kids think they’re ‘90s kids, but they actually aren’t. I think our generation…we were on the tail end. But, we did get the end of the ‘90s era.”
Needless to say, the “’90s kid,” whether you meet one person’s standards or not, is stuck in a period of great nostalgia.
As mentioned in a previous post, it is plausible that this generation sees the time before 9-11 as a period of innocence, before the recession and the boost in technology and life had an ease that only comes with childhood.
Just because half of one’s childhood ran into the early 2000s, those of us born around 1995, doesn’t mean this generation didn’t grow up with the same aspects of life that depict a “true ‘90s kid.”
Since the nature of the term encompasses the Nickelodeon and Disney Channel shows and music and gadgets of the time, it is frivolous to say just because a child was four or five when the ‘90s ended, doesn’t mean this child isn’t inherently a “‘90s kid,” because these same shows and songs and gadgets carried into the early 2000s.
Times didn’t begin to drastically change until “Blue’s Clues’s” Steve was replaced by Joe (2002), until Mickey Mouse became computer-animated and had a clubhouse (2006), until the popular music was no longer by the Black Eyed Peas and Kelly Clarkson (circa 2004).
“I’m proud to be a ’90s kid,” said Psychology first-year Natalie Higgins, 18, “because I feel like there’s less of us, that there’s this new generation that’s playing on iPads already, and that freaks me out. I’m proud of having started with a flip phone that had Tetris!
“I like the idea that we all grew up watching the same TV shows, listening to a lot of the same music. You know, any ‘90s kid, you can go up to and be like, ‘Dude, ‘N Sync?’ and they’ll be like, ‘ ‘N Sync! Yeah bro,’ or ‘That’s So Raven,’ it’s the future I can see. That’s the kind of stuff I think about when I think ‘‘’90s kid.’
“I associate it the most with TV shows and music because that’s what we were doing when we were that young, we were watching the good Nickelodeon and dancing around to Britney Spears…you know seeing Lindsay Lohan before her bad days like in ‘Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen’ and ‘Herbie’ and ‘Freaky Friday.’ We all think the same, like, ‘There weren’t iPhones until high school!’ and ‘What’s with the Disney shows nowadays? Where’s “Kim Possible!?”’ Our little decade…we’re all sort of comrades.”
If anything propels nostalgia, it is the comradery that a generation feels in a unified effort to reminisce. Those born circa 1995 to the very early 2000s, then, share very similar comradery with the traditional “‘90s kid” despite their birth year.
Perhaps the ‘90s kid notion is overrated or a trap of nostalgia and a sometimes unhealthy yearn for the past, but this community can heal as well, as explained in the last post.
So, do you share memories with people deemed “true” ‘90s kids?
Do you remember the right shows and bands and gadgets?
If someone told you that you were about to get slimed, would you have any idea what was about to happen? Better yet, would you be excited?
Are you, in fact, a ‘90s kid?