Watching old episodes of Big Brother has made me feel all nostalgic and reading tweets slating Millennials on TikTok has inspired me to write about the joys of coming from this generation. After all, we’re not all avocado on toast eating, coffee sipping, Harry Potter obsessives.
Millennials are apparently defined as being born between 1981 and 1996 (although I did read some articles that went as far as 2000 but I’d say thats too broad to define a generation) Anyway, I was born in the mid-late 80s, believe it or not so I fit into this category. Obviously, you can’t always generalise across an entire generation but growing up during 9/11, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the 2008 recession has made many of us pretty adaptable and resilliant, despite being referred to as ‘snowflakes’ by some.
My childhood featured Polly Pockets, Mr Frosty and paper arts and crafts whilst George Michael or 90s house music played on MTV in the background. I used to watch Bodger and Badger, Sesame street, Funhouse and Round The Twist. As I got older Pogs invaded the school playground and me and my friends would be trying to keep our tamagotchis alive. I also remember when pots of gunge were everywhere and people were wearing those rubber bracelets that we used to call ‘shag bands.’ So cringe when you think about it now! There was a period where I was obsessed with those Spice Girls photos and my poor grandad would buy me a pack pretty much everyday after school only for most of them to be doubles. Saturday nights we’d watch Gladiators followed by Blind Date
My teenage years were played out to a soundtrack of Garage music (I love that a revival seems to have been bubbling away for some time and that younger generations can experience the joy of Craig David) and the sound of dial up internet. The sheer impatience of waiting for the internet to connect so you could chat to your mates and crush on msn messenger was real. So was the disappointment when someone wanted to use the phone and you had to get off the internet. I’d record my favourite songs off the radio on a cassette before graduating to CDs and a walkman. the foamy bit over my headphones would always end up full of holes where I’d gradually pick away at it. After school I’d watch The Queen’s Nose, Byker Grove and Blue peter or bury my head in a magazine such as Mizz, Shout, Smash Hits, Sugar or Bliss (the free gifts were something special back then, providing you could get one before someone had nicked them all)
My uniform as a child and teenager was mostly tracksuits and trainers (I’m all about the comfort) Favoured brands included Bon-Bleu, Reebok and adidas and in my teens I was obsessed with Nike Tns. I’d accessories such outfits with tonnes of gold jewellery a la Lady Sovereign. So chic. After a bath with white musk bath pearls from The Body Shop, I’d douse myself with Impulse Vanillas, Charlie body spray or Tommy Girl and would be ready to hang about with my mates, spending time quoting Ali G amongst other things.
Excuse my long trip down memory lane but these felt like simpler times, when Trolls were just harmless but naked toys with bright coloured hair and before technology fully took over our lives. My phones as a teenager were mostly Nokia and you could create your own ringtone using ‘composer’ and while away boredom playing Snake. Peak excitement was a flashing aerial (yes, phones had aerials) and there was no internet on phones until WAP came out which most of us were too scared to click on incase we ran up a massive phone bill.
Us Millennials have experienced a rich and varied time in both general life and popular culture where many changes have taken place that have shaped who we are as people. I don’t really like avocado and I rarely drink coffee and although I may be partial to bit of Harry Potter occasionally, theres no generation I’d rather be part of. I’m a Millennial and proud