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25 things you’ll relate to if you were a teenager in the mid-2000s

WORDS BY ALYCE COWELL

Illustration by Twylamae

That’s hot.

Let’s get one thing straight: the mid-2000s was the best half-decade ever, and if you don’t agree you can just get the hell out. Your disagreement probably means you have good taste and this is just not something we need for the next 15 minutes. If you’re simply too young to remember, please leave your judgment at the door.

I was a poster child for the mid-2000s. If Ja Rule and Ashanti had a baby, I would be that baby. I had the sunglasses, the belly ring, the maybe-a-bit-too-low-low-rise-jeans. I even had ‘That’s Hot’ emblazoned on my school jersey, in homage to The Simple Life (I debated about telling you that part but I think it gets my point across pretty strong). Some people are experts in fields like medicine and science – I am an expert in 2000s fashion and pop culture.

If you too were a teenager in this glorious decade, firstly, I think we could be friends. Secondly, here are 25 things, taken straight from the pages of my high school diary that will have you feeling all the feels.

As the great Fat Joe (feat. Nelly) once said, should we Get It Poppin’?

1. Etnies and Globes were the only shoes for you. Bonus points if, like mine, yours were covered in sick drawings and the number 69 – even if you didn’t know what that meant yet.

2. Changing your Nokia 3310 phone case was the highlight of your month. Choosing a new ringtone was a close second.

3. Your go-to hairstyle was the quiff. Sometimes you wore your hair down with a quiff, sometimes you wore it in a ponytail with a quiff, because it kept your hair off your face and was just that versatile.

4. You experienced true euphoria, which turned into intense grinding when one of the following songs came on at a house party:

  • ‘Remix to Ignition’ – R Kelly
  • ‘Holidae Inn’ – Chingy
  • ‘I’m a Slave 4 U’ – Britney Spears
  • ‘Hot in Herre’ – Nelly
  • ‘Tipsy’ – J-Kwon
  • ‘Candy Shop’ – 50 Cent
  • ‘Dirrty’ – Christina Aguilera

5. Josh Hartnett was going to be your husband, and that was that – you didn’t even notice his monobrow. His best work? 40 Days and 40 Nights.

6. You took your style cues from Britney, wearing mostly boob tubes and that denim skirt with the thigh splits she wore in the Sketchers campaign. You accessorised with J-Lo and Paris Hilton-inspired clear sunglasses without frames, which were obviously just for display purposes.

7. The most dramatic part of your life was rearranging your MySpace Top 8. This was 10x more terrifying if the friend you bumped from first to second was online. Not your fault Sarah was being a biatch at school that day.

8. You said ‘biatch’.

9. Your boyfriend was one of three types: scenester, who listened to Fall Out Boy and borrowed your GHD to straighten his fringe; surfer, who wore a shell necklace; or metrosexual, whose look consisted only of polo shirts with the collar popped, and a set of cubic zirconia stud earrings.

10. In every picture of you for a three-year period, you can be seen throwing gang signs, usually of the Westside variety…

11. …while wearing a Von Dutch hat.

12. You were lucky enough to experience Green Apple UDL’s and Blueberry Cruisers – two drink flavours that divided your friendship group. Other drink options included Red Bears, Lemon Ruski’s and Woodstocks, which weren’t really Woodstocks unless they were carried in a boy’s school bag.

13. Your screen name was [email protected] or something equally cringe, which at the time, didn’t seem cringe AT ALL. It seemed sxc.

14. Tweezing your eyebrows was time-consuming and painful, but necessary. The brief? Pluck every single hair, until your eyebrows are sort-of there, but mostly not.

15. You felt a strong connection to Seth, Ryan, Marissa and Summer in The OC and cried for days when that horrible thing happened to Marissa that we still don’t talk about.

16. You switched your belly ring between a small coloured stone, and a dragonfly with a really long tail that almost touched your jeans. Notice I didn’t need to tell you that you had your belly button pierced because, 2003.

17. Speaking of jeans, the only style you wore was so low that you had to keep checking that your knickers weren’t poking out the top. Mandatory features: flared cuts, sandblasting and whiskers. If you were feeling extra, you pulled out your pair with the glitter and diamantes on the back pockets.

18. Giving your MySpace a makeover and choosing a new profile song gave you a reason to live, and some lifelong skills in HTML coding too.

19. Pre-predictive text, you lost many years of your life by messaging your friends. You had to manually press each number two, three or four times just to get the letter you want. It could take up to three days to write one sentence.

20. You carried your purse, phone and lip gloss in a Billabong bowler bag, and you carried your school books in a Billabong backpack – the one with the diagonal strap across your chest with a pocket for your mobile.

21. You watched Coyote Ugly way too much and wished you could work there so you could wear the vinyl pants and snakeskin tops, and dance on the bar.

22. You were constantly getting in trouble for importing viruses onto the family computer because of that son of a bitch, Limewire.

23. You shook it like a polaroid picture for 12 months straight when ‘Hey, Ya’ by Outkast came out.

24. The only makeup in your makeup kit was grape- and raspberry-flavoured lip gloss pots from the Body Shop.

25. Nobody – I repeat, NOBODY – knew the opening cheer to Bring It On as well as you. You embodied that shit.

 

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