When I think about the black girls growing up in 2010 and beyond, I have to agree “what a time, to be alive”. Our young black girls are some of the most woke, articulate, and intelligent ladies of our time. And with movements like Black Girls Rock and Magical Black Girls, it can only get better from here. That being said though, us 80’s babies who grew up during the 90’s–also known as the best decade ever, debate me later–know that the 90’s were pretty lit.
1. We had the best TV shows. While I love the ratchet reality TV shows of today as much as the next girl, you can’t deny that the shows of the 90’s were a different breed. We had some of the dopest black girls to look up to whether it was Brandy serving us braided style inspo on Moesha, Tia & Tamera taking us through our teenage years with Sister Sister, or Ashley, Hilary, and Aunt Viv giving us bougie black woman realness on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. And we can’t talk about black girls on TV in the 90’s without mentioning Pam, Gina, and yes even OG the carefree black girl before it was even a thing Sheneneh. 90’s TV was everything for black girls!
2. We had the best girl groups. I can’t even name a black girl group today let alone talk about one that is one the level of the groups back in our day. Talk about positive black girl role models? 90’s girl groups were it. First, we had TLC. These were a group of black girls singing and rapping about the things other girls kept hush. Hello Ain’t too Proud to Beg and Creep. Then we had the ladies from SWV, En Vogue, and Xscape dropping vocals to songs we still get down with today. Tell me you don’t get serious when Weak comes on? And finally, towards the end of the decade we were introduced to the Queen B when Destiny’s Child took over the scene. The good old days for real.
3. We had the best hairstyles and accessories. Okay, now I know with the natural hair movement this one is up for debate but hear me out. 90’s black girl hairstyles were some of the most creative I’ve ever seen. From braids with beads–because we all had braids with beads–to cute funky pressed out styles inspired by our favorite black girls we had it all. The only hair trends I’m happy to leave in the 90’s are Just for Me perms and hot combs. Sorry not sorry.
4. We had the best black dolls. While we still have a long way to go when it comes to seeing black girls represented in our toys, there was a certain kind of magic to be felt when we held our first Kenya dolls. This wasn’t like getting a black barbie. We got a real doll that looked like us. Kenya dolls were a movement! While I don’t still have mine, whenever they want to relaunch, I’m signing right on up!