[quote]I think the early to mid 90's anti-Kardashian, materialism message was so interesting and creative. You just don't get Courtney Love's anymore.
Agreed. I think it was definitely a more positive time to be a teenage girl. You had these independent women who wrote about stuff other than boys and clothes and parties, Tori Amos, Courtney Love, Hope Sandoval, Shirley Manson, TLC, Lauryn Hill, even early Destiny's Child performed songs celebrating self-determining women.
There was a big dance music and cheesy pop scene internationally. Almost immediately concurrently with Alanis came The Spice Girls (out of Britain) and The Backstreet Boys (pretty much manufactured in Sweden) and in 1998 in charged Britney and it was all over.
Even though Kim and Kris get the the Kardashianising verb, she (and her mother) really just cashed in. Sure, during the era there were minimalist hipsters, R&B glamazons and pop-rock howlers, but the musical pop cultural view of feminity arced between Southern Belle child-woman-sex-kitten Britney and Southern Belle child-woman-princess Taylor Swift.
Britney and Taylor portrayed a limited scope of female representation, where going berserk about teenage boys, rocking cowboy boots with tiaras, always being pretty, celebrating freedom in the form of red lipstick and - this is key - your public image isn't controlled by you as an artistic depiction of your innermost self but as a marketable commodity calibrated to draw money from specific then widening demographics - set the social standard for what being a young woman was. Putting it in light of the 1980s Britney and Taylor girls marked to girls like with the power and incision that grown-ass Madonna was marketed to general audiences.
And is there any wonder why girls now, as opposed to girls in the 90s, who don't fit this mould are encouraged to identify as non-female?
The "anti-materialism" message of the 90s, while not entirely bull, was pretty much a joke. I watched Twister for the first time in decades last week and Bill Paxton denounced wealthy, slick, rival storm-chaser Cary Elwes as a "corporate sellout". (Who exactually was funding the research of Helen Hunt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alan Ruck and the rest of their merry band of misfits? They did bake sales? Had a jam band that performed weekends in college bars?.) It was funny af.