It’s 2008 and I’m 14-years-old, the moody refrain of Apologize by OneRepublic resonates through the Britney Spears’ Fantasy scented air. My closet is full of gladiator sandals, lensless “nerd” glasses, bubble skirts, fringed boots and Paul Frank tees. After sitting through the mandatory “You Wouldn’t Steal A Car” warning, the DVD of Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging begins. Twilight is in cinemas, Britney is making a comeback, Beyonce and Jay-Z are newlyweds. It’s a simpler time.
Nothing brings millenial women together like collective memories of Supre slogan tees and Blue Light Discos; so I profiled a few creatives who are around my age to reminisce on their most tragic fashion moments and nostalgic throwbacks. Take a peek inside their teen diaries...
Mia is a project manager and freelance content creator who has somehow managed to stay effortlessly on-trend since the early 2000s (see photo for proof). Between writing for a number of Australian and international publications and managing creative projects in the areas of tech, fashion and arts; she’s bringing a unique perspective to the Sydney cultural scene.
What do you do?
I work on Business Development for Pitch Studios, and on Special Projects for Andpeople. I freelance in different ways too - mostly writing for publications about creative industries, and creative people that I genuinely like. My personal passion is self-publishing physical and digital zines, so I'm keen to start doing that again.
What did you want to be when you were a teenager?
I wanted to be in a punk band. I still do, but I'm just absolute trash at making music.
Describe the best/worst outfit you ever wore as a teen.
Lots of eyeliner, platform black boots, white super-flared hipster waist Supre pants, and a black boob tube with Chinese characters on the front that translated to 'Study Hard, Party Harder'. I'd honestly wear this today if I still had it.
Which celebrity did you have on your bedroom wall?
Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo Montague in Romeo + Juliet. So hot.
What’s your favourite teen coming-of-age or romcom film?
This is truly my favourite film genre, but it has to be Clueless because it shook my whole world up. Close second is Mean Girls, because it resonates between multiple generations of women.
What’s the most underrated banger of the 2000s?
Bring It All To Me - Blaque ft. *NSYNC. This video clip is WILD. It's like 'No Scrubs' on a whole new level. The obsession with future-forward aesthetics really started post-Y2K, and has had a clear influence on my adulthood. Blaque were absolute baddies. Let's never forget their killer performance as Clovers in Bring it On. RIP Natina Reed!
I'd also like everyone to know that I was one of the first *NSYNC fans in Australia. My dad bought me a copy of their first album from overseas, long before it was available or serviced in Australia - so I've truly been a stan since day one.
Paris or Nicole?
I always loved Paris, and wanted to be her so bad when I was growing up. She is responsible for my pink ugg/denim mini-skirt/Von Dutch accessories phase, and I have absolutely no regrets about it. As I grew older, I felt a lot more connected to Nicole, mostly because she is funny as hell, and watching her blossom into herself has been very relatable.
Shutter Shades or Oakley wrap-arounds?
Early Kanye is an icon, but it has to be Oakley wrap-arounds - I still wear the style to this day!
Singstar or Guitar Hero?
It was all about Dance-Dance-Revolution for me. I had the play at home mat to practice, because it was a huge mood in highschool if you were good at Dance-Dance-Revolution. At the local mall people would gather around Timezone to watch you play if you were good (I was not).
Club Penguin or Habbo Hotel?
I missed out on both of these because I got a fake ID really early and started going to the club! I would have LOVED to play Habbo Hotel back then, it is so my vibe. I'm still salty that I missed out.
Flo Rida or T-Pain?
T-Pain. I worked on a Beats by Dr. Dre campaign a few years ago, and we had him play a special performance at a party during the Australian Open. It was very surreal.
Blink-182 or Simple Plan?
Blink-182 forever. When 'Dammit' plays in 'Can't Hardly Wait' it literally defines my entire teenage life. I went to the XXL Freshman showcase in New York a few years back; and mid-show I headed to the bathroom. As I walked into the foyer, I saw Travis Barker just standing there. I locked eyes with him and froze. Then all these people started screaming and running at him in slow motion. It played out exactly as it should have: absolute chaos, with me melting into a puddle like Alex Mack.
4 gals, 3 generations, 4 playlists - have a listen
Read our chat with actual Dolly Doctor, Melissa Kang
About Arabella Peterson:
Arabella is a freelance writer and content creator from Sydney. She cofounded The Ladies Network, a multifaceted platform for women in the creative industries where she was the editor-in-chief. Since then she has worked as a freelance writer, creative consultant and marketing specialist with the odd modelling gig on the side (on this very website, in fact). She is particularly interested in the intersection of fashion, feminism and environmentalism; specifically supporting local brands and sustainable practices and she loves exploring culture, art and fascinating people. She also cohosts a podcast about Adam Sandler, is obsessed with horror films and loves a good game of Dungeons and Dragons. Follow Arabella on Instagram: @arabella_peterson