Recently, I’ve been on a bit of a nostalgia trip. Although to be honest, when am I not? Listening to a lot of the Throwback Thursday playlist on Spotify, excitedly chatting to a co-worker about our secret love for Hilary Duff – mine still ever-present, hers she’ll probably deny – and going through old photos on my computer have all fuelled this.
So after months of contemplating, I figured it was only natural to create a throwback series. So here it is, the first of it’s kind. Please enjoy my 2004 Throwback!
Cast your minds back to a time much simpler – I say this because I was 12 turning 13. As mentioned earlier, my obsession with Hilary Duff was at an all-time high – she was right at the peak of managing a film AND music career, a popular combination for early noughties child stars. This was also the start of Lindsay Lohan’s career, the anti-Hilary, her arch nemesis. Before she was arrested for DUI and was still starring in Disney movies. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen turned 18 and ended their movie series together. I remember being devastated when it was announced Mary-Kate had anorexia nervosa because it became a reality that these teen stars I looked up to weren’t the characters they played in poorly written movies – they were real and flawed.
I remember The OC being the most popular TV show on at the time – I wasn’t allowed to watch it so I used to tape it on on our VCR and in later years, watch it online. It remains one of my favourite shows to date. Inspired by The OC, Laguna Beach – The Real Orange County was then created, a pseudo-reality show, following the lives of several rich teenagers living in the area. Who knew how popular the format of that particular show would be today?
Ashlee Simpson came on the scene in 2004, dubbed the edgier Simpson sister – she wasn’t edgy, but to a 13-year-old she certainly was – and Green Day released their notorious album American Idiot. I thought they were pretty cool for a band I didn’t realise had been around since 1986.
Some albums I had spinning at the time, or wished to have spinning, as I hadn’t discovered the art of downloading music yet (also known as Limewire).
I spent my pocket money on jewellery from Diva and CD-singles from Sanity, I thought vintage was a style of clothing and not, in fact, an item at least 20 years old or more and made sure I had a Roxy or Billabong pencil case (and lanyard?) for the start of the school year. I was allowed to read Girlfriend Magazine but not Dolly, so I took advantage of borrowing friends copies whenever I could. Sorry Mum!
I also spent a good portion of the year munching on fundraiser chocolates from my high school and genuinely feeling quite isolated from my peers; I suppose I went through your standard teenage existential crisis in 2004. Luckily however, 2004 was also the year I made a solid foundation of friendship with my best friend to this day, bought my first pair of heels (well..kitten) wore pink ugg boots to the shopping centre before it was not ok to do so and went to my first concert. With my mum. And yes, it was Hilary Duff.
MY TOP 5 FILMS OF 2004
(Please remember I was 13)
New York Minute
As mentioned earlier, this was the last film the Olsen twins produced and starred in together, their first theatrical film release since It Takes Two in 1995. The story follows…wait for it.. ok you guessed it, two twin sisters who are obviously completely different and never see eye-to-eye. Jane, a preppy over-achiever with a perfectly maintained Filofax – I bought one a few years later inspired by this film – and Roxy, a punk rocker who wears a lot of band t-shirts and lives off junk food. I love how their names depict their personalities, I feel I could have confidently developed these characters at 13. Anyway, the movie follows one wild day in New York City where a series of mishaps throw their separate plans for the day into chaos. Yes, there are many outfit changes and even an appearance by the whiniest band at the time, Simple Plan.
My mum did not let me see this at the movies, which obviously made this film quite intriguing to me. The film stars Lindsay Lohan and follows a girl named Cady’s slow progression from formerly home-schooled geek to a member of ‘The Plastics’, the school’s A-list clique. This movie has developed quite a cult following and addressed issues that most teenage girls would say they’ve dealt with; you know, all the important ones like being popular at school, flaunting your body and bragging about your successes. Nothing like what we do as adult women today… This film is funny and smartly written, which I think it needed to be to soften the blow.
This movie was fitting for a girl my age as it follows Jenna Rink, who makes a wish on her thirteenth birthday to be 30. When this wish becomes a reality, she must navigate her life as a seemingly successful and well-rounded woman. The soundtrack in this movie is fun, as it has quite an 80’s vibe and 13-year-old me loved the main characters’ career being at a fashion magazine in New York City. They always have careers in fashion, don’t they…
A Cinderella Story
Oh man, did I love this movie. The name of the film speaks for itself; the story follows Sam, who is raised by her cruel step-mother after the death of her father, alongside two equally mean step-sisters. Obviously, she is treated really terribly – her clothes are plain and unstylish, I’m pretty sure she sleeps in the attic and is forced to work at her step-mothers diner. Anyway, I think you get the gist – there’s a school ball, a high school jock, a mean girl and the internet involved – because, modern fairytale – and of course, a happy ending. I’m sure there’s a Hilary Duff song or two featured on the soundtrack because as mentioned, she was a pop star AND actress at the time so really, it’s just an all-around good time.
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
Another Lindsay Lohan film, before the whole DUI thing. This film follows a teenage girl named Lola, who moves from New York City with her mother and sister to..ugh..the ‘burbs. I’m not sure what the exact plot of this movie is, but it involves her wanting to star in a school play and sneaking off to New York at night to see her favourite band play. Or meet the lead singer. Or both. Megan Fox is in this movie as well, she obviously plays the mean girl.
And that my friends, was 2004. I hope you guys enjoyed the first edition of this throwback series and that it made you feel even just a little nostalgic. I could go on for so much longer, but I think it’s best to save that for the next post. Big thanks to my mum for taking me to the movies to see half of those films and of course, for enduring Hilary Duff.
Until next time, enjoy this 2004 playlist I have made to take you back in time!