Hello and welcome to the next instalment of my throwback series! After much consideration, I decided the next year to turn my focus to would be 2002. Looking back, I see it as a bit of a transitional year. Well, at least for me it was.
In 2002 I was 10-turning-11 and had just left my primary school for a combination primary/secondary school. I started grade 5 that year and was super shy and super nervous about going to a new school. To quote the great Britney Spears, I was “not a girl, not yet a woman”; I was stuck between a world of beanie kids and Saddle Club books and more “grown-up” things like pop music and teen movies.
I remember it being a priority for me to collect as many lipsmackers as I could get my hands on – I liked the jewel-capped ones – and as I could rarely afford to buy a full album, would mostly buy CD singles instead. I started watching Lizzie McGuire in 2002, one of the greatest shows of our time. I was also obsessed with the Olsen twins and had a few of their movies on VHS (yes, our family was pre-DVD at the time!)
My 2001 obsession with a certain strawberry blonde teen – you Australian’s will know her as Nikki Webster – was still going strong, however, I found myself more embarrassed to tell people, as her fanbase was quite a lot younger than me. If I’m honest, I truly did struggle with letting go of my childhood indulgences. I mean, I was still playing with Barbie dolls under the guise that I was playing with my younger sister! In fact, I’m pretty sure I wanted to play more than she did, I really had to talk her into it sometimes. Anyway, in response to this small pressure I felt from my peers/television/magazines to let go of those things and move on to more mature interests, I actually found myself gripping on to my childhood favourites tighter. I certainly wasn’t in a hurry to grow up and looking back now I’m proud of that.
In a culture that is so overly sexualised, I so often see young girls dressing inappropriately for their age, listening to and watching suggestive music and films and aspiring to be considered ‘attractive’ and ‘cool’. While I certainly don’t think it wasn’t like that when I was a kid, I do think that age is getting younger. Looking back on my experience in 2002 I really value that time I had to be a child. I’m glad I wasn’t exposed to what 11-year-olds today are; I’m glad my parents were cautious with me. I think I turned out alright, don’t you!?
As for 2002 fashion, I basically lived in Fiorucci t-shirts and bell cut jeans from the kid’s section at Myer and Target. Much like today I would wear my favourite outfits to the point of excess. I was also obsessed with Candy (Candies?) shoes. Does anyone remember them? I cannot for the life of me find a picture online of them anywhere. If you look really closely you can see I’m wearing mine in the picture. They were blue, but I remember they came in heaps of other colours as well. They were laceless sneaker things. Anyway, parting with them was really hard for me, I don’t think it ever felt quite right wearing other runners.
Shakira’s ‘Whenever, Wherever’ was my jam, as was ‘1000 Miles’ by Vanessa Calrton and ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ by Sophie Ellis Bextor.
Avril Lavigne also came onto the scene in 2002, I thought she was pretty cool. Luckily for me, I never had a ‘Sk8er Boi’ stage – unlike a lot of other girls I knew – but nevertheless, I enjoyed this Avril chick as she provided an interesting alternative to most of the other pop stars who were successful at the time. While I’ll always love Britney, in 2002 I definitely found myself shifting more to artists like Avril Lavigne, Michelle Branch and Vanessa Carlton because they wrote their own music that seemed more meaningful to me, even as an 11-year-old.
MY TOP 5 FILMS OF 2002
This was Britney Spears’ debut film role and what a film it was. The story follows 3 childhood best friends and some random guy they just met as they embark on a trip that takes them across the country. The film actually doesn’t have a terrible cast; Dan Akroyd, Kim Cattrall, the chick from Centerstage that isn’t Julia Stiles and Taryn Manning who you might remember from this song. Obviously, as a singer is the star of the movie, there, of course, is singing involved, and perhaps a record deal or something? Whatever, it’s Britney. To my surprise, this movie did actually cover some heavier topics that I certainly didn’t expect. It adds a bit of meat to the story and it’ll always have a soft spot in my heart.
THE HOT CHICK
This movie is so stupid, honestly. As a tween though, I thought it was the funniest thing in the world. The movie essentially follows a teenage girl and a random guy from a service station who swap bodies. It has Rob Schneider and a pre-Mean Girls Rachel McAdams in it as well as Anna Farris. The scene that made me laugh the most was probably the dance scene and me and my gals pals used to quote this movie all the time at school. We obviously thought we were hilarious!
This is a Disney Channel Original film (remember those) starring the one and only Hilary Duff. The movie follows a teenage girl whose mother re-marries an ex-Military man so she ends up being enrolled in Military School. Obviously Hil’s character is super free-spirited and totally non-militant so of course, there’s lots of hijinks and mud crawling montage scenes. I loved this movie though and will probably re-watch it now with a different perspective as I’m now in a serious relationship with an army man!
SWEET HOME ALABAMA
Look I’m not going to lie, I still love this movie. Starring Reese Witherspoon, the film follows a young woman from Alabama who has managed to make it out of her deadbeat hometown and strike success in *NYC*. She’s a fashion designer, of course. Sidenote, what is it with all the romantic comedies of the early 00’s where every female lead is a magazine editor or fashion designer living in NYC? Talk about creating unrealistic expectations for gals like me! Anyway, for some reason or another, she has to go back to Alabama to sort out some things before her upcoming wedding to the guy from Grey’s Anatomy and ends up getting caught up in a romance with her childhood first love. The scenery shots of Alabama are stunning and the love story is…it’s nice, ok?
A direct-to-video classic from the Olsen twins, this movie follows twin sisters Taylor and Kylie on a trip to Salt Lake City, after they get their drivers licenses and a shiny new car from their parents for their 16th birthday. The thing I love about Olsen movies is that you know they picked their characters names (Roxy, Leila, Madison, Riley) just to name a few and that they each will either take on an eccentric or introverted character. One of them is always wild and spontaneous and the other, mature and level headed. It seems it’s impossible for them to have similar traits in their movies. Anyway, just something I noticed! Ultimately what I learned from this movie is that half the journey is getting there… See what I did there?
Well, that’s it my friends, that was my 2002 throwback. I hope you guys enjoyed the second instalment of my throwback series and that some of it made sense to you? We didn’t all have the same interests and experiences after all, and as you can probably tell from this post and my last, my early 00’s experience was extremely saturated with tween stars.
Until next time, please enjoy my 2002 playlist. I have to say, 2002 was a good year for music. I hope you like!