Last Friday, after spending the evening with my nieces, I stayed up until two in the morning watching the Backstreet Boys documentary, Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of on Netflix.
The next day at a bridal shower, I decided to show my friends all the choreography to the BSB video for “As Long as You Love Me.” This then prompted an hour long acapella jam session where my girlfriends and I spit out every BSB, Hanson, N*Sync, Spice Girls and Britney Spears song we could think of.
In honour of the Instagram ritual of #ThrowBackThursday, I present to you a post dedicated to the teen heartthrobs who made us weak in the knees.
*This list is an all blond zone. It’s basically an Aryan wet dream. If you’re looking for diversity, I hate to break it to you, but the 90’s was ruled by blond boys.
Let’s delve deep!
Devon Sawa & Jonathan Taylor Thomas – The Gateway Drugs
If you were a pre-teen/teenager during the 90’s, it was impossible to open a magazine (Tiger Beat was my fave) and not find a poster insert of either Devon Sawa or JTT.
While there were the girls who only watched Home Improvement for the total of five minutes that shaggy haired Jonathan was on screen, I was Team Sawa.
My friends and I creepily paused the scene in Now & Then to when a naked Devon runs in front of the camera to retrieve his clothes after going skinny dipping. That scene single handedly taught me about the male anatomy, which should be troubling for you because that means I thought all male appendages were in proportion to a 14 year old male’s privates. The reality check I received years later was both pleasant, and then disheartening when I realized there were in fact, men who debunked and confirmed my early theory about the male reproductive system.
If you’re looking to relive your Devon Sawa and Jonathan Taylor Thomas days, check out Casper, Little Giants, Man of the House, Now & Then and Wild America (bonus, Devon and JTT star in the movie!)
Nick Carter & Justin Timberlake – Battle of the boy bands
You thought Nick Carter was the hottest thing on the planet.
Your best friend only wanted to listen to N*Sync and dream about trying to run her fingers through Justin Timberlake’s hair.
This meant war.
All girls of the early 00’s know, you could either be a fan of Nick or Justin. You had to choose a side. Nobody could be Swiss about it. Ownership in these days was crucial to our development of unhealthy obsessions with teen heartthrobs. One friend could like Kevin, one liked Brian, one liked AJ, someone liked Nick and the friend nobody really liked had to be stuck with Howie. Everybody had to play their part.
Recess was a battlefield for top dog. Who would be Mrs. Carter (eventually Beyoncé but not to the Carter we all hoped for). Who would be Mrs. Timberlake (you never would have thought Jessica Biel was straight from watching 7th Heaven. But she is, and she stole your man).
Taylor Hanson – The first time you questioned your sexuality
Oh, Taylor. My love for you was unconditional. Then you had to get married at a ridiculously young age, have a dozen kids and disappear from the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
Let’s be real and admit something: The first time we saw the MmmBop video and heard him sing, we totally thought Taylor was a chick but we still didn’t understand why we were attracted to the cherubic flaxen haired singer. THEN we found out the band was actually a trio of three brothers and we were all like, “OHHHHH,ok. Yep, I want to marry him.”
You’re lying to yourself and to the memory of Taylor Hanson if you said you immediately knew he was a boy.
I harboured a secret crush on Taylor for years, under the guise of an intense love for Zac (poor Isaac, never Isaac). Hanson was my first concert in 1997 and my friend Kristen and I went to see the band again when we were 19. It was magical.
Yes, Taylor is still a total babe, and we would STILL hit it, once the divorce papers are finalized and the child support payments are set up.
Leonardo Di Caprio – The King of the World
Leo. One name. Like Madonna, but hotter and with more talent (I take any opportunity to rip on Madonna, sorry not sorry).
Leo was/is THE actor of our generation. Leo’s always been proving himself as an actor (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Basketball Diaries) but it was Romeo + Juliet that took Leo to heartthrob level. I’ll argue all day long that R+J is better than Titanic, but I don’t want to lose friends, and that tangent would be too long and boring for you to read.
The beauty of Leo was that he appealed to the younger preteens who just wanted to touch his hair, the teenagers who wanted to make it to second and third base, and their moms who wanted to be his Mrs. Robinson.
Leo was the 90’s.
Even though we’re seeing Di Caprio transform himself into everything but an Oscar Winner (too soon?) we still hold a candle for baby face Leonardo of years gone by.
Now if you excuse me, I need to go spend some alone time with a Tiger Beat magazine from 1997.
Who am I missing? Who was your crush back in the 90’s?