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Extreme yo-yo's, high rise jeans and fluffy blowouts show the '90s are officially retro now

90s retro, 90s fashion

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I'm a millennial. One of my greatest joys is making my Gen Xer boyfriend feel ancient. I love to remind him how I was in high school when he was enjoying Phish concerts. When he mentions his pop culture icons, I revel in saying "who?" as I watch him appear dumbfounded. And oh, you should see his face when I remind him that I have never, not once, seen "The Breakfast Club." Nothing brings me more sadistic delight.

Well, it looks like I'm about to get a heaping serving of humble pie. Karma is real folks, and it got me.

It all started with a viewing of this yo-yo commercial from the '90s.


This Yomega yo-yo commercial—with background music reminiscent of "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" theme and some in-your-face teenage boys sporting Beastie Boys hairdos—was going viral.

The video received a flood of comments remembering the yo-yo craze:

"I went crazy and bought one called the metallic missile. It's the coolest yo yo I swear"

"Ah man, totally remember using baby oil to grease the axle on my fireball."

"Back in elementary school we had a school assembly because a 'yoyo artist' was coming to visit."

As I thought back on my own pride at having accomplished my first "walk the dog" yo-yo trick back in 7th grade, I thought about other trends I've seen recently. Ones that were all too familiar. Butterfly clips. Mini skirts. Velvet. Then I tasted the bittersweet flavor of nostalgia, dread—yes karma—as it slowly dawned on me that…

…the '90s are now retro.

OMG. It's true. Things that appeared not only in my childhood, but in my teenage years, are resurfacing. "Making a comeback," as the headlines say. As I list these out, I feel a newfound sense of empathy for older generations.

Low-rise jeans

Are you kidding me? I only just bought my super high rise mom jeans! How many waistlines can one woman sport? Is it just me, or do fashion styles come and go at a super speed pace nowadays?

I was relieved to see the universally flattering bell bottoms trending once again. But I'm not ready for this. One, I'm not ready to accept that low-rise is considered "vintage." Two, I'm not convinced anyone finds this fit actually comfortable. And three, on a more serious note, many women don't remember this style fondly, for reasons that InStyle made a great article about here. Let's just say, the '90s were a time where hypersexual culture and purity culture came to a head in a weird way.

Fluffy blowouts

90s, 90s hair, 90s comeback

Topanga from 'Boy Meets World' and Kylie Jenner.

Instagram, Disneywiki

Even though Gen Z has dubbed the side part as "old," this voluptuous hairstyle is apparently in and ready to serve some serious Topanga vibes and I'm psyched about it. (Do I have to explain that Topanga is from "Boy Meets World"? Do I have to explain what "Boy Meets World" is?)

Blockbuster


Sorry for the mislead, readers. No, Blockbuster is not coming back. And probably never ever ever ever will. But it is making a comeback of sorts. Randall Park will be starring in a comedy series, aptly and simply titled "Blockbuster," that takes place at (you guessed it) the world's last remaining Blockbuster. The ultimate irony? This show will be on Netflix, the company that put Blockbuster out of business. One final twist of the proverbial knife.

Barbed wire: tattoos and more

Hulu recently released its trailer for the new Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee biopic, starring Lily James and Sebastian Stan. Though I'm not entirely sure why anyone needs this show, the transformation that Lily and Sebastian undergo for the roles is pretty incredible. But that's not the only place where barbed wire is becoming trendy. Arm bands, wristlets and ankle tattoos have been popping up featuring the once hot design. Lets not forget the classic barbed-wire-paired-with-delicate-flowers combination, a classic symbol for "strong, yet vulnerable."

Dua Lipa even got a heart-shaped barbed wire tattoo. And she's in her 20s, so you know it's cool!

'90s are the new '70s?

Gosh, I remember watching episodes of "That '70s Show" thinking how odd and caricatured those teenagers looked. Still hilarious, though. To think that there will be a spin-off set in the '90s puts a whole new perspective on things. My childhood generation is now a potential scene for a period piece? Stop the world, I wanna get off!

Pretty soon we'll be seeing yo-yos trending on TikTok. In a retro, ironic way, might I add. But I suppose that's how the passage of time works. And really, it only stands to make me appreciate some symbols from my younger days. Hopefully we can bring back some wholesome '90s classics, like just going to the mall with friends or going to a concert and just being there, without having to film it.

As I watch my old clothes turn into costumes, and I surrender to the fact that time stops for no one, at least I can take solace in one thing: I'll still always be younger than my Gen X boyfriend.

True

Music’s biggest night took place Sunday, February 4 with the 66th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Now, fans have the opportunity to take home a piece of the famed event.

Longtime GRAMMY Awards partner Mastercard is using this year’s campaign to shine a light on the environment and the Priceless Planet Coalition (PPC), a forest restoration program with the goal of restoring 100 million trees. Music fans are 1.5 times more likely to take action to help the environment, making the GRAMMY Awards the perfect opportunity to raise awareness.

“Through our GRAMMY Awards campaign, we’ve created an opportunity for our brand, our partners and consumers to come together over shared values, to participate during a moment when we can celebrate our passion for music and our commitment to make meaningful investments to preserve the environment,” says Rustom Dastoor, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Communications, North America at Mastercard.

The campaign kicked off with an inspired self-guided multi-sensory tour at the GRAMMY House presented by Mastercard, where people journeyed through their passion of music and educational experience about Mastercard’s longstanding commitment to tree restoration. Then, this year’s most-nominated GRAMMY artist and a passionate voice for the environment, SZA, led the charge with the debut performance of her new song, Saturn.

Mastercard’s partners are also joining the mission by encouraging people all over the country to participate; Lyft and Sirius XM are both offering ways for consumers to get involved in the Priceless Planet Coalition. To learn more about how you can support these efforts, visit mastercard.com/forceofnature.

While fashion is always a highlight of any GRAMMY Awards event, SZA’s outfit worn during her performance of Saturn was designed to make a statement; made of tree seeds to help spread awareness. Fans can even comment ‘🌱’ and tag a friend on Mastercard’s designated post of SZA’s GRAMMY House performance for a chance to win a tree seed from the performance outfit*.

“SZA has a personal passion for sustainability – not just in forest restoration but in the clothes she wears and the platforms and partners she aligns herself with. It was important to us to partner with someone who is not only showing up big at the GRAMMY Awards – as the most GRAMMY-nominated artist this year – but also showing up big for the environment,” says Dastoor.

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The results were alarming—an average of 240,000 nanoplastics per 1 liter bottle—but what does it mean for our health?

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Columbia University researchers tested bottled water for nanoplastics and found hundreds of thousands of them.

Evian, Fiji, Voss, SmartWater, Aquafina, Dasani—it's impressive how many brands we have for something humans have been consuming for millennia. Despite years of studies showing that bottled water is no safer to drink than tap water, Americans are more consuming more bottled water than ever, to the tune of billions of dollars in bottled water sales.

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And now, a new study on nanoplastics found in three popular bottled water brands is throwing more data into the bottled vs. tap water choice.

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As opposed to microplastics, nanoplastics are too small to be seen by microscope. Their size is exactly why experts are concerned about them, as they are small enough to invade human cells and potentially disrupt cellular processes.

“Micro and nanoplastics have been found in the human placenta at this point. They’ve been found in human lung tissues. They’ve been found in human feces; they’ve been found in human blood,” study coauthor Phoebe Stapleton, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Rutgers University’s Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy told CNN Health,

We know that nanoplastics are making their way into our bodies. We just don't have enough research yet on what that means for our health, and we still have more questions than answers. How many nanoplastics does it take to do damage and/or cause disease? What kinds of damage or disease might they cause? Is whatever effect they might have cumulative? We simply don't have answers to these questions yet.

That's not to say there's no cause for concern. We do know that certain levels of microplastic exposure have been shown to adversely affect the viability of cells. Nanoplastics are even smaller—does that mean they are more likely to cause cellular damage? Science is still working that out.

According to Dr. Sara Benedé of the Spanish National Research Council’s Institute of Food Science Research, it's not just the plastics themselves that might cause damage, but what they may bring along with them. “[Microparticles and nanoparticles] have the ability to bind all kinds of compounds when they come into contact with fluids, thus acting as carriers of all kinds of substances including environmental pollutants, toxins, antibiotics, or microorganisms,” Dr. Benedé told Medical News Today.

Where is this plastic in water coming from? This study focused on bottled water, which is almost always packaged in plastic. The filters used to filter the water before bottling are also frequently made from plastic.

Is it possible that some of these nanoplastics were already present in the water from their original sources? Again, research is always evolving on this front, but microplastics have been detected in lakes, streams and other freshwater sources, so it's not a big stretch to imagine that nanoplastics may be making their way into freshwater ecosystems as well. However, microplastics are found at much higher levels in bottled water than tap water, so it's also not a stretch to assume that most of the nanoplastics are likely coming from the bottling process and packaging rather than from freshwater sources.

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“Based on other studies we expected most of the microplastics in bottled water would come from leakage of the plastic bottle itself, which is typically made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic,” lead author Naixin Qian, a doctoral student in chemistry at Columbia University, told CNN Health. “However, we found there’s actually many diverse types of plastics in a bottle of water, and that different plastic types have different size distributions. The PET particles were larger, while others were down to 200 nanometers, which is much, much smaller.”

We need to drink water, and we need to drink safe water. At this point, we have plenty of environmental reasons for avoiding bottled water unless absolutely necessary and opting for tap water instead. Even if there's still more research to be done, the presence of hundreds of thousands of nanoplastics in bottled water might just be another reason to make the switch.

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