The Evolution of Cool: Things That Used to Be Lame But Kids Love Today

Parents, if you can, think back to your teenage years… Whether your teen years were in the 80s or the 90s, there are things you can remember things that were considered “cool” and things that were considered “totally lame,” right? Of course. The funny thing about those trends back then is that the things we thought were lame are the very things that our kids today find to be in style, and if you’re not doing or wearing these things we once dreaded, you’re considered lame… how ironic is that!

Back in our day, not being cool made you the target of public ridicule, also known as being bullied. Being bullied is something that doesn’t seem to have gone away. In fact, bullying has evolved over the years since we were teenagers. There was a point in time where being bullied was a kid picking on you, talking about your shoes, and getting into a fight after school (which is still an awful thing for a child to experience) but bullying today has taken on a new level.

Bullying today is done via social media, which can have long-lasting damaging effects on a child. Luckily, there are technology solutions for bullying that are helping put bullying to an end. Now, aside from bullying, if you look back at some of our fashion choices and ways of thinking, they were definitely worthy of a couple of jokes…

Isn’t it crazy how history repeats itself? If you have some embarrassing high school photos, take a look at them and compare them to what your child wears today. Take a look at some of the things that we used to think were lame but are now the “hottest thing since sliced bread!”


Glasses… if there was ever a starter kit for being a “nerd,” glasses would be the number one accessory in the kit! Back in our day, glasses were solely meant for helping you see clearer. Today, glasses are multifunctional. They are made to not only help you see clearly but they’re also major fashion statements!

Teens now wear glasses even when they don’t need glasses! They could have 20/20 vision and will still go to the mall and buy the glasses that we used to think were hideous… you know, the ones with the big lenses and thick black frames? Those types of glasses are totally in style now… who would’ve thought?


You remember that “nerd starter kit” from above? Well, braces would also be in that kit. Back in our day, if you had braces, people would call you “brace face” and “metal mouth” to pick on you but once you got your braces removed, they couldn’t call you “brace face” anymore… they would just continue calling you “four eyes” because of your glasses!

Although braces were socially traumatizing back then, kids today beg their parents for braces. Braces have actually come a long way since we were kids… kids have the option of Invisalign braces now but they also still have the option for the metal braces but you know what the kids want? They want the metal braces, of course.

If your child is begging for braces, whether they want the metal braces or Invisalign, there are great orthodontists in Houston that will give your child the smile they’ve always dreamed of… not to mention, they’ll be the epitome of everything cool… if only braces were cool back then.

Wearing Your Backpack on Both Shoulders

As silly as this sounds, you were considered lame if you wore your backpack on both shoulders. The cool thing to do was to wear one strap on one shoulder but little did we know the damaging health effects of wearing our backpacks like that would do to our backs. According to, carrying a backpack on one shoulder can cause you to lean to one side to offset the extra weight. Doing that can not only cause bad posture but it can also strain your shoulders and neck as well as cause upper and lower back pain.

Back then, we’d rather suffer from neck and back pain than to be caught dead carrying a backpack on both shoulders. That just goes to show just how immature our minds were back then. Kids today wear backpacks outside of school simply because it not only makes a fashion statement but it’s also a great bag to carry to hold all of their “things” that works for both guys and girls. Girls have purses for the most part and backpacks have become the saving grace to house “guy things” when they’re on-the-go.

Oh How the Times Have Changed…

If you really sit back and think about all the things we used to think were lame, you will see how silly we were as kids. We made fun of people who wore braces but once their braces came off, those same people were some of the most gorgeous classmates you ever saw… Teach your children the importance of self-love as early as you can because although we can laugh about it now, bullies are not going to go away and it’s important for your child to know their worth regardless of what anybody else says or thinks.

Photo by July Brenda Gonzales Callapaza

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