Ah, the early 2000’s: Disney channel originals, low-rise jeans, and horribly-highlighted hair.
What a time to be alive.
Life was simple in the early 2000s. We were in elementary school and didn’t even have cell phones yet. I got my first phone in seventh grade, and it wasn’t an iPhone (those weren’t even invented until 2007). My first phone was a hideous shade of neon blue that slid open to reveal a keyboard, and I loved it.
I asked a couple of my friends about their first phones, and both of them responded enthusiastically, reminiscing about QWERTY keyboards, Blackberrys and cheap plastic polka-dot phone cases.
We didn’t have Instagram or Snapchat, and one of our greatest fears was pressing the phone’s internet button. Our parents had decreed that we’d get charged a huge amount of money for entering cyberspace for 3.5 seconds.
Those were the days when Disney Channel produced quality television shows like “Hannah Montana,” “Wizards of Waverly Place” and “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.” The actors didn’t look and act like miniature adults. They looked just like we did.
Thirteen-year-old Hannah Montana wasn’t slathered in makeup. On “Wizards of Waverly Place,” Alex’s friend Harper dressed in flamboyant watermelon-themed outfits, not carefully planned ensembles. Gabriella’s hair in “High School Musical” didn’t look like it was styled in a Manhattan salon.
Today, things are a little different.
Now, 13-year-olds have their own YouTube channels with makeup tutorials. My eighth-grade sister and her friends shop at boutiques and have their ears double-pierced. Middle schoolers are getting balayage treatments and professional highlights. It’s gotten to the point that whenever I see a pint-sized pre-teen with carefully curled hair typing on an iPhone, I roll my eyes.
Gone are the days of bedazzled Justice sweatshirts, fake Uggs and Hollister t-shirts. The casual vibe of the early 2000s disappeared when Miley Cyrus finally told her Hannah Montana secret and Troy Bolton graduated high school.
I still remember how exciting it was hearing that “High School Musical 3” would debut in actual movie theaters. For the longest time, Disney Channel movies had solely graced our home televisions screens, but suddenly, Gabriella and Troy had made it big.
Having grown up in this era, we share a sense of pride for these shows, movies and music. And even though those days are long behind us, every now and then, throwback posts appear in my Instagram feed. Often, they’re little clips of old Disney shows. Other times, they’re reminders that the actors who filled our living rooms with laughter and teenage humor grew up.
Miley Cyrus just got married. The actor who played Martha in “High School Musical” has two kids. Zac Efron is 31 years old.
This era of catchy theme songs and wholesome entertainment truly did appear to be over, but all of that changed on February 28, when we got some pretty unbelievable news. The Jonas Brothers, who formed back in 2005 but split in 2013, reunited and released a new song, “Sucker,” that has already amassed 39 million views on Youtube.
The song’s vibe is slightly electronic, and the singers sound slightly different. All three brothers exude a sense of maturity and experience that just wasn’t there in 2007.
In the time the Jonas Brothers were apart, each of them saw a good deal more of the world and became their own people. And the kids who grew up listening to their catchy tunes?
We did too.