Whilst having a big sort out recently (a.k.a - opening up all the boxes of crap I've filed under 'stuff I don't need but keep for sentimental value and will cart around to every place I live in until I die') I discovered some old magazines, including this copy of Sky Magazine from 2000. So, welcome to my new item - looking through old magazines to laugh at what olden times looked like. I know, I know, since when was 2000 a bygone era? You'll understand when you marvel at what the heck people looked like and were into a mere sixteen years ago. Let's take a look....
Sky Magazine (1987-2001) was a British magazine (nothing to do with Sky TV), and is now sadly defunct. I loved it for being a little bit too old and rude for me, and how cool it made everything seem. It was also probably the only truly unisex title on the shelf, with lifestyle, fashion, and culture aimed at both men and women, plus lots and lots of sex. I'm not kidding. This issue is from December 2000 and I probably kept it because I was a massive Eminem fan at the time, not because I wanted the 100 Rude Sex Tips as promised on the front cover - honest!
The Spice Girls (above) had lost Geri, she'd 'pulled a Robbie' and left the band when it was at it's peak, which is now known as 'doing a Zayn'. The other four went on without her and released their third album whilst Geri went solo. I did get this album, and whilst I still quite like the song Holler, I can't remember much else from it. They had a new raunchy look, and tried to show that they didn't care about Gezza; I even remember Victoria bitchily saying in one interview "she must be gutted by seeing all the good things we do", or something along those lines. The 'things' weren't that great though, and they soon split up and became various reality show judges and pop pundits, apart from Lady V of course who had a rubbish reality show of her own, and is now still trying to pretend she's a fashion designer (and not copying Tom Ford in any way. No sir.).
This was a time before smartphones, before social media, it was even still totally normal for someone to not have an email address. Mobile phones were popular though, rubbish ones where the screen was only good for playing Snake on and telling you how much Pay As You Go credit you had left. Texts cost 10p each, so people got to the point quickly. Side note, what even IS this advert (above), the picture doesn't go with the tagline as the boys clearly look embarrassed. Anyway, what were people flocking to the cinema to see and playing on their CD players at the end of 2000? Can't say I recall many of these films (below), except Charlie's Angels of course. Man, I loved that movie, and the soundtrack! Most of these film stars from 2000 are still well known, except for maybe Katie Holmes - she was the hot Dawson's Creek girl back then, before she married Tom Cruise and her star faded. Mind you, haven't heard from Tobey Maguire lately either, and he was huge in the 2000's thanks to Spiderman.
The list of newly released singles (above) cracks me up, mostly because that was still a thing then - as was the whole Top 40 charts and Top of The Pops. I can remember a time when it was exciting to find out who was at number 1, but now what do people do? Just look at what's trending on Spotify or see which is the best selling song on iTunes? I don't even know - but, no one really cares about singles anymore since everyone can be their own personal DJ and carry round all their music on one tiny computer - something that would have blown my music-loving mind in 2000! From the songs listed above I bought Wu Tang Clan, Destiny's Child, Madonna and Craig David, though I'd always wait to hear a few singles and then buy the album - on CD of course. I used to have a whole wall of them, I'm glad that's not a thing anymore or I'd be swamped in CD cases by now.
What about style? Well, mad spiky hair-do's were all the range, for both men and women (above), there was lots of girls clipping their hair up to make spiky topknots. Guys either had mini-mohawks or kept their 1990's-style curtain fringes. Colour was definitely crazy, nowadays it's all about the pastel, back in 2000 you had a conventional main colour with lots of primary-coloured streaks - lots! Sky recommended that you buy clip-in ones for £3.50, wow - bet that looked as good as Lisa from Steps' hair. Fashion-wise people were still loving the whole late-90's indie thing, though there was an emerging look that can only be described as plastic fantastic. Pop stars like Britney in her Oops I Did It Again video, Christina Aguilera, and Steps were all wearing plastic-looking jumpsuits or trousers, and you'd also see people in plastic crop tops and jeans, colourful streaky clip-in hair, and massive rubber platform shoes tottering about. It was an exciting time, you could wear glitter all over your face and wear huge ornate feather necklaces, much like people would now for festivals, but you'd just be on the bus popping in to town, and no one would bat an eyelid. One day, early 2000's fashion will make a comeback, like early 90's fashion has in 2016. And I will laugh.
The cover girl, Britney, was riding high in 2000. She was THE number one popstar and could do no wrong. She also had a squeaky clean virginal image, so Sky went all controversial and put her in plastic pants and asked questions about smoking and drinking, tee hee. She went on to date Justin Timberlake, who has subsequently ruined the teenage dream of their famous relationship by being a complete and utter shitbag about Brit.
Who were the other big interviews with? Well, Eminem of course is still a legend (and my former crush, which makes me laugh so much), but do you remember Sisqo and his Thong Song? What about Kirsten Dunst, teen queen from late 90's and early 2000's movies? She was in a power couple with Jake Gyllenhaal, and kissed the aforementioned Maguire in Spiderman as he dangled upside down. She's still acting, and still looking as cool as she ever did (loved her laid back style), I wish she'd get some bigger and better roles.
Apart from hair advice and where to buy your checked clothing, magazines at the time were very useful for young people to meet other young people. I remember several titles had personal ads where people could ask if anyone was interested in being friends as much as there were ads for potential dates. If this sounds sad, remember this was even before MySpace - the opportunities people have now to chat online and use apps like Tinder did not exist, and it was normal to put an ad in a music magazine, or something like Sky, and say "wanna go to a gig?" With the internet in its infancy (the majority of households in the UK still didn't have internet in 2000), phone sex lines were a thing, hence a whole page of ads (below). It wasn't just sex though, you could use phone lines to get your horoscope, have relationship advice, and all sorts of things you'd probably use Google for these days. It's amazing that people paid for these kinds of services, but same as with personal ads, they show how important communication is in any age.
Speaking of changing culture, an ongoing story at the moment in the news is about nightclubs in the UK closing down, especially huge 'super-clubs' because social media and apps like Tinder provide quick and alternative opportunities for hook-ups. Apparently, most people that went to nightclubs in the past did so solely to try and get laid, and now they don't need to bother because of Tinder. This might be partly correct, but people do genuinely go to clubs to dance, listen to loud music, and have general merriment, even in the digital age. Clubs struggle because of unfairly increasing rent prices, especially in big cities like London, and most young people can't afford nightclub drink prices so they drink at home beforehand - making clubs lose bar profits. We'd live in a strange world if sixteen years from now there were no clubs at all and people only ever met online or via apps. Back in 2000, Sky had monthly reviews of nightclubs because it was still an important part of youth culture. I wonder what all these clubbers they interviewed are up to nowadays...
Something I've noticed from flicking through Sky and some of the other 90's and 2000's magazines I found in my stash, was that sex was talked about more frequently and in greater detail. I suppose the internet has provided another outlet where people can get more sex tips, advice and entertainment, so magazines don't need to provide that so much. It wasn't just Sky (which was slightly raunchier than women's magazines, for example), because even some of the titles aimed at teens and young women had much more sex articles than you'd see today. As well as the sealed sex tips section in this issue, there's also the brilliant regular column by Karen Krizanovich - a sex agony aunt with a difference, sarcastic and hilariously biting. I think she's a film journalist now, but I remember looking forward to her column in each issue, and I was so excited when out of the blue she followed me on Twitter a few years ago. It was a huge blow to find out she'd unfollowed me some time later, and I felt I'd let down a smart, witty woman by being only one of those three things.
By the way, no idea where my free CD ended up, but it's a much better gift than the tat you get on some magazines today, eh?
So, that was Sky Magazine. I miss it. If you Google Image 'Sky Magazine' you can see a lot of the old covers from the 80's and 90's, and I wish I had some of those. I think it's just really interesting to see what was trending and what was being talked about in a time before social media and mobile phones, before blogs, and before cheesy pop music became really lame. Tune in next week for another flick through a mag from yesteryear.