90’s throwback: wear sunscreen

I was jamming to DC 101’s 90’s at noon, when Baz Luhrman’s Everybody’s free to wear sunscreen came on the radio. I can’t honestly remember the last time I heard it, but I do remember it playing profusely my freshman year of high-school. I thought it might be fun to look back to see if any of the advice was actually worth something and to see if I’m actually doing any of it. So here goes, my comments in [BOLD BRACKETS] below…

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. [DONE] The long term benefits of  sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth [TRYING]; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.

But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp  now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. [I DO THAT NOW]

You’re not as fat as you imagine. [YES!]

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. [BUT I CAN’T HELP MYSELF]

The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday. [OH LIKE TEARING YOUR ACL? OR WHEN YOUR WASHING MACHINE BREAKS ON A FRIDAY MORNING?]

Do one thing everyday that scares you. [I THINK I DO THIS MOST DAYS]


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours. [CHECK]


Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself. [I LEARN THIS LESSON AT LEAST TWICE A YEAR]

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how. [I DO, BUT IT’S HARD]

Keep your old love letters [NO, BAD IDEA], throw away your old bank statements [YES! GOOD IDEA].

Stretch. [EVERY DAY!]

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t. [WORKING ON FIGURING IT OUT, AT LEAST]

Get plenty of calcium. [I SHOULD DRINK MORE MILK]

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone. [NOTED, NEW ACL NEXT WEEK!]

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. [I PROBABLY BERATE TOO MUCH?]

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own. [OK!]

Dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room. [I DO!]

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them. [BUT ISN’T THAT WHAT DIRECTIONS ARE FOR?]

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly. [FAIL, I READ THEM]

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good. [ALWAYS IN PROGRESS]

Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. [DONE!]

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. [DEFINITELY LEARNING IN PROGRESS]

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young. [TRUE!]

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. [I’VE LIVED IN NEITHER, I THINK I’LL BE OK]


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders. [ACCEPTANCE IS HARD SOMETIMES]

Respect your elders. [ALWAYS]

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. [THAT LESSON WAS LEARNED A LONG TIME AGO]

Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out. [NOTED]

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85. [COLORING IT PURPLE & BLUE DOESN’T COUNT, RIGHT?]

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth. [AGREED!]

But trust me on the sunscreen. [DEFINITELY. TIME TO LATHER UP!]


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