The Cast of 90210 – Then vs. Now


The original 1990s American teen TV soap, Aaron Spelling’s seminal hit Beverley Hills 90210 saw a prosperous 10 years on air. It was (successfully?) revived in 2008, touted as a “spinoff” and not a remake and is currently into its fifth season.  

Admittedly, I have never seen the newest extension, but I do remember the world of the Walshes: the climatic Dylan/Kelly/Brandon drama, Brenda absconding to London in a feeble attempt to write her off the show and loving the brainy and bow-bedecked Andrea Zuckerman for her academic commitment, feminist inclinations and writerly ambitions. The original show, although highly problematic in many areas, actually conveyed development in the main characters to some degree over its arc of ten seasons, that I appreciate in retrospect.

But, more importantly I recently came across a blog post that highlighted the differences in female body types from the early 90s cast to the latest and greatest of today. Even though there is a starring cast member of color and another character is dealing with questions of his sexual orientation (one of the topics the old series never touched; in truth it addressed social issues methodically – broadly and softly), the revival disproportionately focuses around straight white teens,

Check out the side-by-side cast comparison below and how the thin ideal has gotten smaller and more sexualized over the past decade.

.present cast of 902090210_2207109a



Don’t get me wrong – the female cast members were thin THEN, but it’s clearly evident that not only are the females thinner collectively in the current cast, they are also significantly more sexualized. This supports the idea that in recent years what women and girls are seeing reflected in popular culture among Hollywood starlets and celebrities is a body ideal that has gotten increasingly/excessively thinner and considerably less diverse. Even the men featured in the latest spinoff have displayed, chiseled bodies (in the beach scenes) versus the cast of yesteryear where Steve is the only one sans shirt.

Visually I also find it interesting that the 90s clan take photos where they are physically closer in many of the shots, their bodies are seemingly less on display for consumption.

About Ms. Mettle

I am many things. Runner, yoga enthusiast, nonconformist, bookworm, lover of learning, blogger & self-proclaimed writer, traveling fool & body image, media literacy and feminist issues advocate. I have a penchant for philosophical musings, cultural commentary and white wines. I enjoy stand-up comedy and profanity-laced television series. I enjoy watching said series by season in rapid succession. Committed to personal growth, unabashed authenticity and empowerment, I encourage critical thinking of mainstream media messages and popular culture and believe in questioning our society’s definitions of gender, sexuality and power. I eschew stereotypes, rail against the limited notions/definitions of beauty, the destructive idealization of thinness and the marketing of packaged perfectionism that leave women feeling inadequate and shameful about their bodies and themselves. I believe in empowering and educating our youth on harmful media messages that call them to equate their self-worth with appearance and body size and equipping them with the tools that support healthy self esteem, positive body image and confidence. I enjoy cocktails and quality conversation, spending time with my soulmates, pithy proclamations, positive precepts and witty wisdom. Additionally, I adore alliteration (as if not already evident). I have an affinity for gutsy gals & guys, brazen broads and sanguine strangers. I work to encourage my insatiable aptitude for education. I am a feminist, word nerd, reading addict and prefer my literature like my coffee, dark and rich. I have indescribable gratitude for all of the unwavering support and incredible individuals that make my life a resplendent one. These relationships are my currency. Reformed pessimist/chronic cynic, perpetually pursuing positivity, encouraging self acceptance, supersizing my dreams and learning to love life.

4 responses »

  1. I agree with this article 100%. It just seems people had more self respect back in the 90’s..Clearly you can see the new cast are more empty headed and sexualized, compared to the old cast that is focused, real, yet enjoying eachothers company.. Such a big difference

  2. Pingback: What Do You Miss Most About The ’90s? | SaltyPepper

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  4. Pingback: What Do You Miss Most About The '90s | Sharing Interesting Stuff, Updates News & Free Tips

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