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An Open Letter to Clueless

Sunday, July 19, 2015
Dear Clueless,

Your birthday is one of the few I don't need Facebook to remind me about. That in and of itself says a lot. Today marks 20 years since your release and that leaves me feeling crazy-nostalgic, a little buggin' and quite proud.

Anyone who knows me knows Clueless is my favorite movie. It's almost a part of my identity. "That's Angél. She loves pop culture, GIFs, cats and Clueless."

via Paramount/Everett Collection

There has been so much media coverage celebrating you. How can I best do it? Offline, I'm preparing my outfit, which includes one of my various Clueless tees, and of course I'll spend 97 minutes engrossed in watching you for what feels like the 500th time. For purposes of this blog, it's not necessary to recap how insane the clothing was. (I've already done that, and everything I wrote then remains true today.) The beauty looks? Flawless. Recounting your iconic quotes is something I do on a frequent basis and don't plan on stopping anytime soon.

I decided the best way to show my appreciation and celebrate you is to share exactly why I appreciate you so damn much, 20 years later.

In 1995, I was in fifth grade (holy s...) and the only things I really remember about being a 10-year-old are winning a medal for an essay I wrote about D.A.R.E. and dressing really terribly. Seeing the film once turned into twice, thrice and as soon as it was on VHS (cringe), dozens upon dozens of times.

There was a comfort in it. I felt like I was a part of the crew. The characters were so fleshed out, so brilliantly; and although I may not have been a Betty from Beverly Hills (or even yet a teen), the core personality traits, character quirks and drama the gang faced transcended location and time.

Nostalgia is fun. But so many movies that bring those fuzzy feelings of yesteryear don't necessarily translate in 2015. Even less contain the same magic of capturing a generation in such a way that it still feels relevant decades later. I believe that's partially because your brilliant director, Amy Heckerling, positioned so many key things about the movie — technology, slang, music and fashion — of their time. Each of those categories is such an important part of today's culture and you nailed them.

Taking a moment to celebrate the core of what makes you, you: Cher.

Yes, she was a flighty, naive rich girl. But she also was likable as hell. (Alicia Silverstone playing the part definitely helped, too, with overall incredible casting.) She was kind-hearted, genuinely caring about others. She had no f's to give about how she was supposed to swoon over the lazy boys in her school, or when Tai and Di taunted her for being a virgin. GIRL POWER. She was the most popular girl in school, but didn't mind potentially having her "stock plummet" to help Tai achieve her own popularity. She didn't put up with Amber trying to bite her style and kept doing it better. Above all else, she loved all of the people in her life for who they were. Cher became happiest and her best self through helping and loving everyone around her. There's an incredible lesson in the character she portrayed.

Amy Heckerling recently told CBS News, "You can have emotional intelligence, and you can have some sort of heart intelligence and I think that might be more important in some ways." Oh, the heart you have, Clueless. It overrides any "fluff" nay-sayers might call out about you.

Thank you. Thank you for providing me so many laughs. Thank you for inspiring me to love fashion. Thank you for showing me I can love said fashion and also be a bad bitch. Thank you for showing me the power of friendship.

I look forward to watching you for 20 more years.

1 comment on "An Open Letter to Clueless"
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