I myself am a '90s girl. I just didn't know it at the time.
But looking back, I see the lipliner and remember listening to Hole for the first time. I certainly owned more butterfly clips than I'll ever be comfortable admitting. Grunge, plaid, and brown lipstick are just three reasons why the '90s was not an easy decade to be sexy.
Yet somehow, there was an overload of female celebrity sex symbols for my young and awkward self to admire in awe. Maybe the '90s weren't so bad after all. Hell, compared to the '80s, they were some pretty proud years.
After all, we walked away with a serious slew of sexy celebrities who've since been deemed the sex icons of the decade. And what's even more amazing than the surplus of sex pots the '90s delivered, is how many of them are still seriously smoking hot today.
Here are 17 bombshell beauties from the '90s whose sex appeal will just not quit.
Pamela Anderson, then
via: Getty ImagesWith her famous red one-piece and a figure that men were willing to risk drowning to see up-close, this Baywatch babe could seriously be the frontrunner for THE sex symbol of the '90s. Between her assets (acting, of course, not sure what you thought I meant), and an apparent tape of some sort, the buxom blonde became a major sex symbol of the '90s who had plastic surgeon's waiting rooms overflowing with potential Pams by the end of the decade.
Pamela Anderson, now
Cindy Crawford, then
via: Getty ImagesCindy was the 90's supermodel that had us all wondering why the hell jeans didn't look like that on us. The supermodel socialite was a serious sex symbol by the end of the decade and seems to have singlehandedly supported Pepsi sales in the '90s.
Cindy Crawford, now
via: Getty ImagesAnd unless you've been living under a rock for the past 20 years, you know that Cindy's sexy skills more than just survived the decades... they've multiped. The former supermodel is now a super mom, successful entrepreneur, and continues to give young models a run for their money. Cindy Crawford is the sex symbol of the '90s whose sexy simply will not quit.
Drew Barrymore, then
via: Getty ImagesAny girl who saw Mad Love when it came out in 1995 wanted to marry Chris O'Donnell and be Drew Barrymore. Looking back, I can see Drew for what she was... She was kind of everything. (And before being "everything" was everything). She was authentically grunge, yet she was like, super sweet at the same time. And not in that annoying way, either. She even made a lisp seem sexy. There's no question that Drew Barrymore was a hot commodity in the '90s.
via: Getty ImagesIt's no wonder that Drew continues to be considered such a successful and sexy female figure today, over twenty years later. She's still a leading lady, has her own blossoming beauty line, Flower Beauty, and has just released her first clothing line, Dear Drew, available at Amazon Fashion. And I'll be checking that out in approximately 2.5 seconds. Gotta run!
Gwen Stefani, thenShe was the platinum-haired, red-lipped punk leading lady of the '90s, who had ridiculous abs, if I recall correctly. And for me recall anyone's abs at all, male or female, they must have been pretty remarkable. There's just No Doubt about Gwen Stefani's 90's sex appeal.
Gwen Stefani, now
via: Getty ImagesAnd, of course, she still looks amazing. Which is so unfair because it's been 20 years and my teenage self will literally never live up to this sexy ska sorcery of sorts. It's just madness, I tell you!
Jennifer Aniston, then
via: Getty ImagesDuring the '90s, Jennifer Aniston was America's sitcom sweetheart. Aniston's cult classic "Rachel" haircut on Friends motivated millions of women to opt for layers, in what were mostly failed attempts at recreating Aniston's now famous '90s style. It was a haircut to which I can personally avow was not nearly as stunning on the rest of us. But it wasn't merely her haircut that made history; the star's sexy style and comedienne chops amounted to her '90s sex symbol status.
Jennifer Aniston, now
via: Getty ImagesAnd sure enough, Jennifer Aniston still has us simultaneously laughing and swooning 20 years later. We're not sure what they're putting in Aveeno products these days, but whatever natural nonsense it may be, we'll have what she's having. Actually, we'll take two. While Aniston's status as a sex symbol may have started in the '90s, it's safe to say she's been one ever since. I'll be heading to CVS for some Aveeno products now. Let's hope it turns out better than the haircut did.
Jenny McCarthy, then
Jenny McCarthy, now
Denise Richards, then
Denise Richards, now
via: Getty ImagesConsidering she was married to Charlie Sheen, we're not sure how Denise Richards survived the past few decades with her glow intact, but she did. While this '90s sex icon is slightly less intimidating today, she is as stunning as ever.
Sarah Michelle Gellar, then
via: Getty ImagesIt was almost cruel being a teenage girl in the era of Sarah Michelle Gellar. During the '90s, she was Hollywood's good AND bad girl. From slaying vampires as 'Buffy' to manipulating minds in Cruel Intentions, Sarah Michelle Gellar is still considered one of the most defining sex symbols of the '90s.
Sarah Michelle Gellar, now
via: ShutterstockAnd just like those pesky vampires, Sarah Michelle's beauty never dies. She continues to slay, winning a People's Choice Award for Favorite Actress in a New Television Series for her role in The Crazy Ones, alongside Robin Williams. Not only is Sarah Michelle Gellar a major sex symbol of the '90s, she's so darn likable, we can't even be mad that she's still got that glow going on.
Neve Campbell, then
via: Getty ImagesNeve was the '90s 'it' girl who starred in the decade's most memorable cult classics. While she spent the first half of the 90's partying it up on the hit series, Party of Five, by the mid-'90s, Neve had bewitched the nation in The Craft and had everyone rooting for the hot girl to live in the decade's defining horror film, Scream.
Neve Campbell, now
via: Getty ImagesWhile Neve has kept things relatively mellow since her '90s wild streak, she did make time to film Scream 2, 3, and 4. The '90s sex symbol is more recently known for her role on Netflix 's hit drama, House of Cards, where she's shown us that she still has that same 'girl next door' charm, all while keeping it super sexy.
Winona Ryder, then
via: Getty ImagesAt the beginning of the '90s, Winona was almost a niche Edward Scissor Hands sort of sexy, if you will. But by the end of the decade, Winona was everybody's Girl, Interrupted.
Winona Ryder, now
via: Getty ImagesSince the '90s, Winona has had a few off-screen dramas, but she's more recently channeling her rebellious '90s sex symbol attitude back into onscreen dramas, like her recent role on Netflix's critically acclaimed Stranger Things. And we can't deny she wears her drama well. The '90s sex symbol still looks insanely gorge.
Sharon Stone, then
via: Getty ImagesThere's no question that Sharon Stone has always been a fierce beauty. She was bold and beautiful enough to take on the complex role of Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct, a performance that ultimately made Stone a household name and the fantasy female of the decade.
Sharon Stone, nowAnd here she is, as fierce as ever. Sharon Stone is proof that true beauty never fades.
Claudia Schiffer, thenClaudia Schiffer was the 90's supermodel-turned-icon of the decade. Her 'girl next door' beauty was reminiscent of the iconic Brigitte Bardot. Actually, it still is...
Claudia Schiffer, now
Demi Moore, then
via: Getty ImagesDemi Moore was the classic '90s beauty who made women across the nation enroll in pottery classes and consider cutting their hair to copy Moore's cropped-cut in Ghost. However, not just anyone can pull off this look as effortlessly as Demi did. She even rocked a shaved head in GI Jane and still looked gorgeous (and badass).
Demi Moore, now
via: Getty ImagesWhen comparing Demi's before and after pics there is clearly a difference... literally one... For the past twenty plus years, the only thing that has changed about Demi's appearance is the length of her hair! *Note to self: grow hair long, become ageless.
Heather Locklear, then
via: Getty ImagesIn the '90s, Heather Locklear was television's smoking hot blonde bombshell, staring in the hit series Melrose Place and then taking on the female lead in Sin City.
Heather Locklear, now
via: Getty ImagesWhile there may have been a mug shot taken in between these before and after pics, we certainly won't hold it against her. We all have our down days but, clearly, Heather Locklear knows how to get some beauty rest and wake up gorgeous and with a vengeance.
Jennifer Connelly, then
via: Getty ImagesJennnifer Connelly was the dark horse of the '90s who stunned audiences with her unique yet undeniable beauty and talent.
Jennifer Connelly, now
via: Getty ImagesSome things never change. And one of those things is Jennifer Connelly's beauty. She continues to be considered such a rare beauty that Vanity Fair, Esquire, and the Los Angeles Times have all ranked Connelly as being among the most beautiful women in the world... and we can't disagree.
Liv Tyler, thenI was fifteen when I first watched the classic '90s film Empire Records, staring Liv Tyler. It was then that I first began saving up for lip injections, in hopes that, one day, I too could have a pout as ridiculously precious as Liv Tyler. Twenty years later, I'm still saving up.
Liv Tyler, now
via: Getty ImagesAnd Liv's still rocking the perfect pout (for free). Sometimes, life just isn't fair. As you can see, Liv is still drop-dead-gorgeous and just as sweet as ever. And I'm still pissed about that perfect pout of hers.
Carmen Electra, then
via: Getty ImagesCarmen Electra was the sexy 90's star that you totally wanted to hang out with but not with your boyfriend around. Considering her brief yet bizarre marriage to Dennis Rodman in the late '90s, we're s impressed that Carmen Electra's beauty managed to survive the decade unscathed. But she totally did... and some.
Carmen Electra, now
via: Getty ImagesApparently, striptease aerobics can work wonders. Well, at least it has for Carmen. Clearly, this sultry star is more gorgeous than ever. Yet, while I'm willing to keep saving up for Liv's lips, practice pottery hoping for my own personal Patrick Swayze haunting, and get some serious beauty rest like Heather, I draw the line at aerobics. You win, Carmen. You win.