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Image / Fashion

The poof, the whale tail, and 5 other terrible ’00s trends we wish weren’t coming back


by Erin Lindsay
06th Nov 2019
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As the poof hairstyle that we’d all rather forget makes a comeback, we take a look at the other ’00s trends that are inexplicably cool again


Cast your mind back to 2005 — where were you, what were you doing and most importantly, what were you wearing?

My guess is some amalgamation of Hollister, low-slung jeans and too much bronzer. I’m not judging — we were all there once.

And, unfortunately, it seems that we’re all about to be there again. It has come to IMAGE’s attention that some of the most heinous trend crimes of the early 21st century are making a comeback to pop culture, and we are at risk of falling for them all over again.

It all came from Little Women. As the leads embarked on their press tour ahead of the December release of the remake, a certain shoot of actresses Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh caught attention on social media.

The poof. The hairstyle that launched a thousand Bebo pictures was back on our screens on poor, unwitting Florence Pugh’s head. The comments came rolling in, and think pieces were written everywhere about what this distinctly ’00s hairdo meant for pop culture.

An abomination or oddly flattering? It’s hard to tell, given that all the evidence of this hairstyle was paired with stick-thin eyebrows and spidery lashes, but maybe there’s something in this renaissance of backcombing. Then again, maybe not, and maybe we should bury it in nostalgia where it belongs.

But it did get us thinking — what are the other early 2000s trends that are creeping back into the Zeitgeist? And how do we feel about their return to our wardrobes and make-up bags?

The poof

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The mother of all ’00s hairstyles, this was worn in its tamest form by pretty much every Disney teen girl across the world in the early 2000s, but it was on the infamous Jersey Shore that it really took on a life of its own. Snooki, we salute you.

The whale tail

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I mean, this was also a time where visible bra straps were considered a cute accessory, so obviously underwear as (slightly) outerwear was all the rage. But honestly, this just looks more uncomfortable than anything else, so I sincerely hope it stays concealed.

Chunky highlights

Embed from Getty Images

Does anyone else remember those toys you’d get as Christmas presents as a kid, where you could paint rainbow highlights into your hair? Your six-year-old level of expertise got basically the same result as this, and let’s face it, hot pink and purple were a lot more exciting.

Juicy tube lips

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Ah Lancôme — thank you for being one of our first tastes of the wonderful world of makeup (along with Dream Matte Mousse and tweezers). Clear lip gloss was actually a pretty good look, until you went outside and had to deal with picking your perfectly-straightened hair out of it for the next few hours.

Big wide belts

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Worn just under the boobs. In hindsight, this one really wasn’t our fault — we had Gok Wan telling us every two seconds about how essential it was to ‘cinch in your waist’, so we did it at any means necessary. I literally wore my black waist belt over every single outfit I owned at 13 — time was not kind to that look.

Frosted blue eyeshadow

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A slightly more ethereal take on the conjunctivitis look. The obsession we had with anything containing glitter in the early 00s was frankly a bit frightening — pairing this with roll-on body glitter and glitter hairspray was only the tip of the very blue iceberg.

Ballet pumps

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A practical choice, but an unflattering one nonetheless.


Read more: Giambattista Valli x H&M drops tomorrow, and here’s everything on our wish lists

Read more: Queen of colour Taryn De Vere talks activism, setting up a business and why humour is the best communicator

Read more: How vintage celebrities became today’s Instagram fashion icons

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