Do you remember this magazine cover? I don’t, but like any good Millennial I recognize the Backstreet Boys. If you went to high school in the years 1998-2004 you probably know N*Sync and Back Street Boys song lyrics by default (maybe even some 98 Degrees, and LFO).
A couple weeks ago I saw this cover used in the documentary “Pearl Jam 20”. At one point in the documentary, it shows Pearl Jam hitting a rut in their touring, as the grunge scene starts to fade during the late-90s. This point is illustrated with the cover of Rolling Stones featuring the Back Street Boys with the headline “The New Teen Spirit”. This made me laugh out loud. “Yep, that’s when I started high school,” I told my husband. Enter Millennials, exit Generation X.
With only a five year age difference between me and my husband, we share things in common from our 1990s childhood. We both watched kids’ shows like Chip N’ Dale’s Rescue Rangers, Tale Spin, Gummie Bears, and Dark Wing Duck. We listened to some of the same bands through high school, although I listened to later albums: Sound Garden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Weezer, Blink 182, Green Day. How can we be from two separate generations?
Well, it turns out that there be even less of a gap between the grunge generation and the boy-band generation– if you’re in your early 30s and can’t quite relate to GenXers you may be part of the Catalano Generation.
Writer, Doree Shafrir hit the nail on the head with his take on the “Catalano Generation“, named after Jordan Catalano, a main character on the TV show My So-Called Life. Birth years for this group are approximately 1977-1981, during President Carter’s term, and don’t quite fit the GenX or Millennial group.
Carter Babies were born too late for the full-fledged GenX angst, but too soon for the unabashed optimism of the Millennials. I can identify these traits in my husband (born 1979) , and my brother (born 1981). Really, it’s the best of both world, and Carter Babies are some of my favorite people.
Are there any Carter Babies in your life (born 1977-1981)? Are you a Carter Baby?