We review 30 outfits from popular kid's cartoon As Told By Ginger
We review 30 outfits
I was 11 the first time I watched As Told By Ginger. You know, the formative years of your childhood before your pituitary glands betrayed you and started secreting hormones. The episode was Sleep On It — the one when Courtney Gripling decided to throw a slumber party and had Ginger over in a I'm-totes-better-than-you-and-I-want-you-to-know move.
I had no idea what happened in my child addled mind but some of my synapses fired — I found myself relating to a cartoon ginger girl. She was bookish, had a flair for prose writing (just like me!), had fears and struggles that came with being on the cusp of adulthood, and she had boy problems. Teenagers, amirite?
The twenty minute show interspersed by Y2K commercials of the time (mum, can I get a pair of Keds for my birthday??) resonated strongly with me. I just didn't see myself reflected in a girl had a talking monkey for a best friend (we see you Dora The Explorer stans) and neither did I see myself as a love-stricken girl who creepily stalks the boy of her desire (shoutout to all your Hey Arnold! fans) until I turned about 15. But that is a story for another time.
I saw myself in a somewhat dorky teenage girl who felt and spoke with her heart while growing up with her as the seasons went on, her formative experiences closely mimicking mine. And I mean that literally. As Told By Ginger was one of the rare animated series that had ongoing story arcs and characters who developed and aged as the show went on.
As Told By Ginger taught me that you had to fight for the things you kept close to your heart without any regret or hesitation. That there's nothing "uncool" about not cracking under peer pressure to steal a picket fence or ditching your friends for a completely different crowd. It was subtly a feminine masterpiece too; a single mother raising two kids while succumbing to her occasional bouts of loneliness but pressing on to give them a better life? Hell yeah, sign us up.
What the animated series has masterfully condensed within three seasons too are several life lessons that fully click once you're an adult. It's that despite having the latest Chanel bag or smartphone, those things still don't stop popular rich girls from manifesting their own demons. It also demonstrated that nobody really does get you better than your mother; she is and will always be your #1 stan.
It told us (while nicely packaged in a tear-jerking trilogy too) that no matter what life throws at you — be it a ruptured appendix, the love of your life cheating on you with a hot cheerleader or a dramatic fall out with your childhood friends — it does get better.
(Oh, and that your childhood male friend is gonna get a massive glow up once he removes his braces. If any of you are reading this, CHECK. YOUR. SCHOOL. YEARBOOK. NOW.)
But I digress. This is after all, a thinly veiled attempt at a fashion column, disguised as a way for me to talk about all my favourite things growing up (please see my obsession with the Marc Jacobs Stam bag here and my analysis of Mary-Kate Olsen's nougties style here). I'm here today to open up some old wounds and of course, talk about the fits by the characters in the show. Did you know that it was one of the first cartoons in the noughts to have characters wear something different for every episode?
Neither did I until my early twenties, but let's take a trip down memory lane in our platform flip flops and Forever 21 acrylic necklaces.
PS: One more thing — don't fall in love with stable boys you meet during camp. They'll wreck long lasting psychological damage on you that prevents you from going into committed relationships in the future!!!
Ok, now on to the outfits as well as some of the most memorable moments from the show. But mostly the outfits.
1. Ginger's Standard Uniform
Ginger Fourthly was always seen in some kind of flouncy blouse and jeans which was the look of the era. Seriously, google Ashley Tisdale circa 2004. We wore ours with knock off Steve Madden platform flip flops and toe polish that smelt like bubblegum.
2. The Mean Girls
Word on the street is that Courtney Gripling flies to Paris each spring to shop and that her father has gone to jail for money embezzlement. But her look (ok and sigh, Miranda) was how we envisioned our future selves; matching sweater sets, cat eye sunglasses and mary jane platforms. Very you-all-look-like-dweebs-next-to-me.
3. Dodie's Sienna Miller Cosplay
I'm lumping Dodie Bishop with Carrie Bradshaw under the category of "She was sort of ok when we first watched her but growing up, we realised she was a monster." But hand to bible, she had some pretty decent outfits; usually a knee-length boho dress with sandals just like Sienna Miller did. A respectable fit but nothing too exciting.
4. Courtney's Boarding School Look
How do you show your peers that you're richer than them and that you're only going to public school to learn how the "less fortunate" live like you're the human anthropologist version of Jane Goodall? You dress like you're a boarding school girl just like Courtney Gripling.
5. Clare Gripling's Tennis Court Fit
Clare Gripling was honestly the most delusional mother ever and I was birthed from one who believes that she has formed a secret language with our house cat. But props to the tennis court fit. It's very rich WASPy woman who has a scientifically unproven gluten allergy.
6. Mipsy Mipson's Buddha Beads
Mipsy Mipson was truly evil. She reminds me of a boy who once poisoned the fishes in the school pond cause he was "bored" (he's pretty cute though, I'm gonna go look for him on Facebook). The buddha bead necklaces however, were featured everywhere in teenage magazines at the time. We wore them because we didn't know better. And also, because Sienna Miller and Lindsay Lohan did.
7. Ginger's Big Makeover
Have you ever had to impersonate your friend because she fell sick the week where she had to entertain the handsome son of a senator? Did it result in you getting a designer makeover and a professional blow out? No? Urgh, losers.
8. Miranda's Aaliyah Fur Getup
It's easy to hate Miranda in your confused teens until you realise that she's actually just a lonely girl with daddy issues. What she's equally passionate about despite destroying Ginger's social life? Serving some pretty fly looks — this one was obviously Aaliyah inspired.
9. Macie's Nerd Fit
Was Macy the Miranda of the show? Well, you can say that. And does anybody remember the gut wrenching episode where she indulged her parents' childish birthday party for her because she had a neglected childhood? Macie was the OG nerd chic girl before Zooey Deschanel took over.
10. Dodie's Surburban Wife Colour Block
If you're not fashion inclined (I'm sorry, did you wander in from our beauty section?), you might scratch your head at this pick. To us, Dodie really aced colour blocking while looking like she power walks in the morning to her neighbour's houses to gossip about their children.
11. Two Worlds, Literally
Were you a scalloped tee + jeans girl-next-door who wore Body Shop EDTS or a Badgley Mischka babe who spritzed yourself heavily with Marc Jacobs Daisy?
12. Macie's Cute Sunhat
Our teenage obsessions with flowers started with Macie — we inserted small artificial ones into our hats or scarves — and ended with Carrie Bradshaw where we wore them as supersize brooches.
13. Ginger's Conservative Cardigan
A conservative cardigan + a pretty dress underneath + an optional spritz of Victoria Secret Love Spell body mist = noughties perfection. Toe ring not included.
14. Seriously, Which One?
Pick a character and we'll tell you who your childhood cartoon crush is.
Left: Trent Lane from Daria.
Right: Fred from Scooby Doo.
If you're both, you might be scrambling for options just ike us.
15. This Is Female Solidarity
You haven't experienced female solidarity until your best gal pal hands you her barbie pink acetate lab goggles to look cute in front of your lab partner. Oh, he's your long term crush too who's sort of a dick. But aren't most handsome boys usually so?
16. Welcome to Camp Caprice
This our friends, was how we used to dress up for OBS before wearing Patagonia or Outdoor Voices was cool. How do you kids even afford it? You're 15.
17. Sorry, We're Slipping This In
Nobody asked but men with aggressive sideburns and piercings, an obsession with flannel shirts and Red Wing boots still have a strong psychosexual hold on me. They all also coincidentally sort of look like Pete Wentz.
18. Mama Bishop Did It First
The Prada head band and the "inspired" ones that every influencer seems to be wearing? Mama Bishop did it first. By the way, is she not the most Asian mom, ever?!?!
19. Ginger Gets Girly
Urgh, who cares about Dodie? Season two was when Ginger started getting a little girlier; the blouse + ankle length skirt was very I-visit-coffee-shops-to-do-live-readings-of-my-book which spoiler alert, was her future as a best selling author.
20. Miranda's Sharp Side
We're no psychologists but we have a feeling that Miranda's clothing was always tight and sharply cut because of her prickly personality.
21. The Vixen!!!
In the episode where Ginger worms her way into the school band so that she can visit Sasha at regionals...she ends up...running into his girlfriend. She has perfect hair, boobs and isn't afraid of a crop top. We hate her!!!
22. Ginger's Ghost
Ginger wrote a poem so depressing and raw that Ms Zorski suspected she was depressed. Looking back, the mannequin that came to life in it was pretty chic. We're getting Calvin Klein vibes.
23. Ginger Gets a Makeover
The beginning of season three sees Ginger getting a scholarship to an arts academy and what do art students do? Dye a streak of their hair in a contrasting colour, shop at Hot Topic (77th Street for us) and ingesting the art that they have burnt to the ground because it's a "performative piece".
24. The Coolest Girls You'll Never Be
What is scarier than your best friend's mother being a sub at your school? That would be 12 of the most popular girls at school crashing into your bedroom to get you stop her. Their names are Diva, Mindy, Missy, Casey, Hope, Miranda, Courtney, Miranda, Mipsy Stacey, Tracy, Donna, and Dina in the picture's order. Why do I remember this?!
25. The Cusp of Womanhood
Guys, this outfit is from one hell of a tear jerker episode involving a rogue turkey, an estranged father and the reconciliation of family ties. We're gonna side track a little and mention that this is where Ginger starts to dress more like a woman. We stan character growth.
26. A Hair-over!!!
Ginger has a near meltdown at the mid point of Season three because they're graduating junior high and damn, did the episode deliver one of the most poignant quotes. "But if you'll let it go, if you'll let it fly at the time that it most desperately needs to. . . well there's a darn good chance it may come back to you."
Also a special mention: Macy got her hair did! And this is the last time you'll see Dodie with her obnoxious pig tails. Thank god.
27. Seriously, what's wrong with Courtney?
Courtney has established that she has some pretty bizarre ideas of how people dress up to go to normal things. AP French class? A beret and shift dress. A county fair? Like Dolly Parton. This is why she's one of my favourite characters.
28. Another Objectification of a Cartoon Character!!!
Yeah ok, in this episode, Darren is cheating on Ginger but she doesn't know. She then meets Orion in a detention and they eventually fall in love. HE IS THE AIDEN SHAW OF THE AS TOLD BY GINGER CINEMATIC UNIVERSE!!!
29. The Big Finale
Yay!! Ginger married Darren! Who sort of cares about the rest? We're totes crying! We also told you that Ginger would continue dressing like a successful author!
30. Mama Foutley's Sexy Apron
We're just putting this here for the LOLs to be honest.