During a time when grunge was in full force and ska-pop was finding about as much success as Kurt Cobain’s life, Gwen Stefani was in the midst of producing one of the most well known albums of the 90’s. For those of you who have been living under a rock, never hearing the name No Doubt, stop what you’re doing and listen to Tragic Kingdom, immediately. Then after you’ve gormandized the entire album, watch the music video for “Just A Girl.”

Stefani holds the schmorgisboard of cultural sustenance for any girl who grew up during the 90’s. She rejected the idea of female aggression that was dramatically found in nearly every grunge band during her time, and she brought her own interpretation of on stage appearance, showing the musical world that women can be powerful and still wash their hair. Stefani took the formulated “cool” and rolled up to the red carpet wearing a blue bikini, platform sandals and the matching blue hair that brought the outfit full circle. Experimenting with hues and dos, Stefani made pink hair and braces the new fashion statement. She truly embraced letting her freak flag fly and lived by her words of “it’s my life, don’t you forget.”

Soon after she influenced so many of us and found success with No Doubt, she ventured onto her own solo career. I think we can all say that success is not measured by Grammy awards, it is measured by how many people can sing along with your lyrics, and I do not know a single person who does not know how to spell the word banana after chanting along to her song “Hollaback Girl.” Thank you Gwen.