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’90s Sex Icons Who’ve Still Got The Goods

There will never be women as physically attractive to you as those who you grew up with an adolescent crush on. It’s not because women used to be hotter, it’s because you’ll always have a certain attachment to something you were drawn to when you were first learning that you liked it. That’s why certain bands will always have a special place in your heart, because you listened to them when you were finding out how to like music. Certain movies, no matter how bad they really are, will always seem like Oscar winners because watching them was the first time you really laughed, cried, or saw a guy’s head get blown off. And of course, the beautiful women whom we loved from afar as we started to realize that we liked women will always be more attractive to us than anyone else, future wives included (sorry, hypothetical wife).

Alyssa Milano

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Her status as a sex symbol was obviously established when she played Arnold Schwarzenegger’s daughter in the definitely-does-not-hold up action flick “Commando”. Wait, she was how old when she was in that? Ah, then I may need to revise my timeline. Let’s go with “Who’s The Boss”, then. Her big break into the sexual worldview of young men everywhere, however, came with her roles in films that were basically soft core porn, like “Embrace of the Vampire”, “Deadly Sins”, and “Poison Ivy II”. Adolescent males in the ‘90s went to extraordinary lengths to find ways to surreptitiously check them out from video stores or hope their parents would conveniently leave the house when they played on premium cable. Then, of course, came her role as bad girl Jennifer on “Melrose Place” and then eight seasons (8!) of the super ridiculous, but shockingly watchable “Charmed”.

What’s she up to now? Well…not a lot. A couple of “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” movies and a string of starring roles in TV shows that never quite got over the first season hump. But her new show “Mistresses” (which I’ve never heard of, frankly) just got ordered for a second season by ABC. So congrats, Alyssa, I’m happy for you. You’re still looking great, so whatever you’ve been doing, keep it up.

Heather Locklear

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It’s not a coincidence that Heather Locklear and Alyssa Milano were both members of the “Melrose Place” cast. “90210” might have been the big brother show, but “Melrose Place” had way more talent in the looks department. The “Melrose Place” female cast was to attractive leading ladies in the ‘90s what the Atlanta Braves were to pitching rotations in the same time period. Heather Locklear was unquestionably the hottest member of the cast; don’t even bother questioning me on this. She didn’t have quite the same career in terms of starring roles as Milano, but she’s made a strong comeback of late. If you’re not watching the popular destination for resurging ‘90s TV stars, also known as “Franklin and Bash”, you are missing out on some prime Locklear. She might not be able to competently pilot a motor vehicle in real life, but she can certainly make lawyers shit their pants and rock the hell out of office attire.

Elle MacPherson

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Not all sex icons are actresses. In fact, once upon a time, the most popular female celebrities were often not actresses. The late ‘80s and ’90s were the era of the supermodel. Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, and of course, Cindy Crawford (who could have easily made this list). For all you youngin’s out there, Elle MacPherson was like Kate Upton times a billion. To this day, she still holds the record for most Sports Illustrated swimsuit covers. Her nickname was “The Body” for a reason (Jesse Ventura can fuck off; that’s hers, now and forever). She became so huge, Australia named her an ambassador on their tourism board, likely because there were only two reasons people were visiting Australia in the ‘90s — to swim the Great Barrier Reef and the hope that they would catch a glimpse of The Body.

She also set the bar for the post-modeling career. Sure, now it’s pretty common for a model to transition into TV hosting and owning their own line of clothing and fragrances, but that’s only because Elle MacPherson did it first. She’s worth 45 million dollars for a reason and it ain’t just because she’s good looking, although she still looks better now than most women on the planet have or ever will.

Tiffani Amber Thiessen

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Saying the words “Kelly Kapowski” might as well be a time machine for boners. It instantly sends you back to that great, confusing time in your adolescence when you were first coming into sexuality and none of it made any damn sense to you. Kelly Kapowski was sexy for a lot of reasons: 1. Tiffani Amber Thiessen was a babe. 2. She was the most popular girl in school. 3. She was older than us. Kelly Kapowski was essentially the fictional stand-in for the girl we had our first crush on, who was often in high school when we were in middle school, smoking hot, popular, and way out of our league. So we lived vicariously through Zack Morris’ effortless cool and intriguing “timeout” abilities. She was the first love of many. Even guys who could now have any woman they wanted still look back at Kelly Kapowski as the gold standard (http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/tiffani-thiessen-gifts-chris-paul-kelly-kapowski-photo-for-birthday-201446).

After “Saved By The Bell” ended, one might have expected for her to fade into guest actor obscurity, but no, she went on to be Valerie Fucking Malone in “90210”. And where Kelly was a sweet, well-meaning popular girl, Valerie was a hardcore heart-breaker, drug-taker, and love-maker. It was a bonkers transition for a lot of us and it perfectly demarcated the switch that happened to many of us in real life; you fall in love first with a sweet popular girl who doesn’t even know you exist and once you’re of the age to actually date someone, you fall prey to the sexiest woman on earth who will have no qualms about breaking your heart once she’s done with you. Thankfully, if Tiffani Thiessen’s (she dropped “Amber” somewhere along the way) career arc is any indicator of where our love lives will go, we’ll someday end up marrying a sweet, caring, intelligent woman who will support us emotionally as we struggle with the difficulty of being an FBI agent with a partner who’s a former criminal. Sounds awesome to me.

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Randall J. Knox

Randall J. Knox (known colloquially to his friends as "Knox") left his native Texas a few years ago, and moved to Los Angeles in his '03 Buick Regal named LeRoi to write movies with his jackass college buddies. His favorite things in life include bourbon that's above his pay grade, mix CDs, and Kevin Costner films. He isn't sure what "dad jeans" are exactly, but he knows he wants a pair.

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