- Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) in Clueless
As if! is the ultimate declaration of self-worth. Less cringe than some other 90s expressions of rejection (“No way!”, for example, or “I’d go out with you. Not!”), it is short, sweet, and implicit. As if I needed to finish this sentence for you to get my meaning: as if I would ever go out with a boy like you.
When I first watched Clueless, I was in a Year 8 English class and Mrs Raja played the VCR on a wheel-in tv, framing the lesson as educational by asking us to analyse the lexicon in the dialogue. At the time, I was a deeply insecure thirteen-year-old and desperate for a boyfriend. Truly, anyone would have done. I think I thought a boyfriend would fill some gap. I think I felt that I needed someone to like me in order for me to like myself.
But Cher Horowitz in Clueless seemed to offer a different perspective. Never has a teenager exuded more confidence than when Cher marches through school in that iconic yellow powersuit, boys literally throwing themselves at her, shrugging them off in disgust. ('Ugh, as if!') Watching Clueless, I realised that male attention was not the measure of Cher’s self-worth, and nor should it be mine. Her self-worth came from within. And besides, 'high school boys are pigs.'
It can be difficult to live by, even as an adult, but channel Cher where you can. Remember her iconic As if! as a powerful feminist maxim for not accepting what you don’t deserve, and for not thinking you deserve anything less than Paul Rudd.