Wise Words from Cher


The 1995 American teenage movie classic ‘Clueless’ created a culture of sayings from the time that are still quoted to this day. A T-shirt is an easy, visual way to communicate a message, such as a quote. A T-shirt manufactured in Honduras by Paramount Pictures with the Clueless quote “As If”. This quote comes from a scene where the main protagonist Cher is walking into her high school, her inner monologue being about her best friends relationship, “I don’t know why Dion is going out with a high school boy. They’re like dogs. You have to clean them and feed them and they’re just like these nervous creatures that jump and slobber all over you.” While Cher is deep in thought about this, a boy comes up to her and places his arm around her, to which she replies with utter disgust “Ew, get off of me. Urgh, as if“. The words “As If” sum up her feeling about boys and relationships in general, no way or as if.



The shirt can be found at merchandise retailers. The intended audience for the shirt is for the wearer to have of watched Clueless, or at the very least, understand what the quote means and the scene that it’s from to understand the wording. But with a T-shirt it allows the audience to have a much wider viewing audience than a Youtube video for example. A T-shirt is worn out in the public domain where anyone can read it, while to view a Youtube video and person must first either be aware of it or actively go search it out. A T-shirt is in the public’s eye without them even realising they are looking at a media text.

Now even though a T-shirt has a wide audience the ability to share that message is not as great compared to something on social media. That is where the Twitter account titled “Present Day Clueless” (@ModernClueless) comes into play. Not afflicted with Paramount Pictures in any way (the producers of the T-shirt and film), Present Day Clueless takes quotes from the 1995 film where the Los Angeles teen jargon ruled and mixes it with 21st Century teen wording. Present Day Clueless’s spin on quotes from the movie such as “Woman, why don’t you be returnin’ any of my SnapChats?” is an adaption of “Woman why don’t you be answerin’ any of my pages?” SnapChat the 21st century form of teenage communication, compared to paging someone in the 90s. The “As If” T-shirt would not be nearly as effective or understandable if a parody of it was placed on a T-shirt, it would be an obscure message, but with a Twitter account behind a parody Tweet, it makes sense.

The T-shirt gets the message out as a media text, then for example, a Twitter account can help spread the message.
But we have to ask ourselves, are any of the quotes from Clueless truly relevant to today? And if so, does replacing them with jargon from today make them any more funny? Or is a movie coming on to 20years old, really that relevant to the teenage culture today? Although it could be argued that the mostly white, upper middle class Los Angeles schooled culture depicted in the film was not terribly relevant when it was released, it may still have some form of influence for today, otherwise “As If“.


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