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Jennie Garth Says 90210 Taught Her ‘Mixed Messages’ About Other Girls; Let’s All Teach Our Daughters Differently

Former Beverly Hills, 90210 star Jennie Garth has opened up about the messages about other women she says she was sent during her time playing Kelly Taylor on the ’90s drama, according to People. She recently discussed those decades-old feelings, and what they mean to her now as an adult on Monday’s episode of the podcast she and former co-star Tori Spelling share called 9021OMG. Her revelations remind us that we may have absorbed similar lessons, and that we need to make sure not to pass those on to the next generation.

During the episode, Garth talked about how she spent years struggling with how she saw herself alongside other women, thanks to what went on behind the scenes of the hit show, which started shooting when she was 18 years old.

“A lot of what happened on that set shaped us in all directions,” she said. “But I think as a young girl… [the show] brought out a super competitive part of me, being in that environment of being judged because of my looks or how I looked in an outfit.”

We applaud Garth for admitting these things, especially as a mother, since copping to our mistakes not only allows us to teach our children how to learn from them, but it also shows them that people can change. It’s also so important for mothers to model healthy female friendships for their daughters, as it can influence how they treat the girls and women in their life, and how they allow themselves to be treated. Because, let’s face it, television and movies spend a lot of time focusing on the oft-dramatized cattiness of teen friendship, but in real life, there is no one who will be there for you quite like your very best girlfriends. 

The show, which ran from 1990 to 2000, was popular with parents and teens alike. Those of us of a certain age may even still have very strong feelings and alliances when it comes to the Brenda-Dylan-Kelly love triangle (Brenda and Dylan forever). While viewers may remember what went on on-screen fondly, the mother to three young women (23-year-old Luca, 18-year-old Lola, and 14-year-old Fiona) has a different perspective.

“It was just a different day and age and it gave us young girls a lot of mixed messages. I, for many years, struggled with [it],” Garth explained. “It messed with me on a deeper level and not until later in life that I kind of think it wasn’t ever about the other girls.”

We can’t imagine what kind of pressure that must have put on Garth at such a formative time, but developing that kind of self-awareness is impressive at any age. In fact, some people never learn that they don’t need to tear down others in order to build themselves up. Garth has now realized that she had subconsciously made the other girls in her life her enemy in her mind, even though she didn’t even really know the reason why at the time. We wonder if this made for an excellent teaching moment at home. While it is too late to right those wrongs for Garth, her girls are all still young enough to benefit from their mom’s hard-earned wisdom.

Fellow Beverly Hills, 90210 alums like Tori Spelling and Shannen Doherty have similarly admitted to struggling with the lessons they took away from working on the show. “I think that Tori and I are always working through those messages as we grow older and trying to be better people and figure it all out,” she said during the podcast episode.

Obviously, the women have all come to terms with the way they felt about each other then, and now, since they came together to film the short-lived reboot BH 90210 in 2019. If you haven’t done the same, think about reaching out to the frenemies of your youth too, and let your kids see you do it.

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