We spent the 90s listening to strong women like Zoe Ball and Sara Cox tell us not to be afraid to enjoy ourselves - so what are they up to 20 years on?


Ah ‘ladettes’. Remember when everyone was obsessed with that term?

It came along in the nineties when women got bored of pretending they didn’t like having a drink or watching football, so men freaked out and came up with a label for it.

Thus, the ladette was born (because we all just want to be men really, you guys!). And celeb ladies like Zoe Ball, Sara Cox, Denise Van Outen, Donna Air, Sarah Cawood and Dani Behr all got out there and embraced being one.

They were the first females in the public eye who actually didn’t really seem to care what you thought of them. Yeah, they liked beer and sport and swearing and partying and what was wrong with that?

It’s hard to imagine the impact of that now, when we’re actually – SHOCK HORROR – allowed to like different things and we don’t have to play with Barbies and plait our hair all day long. But this was pretty revolutionary and exciting in the nineties. Our Grandpas were LIVID.

These women – without wanting to be too over the top about it – were kind of feminist pioneers. They’re part of the reason we can have a cider IN PUBLIC (the audacity!) these days without men tutting and telling us it’s not ladylike (yes, that does still happen).

And where are these fabulous women now? Are they still partying and giving everyone the finger? Nope, not really. They’ve all got families and are getting on with being 40-odd, and that’s cool too. Because women can change and be whatever they want to be and like whatever they like, it’s all good.

So even though we don’t love the term ‘ladette’ we’re still celebrating what it meant for women and all these amazing women in particular, who showed us ‘woman’ could mean whatever we wanted it to…

Find out what they’re up to now in our gallery above.

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Lucy Vine