While normcore may be attributed to many jeans/flannel/muted color-wearing 90s icons, Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) of Friends was not only a visual manifestation of normcore, but a strong representation of the personality associated with the “blah” nature of a normcore aesthetic. Though Rachel was considered the “fashionable” one of the show, she was, in reality, the most mutable and easily swayed by trends of the moment.
In the wake of normcore being given a specific name, people have been quick to give the creator rights to everyone from the entire cast of Seinfeld to Larry David himself. And yes, though these particular personalities may have had the clothing to back up the term, they did not have Rachel Green’s distinct knack for blendability, ergo her pioneering contribution to the normcore culture.
Even the last name “Green” connotes an extreme level of banality. Out of everyone on Friends, Rachel was the least defined. She wasn’t high-strung like Monica, “quirky” like Phoebe, annoying like Ross, funny like Chandler or dumb like Joey. She was somewhere in between it all–a very normcore trait.
Perhaps this is why the majority of Friends‘ audience was so Rachel-centric: Because most people are just as directionless and easily susceptible to the whims and trends of their peers. Her lack of self-assurance further solidified itself during that weird period when she was supposedly into Joey.
Just as Phoebe was, in her own obnoxious way, the mother of modern hipsterdom by not conforming (this includes her being the only one not to date anyone in her circle of friends–which made her the one with the most taste, by the way) to the fashion and pop culture fads of her time, so too, was Rachel the matriarch of normcore in her adherence to every craze thrown her way.
As for “The Rachel” haircut–the only “original” thing she ever did–moms from the 50s had helmed this look long before the 90s reinvented it.