If the 90s had a TV poster child for its shameless excess and unbridled confidence, her name would be Hilary Banks.
From 1990 to 1996, Karyn Parsons played The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air‘s eldest Banks sibling who, much like the shopping malls she so loved to frequent, lived squarely in a void of shallow consumerism. Hilary Banks was the Gordon Gekko of Rodeo Drive and represented an American Dream in which even a privileged, valley(-adjacent) girl with no common sense could stumble into a career as a national talk show host.
But in the years after Fresh Prince ended, Parsons’ name recognition faded in a world still decades away from salivating over every morsel of 90s nostalgia.
“Not that I expected people to know who I was, but even when I’d try to tell casting directors what I’d done before, they would have no idea,” she tells VICE. “I started feeling really stupid trying to get them to know what Fresh Prince was and who I was on it. It was embarrassing. I’d feel like a moron, like, ‘Oh, it was this show in the 90s.'”
Now, this is a story all about how Karyn Parsons’ post-sitcom life got flipped, turned upside down into one of advocacy, novels, and, yes, possibly reboots.
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