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80's Trends We Love to Hate
For those of us who had the pleasure of being alive in, being born in, or growing up in the 1980s when asked about such a time existing, many of us just look down at our feet or shake our heads in regret and disbelief. Yes, it did in fact happen. Yes, all the horror stories you have heard are in fact true. Yes, we did tease our hair, worship Madonna, and believe that it just didn't get any cooler than Miami Vice. I still hear the soundtrack in my head sometimes and see Don Johnson in his ridiculously white suit and loafers. Ah, those were the days. Everything was totally tubular to the max and all anyone had to worry about was 'Where's The Beef?' It was a simpler time when David Bowie was considered to be the most 'radically bad (in a good way), man to ever exist. If you didn't understand that sentence, we thought he was hot. Granted we didn't set the bar real high on that one, but in a nutshell I guess you could say we didn't set the bar real high on much of anything. I have put together a gnarly list of some of the 80's trends we all love to hate. Sadly, I'm sure I have left out a few, there's so many things from back then I think we all wish we could undo, but here is what I have so far. For Sure man! (also pronounced Ferr shurrr)
- NEON.....EVERYTHING. Wow were we ever proud of all that neon. From our freakishly large hair bows to our multi-colored shoe laces nobody left the house in a plain red t-shirt. No way. If it wasn't bright as the sun neon green to electric pink you wouldn't find it in a 'cool kids' closet during the majority of the 80's. When did this happen? Better yet why? I honestly wish I knew. I would definitely have a punch or two for the creator of that fashion. It lasted far too long and has left imprints on we who survived the neon days that will probably remain forever.
- Hair. OH where to begin with this one. First of all, perms were considered very chic. Perms. Better known as, 'If you hate your hair try this!....The Perm!' Disastrous. Next it was extremely large hair on the women AND the men. Next there was the teasing of the hair. We would taunt our hairbrushes as if to say, 'There is NO way you'll get through this birds nest without breaking. Good luck brush.' Bangs for the girls and mullets for the guys. Bangs which, yep, you guessed it, we also teased. I have pictures that resemble a very tiny person sitting on top of my head. It's just my bangs! As for the mullets, do I really need to go into that one? Business in the front and party in the back. The slogan of the mullet. Now, if we ever happen to see a mullet on someone we joke, laugh, or point.....really? Um 'Hi kettle, it's pot, you're black.' You really shouldn't judge, when just a few decades ago you were rockin' the same do yourself.
- Makeup. You might think this would only concern the women of the 80's, but you would be wrong. Generally the bodacious men of the 80's who grew their hair out for the sole purpose of head banging, many times also used makeup. Now before I start receiving hate mail of some kind, I don't care if you're a cross dresser, it's the 'half' dressers that bother me. The neck up - female. Neck down - male. At best, it's just very very confusing. For the women, we all wanted to be clowns or hookers. We painted our faces like we were at the carnival every day. Color color color. Blue eye shadow ALL the way up to our brows. Bright pink lipstick. Blush from our cheeks to our ears. Trust me men, as bad as the makeup thing sounds on your end, we women are definitely right up there with you.
- Clothes. This one will have sub categories because there are literally so many fashion faux pa's that they just cannot fit in any one place. Unless the category was just 'Terrible.' Overall, the clothes of the 80's almost make me want to cry.
- Shoulder Pads. This one always baffled me. Did a woman just get confused one day looking in her mirror? Instead of her own reflection she mistook herself for an NFL Linebacker and thought, 'hmmm, I need to jab some random plush cotton on top of my shoulders. I don't know how anybody makes it through the day without this.' Were we trying to look more like a man? Maybe I will never know how they originated, all I know is we all looked stupid having shoulders up to our ears.
- Parachute Pants/M.C. Hammer Pants. M.C. Hammer got us all on board with the parachute pants when he came out with 'You Can't Touch This.' When we all wore those pants, nobody wanted to 'touch this' as it were. Parachute pants are enormous and have zero shape toward the top, then they begin to come in and fit somewhere around your ankle area. As if this alone didn't sound bad enough, many paired these with none other than jazz shoes. The shoes that are small, look like tap dancing shoes and have tiny shoe laces. Something about that look caught right on. I'm not surprised given every other absurdity we clung to. Parachute pants always terrified me just a little bit. There was literally a ton of material on those things. I was always scared a strong wind would come along and I'd be gone. Never to be heard from again, but I'd have my jazz shoes on, maybe I could dance my way back down. Thank you M.C.Hammer for this combination which I'm sure you regret as much as we do.
- Stretchy/Stirrup Pants. These pants were VERY popular. They came in all colors of the rainbow and were SO tight. They clung to everything on your body. Did we care? No we did not because we decided to find the biggest sweaters we could find and wear them on top of the pants. You might think it would have made more sense to just buy regular sized clothing.....you would be wrong. We NEEDED the stirrup pants you see, just in case we happened to be riding our horses around in the evening. This way you never had to change clothes. You could happily go to work or school in your stirrup pants and be ready to ride by 6:00. It was a time saver really.
- Tapered Jeans. This was one of the most unflattering styles of pants ever to be born. So naturally, in the 80's we made them our own. Most were acid washed, and they would start above your belly button in most cases and then work their way down to right around your ankles in sort of a diamond shape. Unless you were anorexic, trust me, these jeans did not look good on you. They are sort of the equivalent to the skinny jeans of today but much much worse.
- Legwarmers. After Flashdance we immediately ran out to buy every pair of legwarmers ever made. As a whole, we are not all dancers. We did not need legwarmers. Somehow, someway though it became totally necessary to have at least one pair of every color of leg warmers. Leg warmers alone, can sometimes be considered alright. The problem really begins when you decide to wear your bright neon pink legwarmers, over your 2 pairs of neon green socks, your acid washed blue jean mini skirt, and your variety of neon colored t-shirt hanging off of your shoulder, OR with whatever polka dot/striped sweater of your choosing. Outfits like that are just a seizure waiting to happen.
- Shimmery Track Suits. There's probably a more legit name for these but this is what I've always called them. The shimmery track suit is a multi-colored track/jogging outfit, the pants generally are made up of 1 color only which is nice when you have circus for a jacket. All the neon rules applied with these track suits and or stripes/polka dots. They were shiny, they were super loud, I mean what else could you want for your daily run?
- Banana Clips and Huge Earrings. Ah the banana clip. It's a venus flytrap for your head. You could open up this enormous clip, flip your hair over then bring the clip in for that 'off your neck yet glamorous look.' I honestly could never use the banana clips. Aside from them being scary, my hair wouldn't poof enough. Which of course, back then was just the 'worst-orama'! As far as the huge earrings went we all have them. Every color shape and size, we all liked to hang a mini zoo from our earlobes. It definitely classed up the rest of our outfit if we could be sure and have a life size pac man ready to attack from our ear at any moment.
Love em hate em or just think they're majorly 'bogus' the 80's will unfortunately forever be a part of our history. I look back and still can't believe some of the stuff I was willing to wear, put on my face, and how big I was willing to make my hair. Each of us have our own 'special' memories to look back on and make us blush at our ignorance. Hopefully, we will make very sure for the benefit of future generations to NEVER let many of the 80's styles and trends come back around. It scares me a little bit every time I see short skirts or leg warmers make the cycle again. Regardless of what the fashionista's of the world say, I will NOT put myself through an 80's re-run. Also, if I ever heard the words, 'Just Say No,' (thank you very much Nancy Reagan), Eat My Shorts, and don't have a cow, again, I think it will still be too soon for me. As much as the 80's may have helped shape the person I would one day be, let me just leave it with, I hope to never ACTUALLY be THAT person again. R.I.P. 1980's.