April 5, 2012

E is for...Eighties (80s)

They're ba-ack. With a butt ugly vengeance. I don't know about you, but speaking from experience this is not an era worth revisiting. Put another way: The only thing cool about the 80s was the Cold War. And maybe if we're pushing it, Ice Ice Baby* by Mr. 'Cool' himself, Vanilla Ice. Where, you may ask, is my proof that the Era of Fugly is back? Exhibit A:

The Scrunchie
That bunchy and frumpy fabric elastic that tied your hair back from those mile-high shellacked wall bangs you were sporting. Yes those. I can still remember hitting up Fabricland for bits and pieces of fabric to craft my very own scrunchie monstrosities. This particular photo just to the left was taken on March 25, 2012 at Forever XXI. Not, as you may have thought, circa 1987.

Fact: They were ugly then, they're still ugly now (as were wall bangs, rat tails, mullets, and asymmetrical hairdon'ts).

Oh, but it doesn't end there. The hubby and I took a gander at a few other shops around a rather large, rather new mall, and we were alarmed to find several stores with eye-assaulting mounds of fluorescent merchandise. Fluorescent?! Gah! Pants, shirts, peep toe pumps--you name it, they had it...in fluorescent shades of horror. Seriously folks, unless you are a) an air traffic controller, b) a hunter, c) part of a road crew, or d) a Party Rocking member of LMFAO, fluorescent has no place in your wardrobe. Hubby and I wandered into Urban Planet (where I scored an awesome HG District 12 logo tee!) and saw metallic pink spandex that resembled these things just to the right. I spent a few minutes trying to convince my husband to try them on so I could take some pics and plaster them all over Twitter and Facebook. When he threatened to try the pants on right there in the middle of the store, that conversation ended.

The 80s are back in more ways than just questionable fashion (I forgot to mention shoulder pads--I've seen those too on new clothing). If you're still not convinced, consider this: Who was the big ticket performer at this year's Superbowl half-time show? Madonna. Remember Ferris Bueller? Yeah, Matthew Broderick has resuscitated that character for recent commercials. And then there's the music that has taken on a ripped-from-the-80s flair here and there. Have you heard it too? Then, of course, there's the rotten state of the worldwide economy, which I'm not going to go into as that particular 'E' word will just depress the heck out of you (if those scrunchies haven't already done the trick).

Not authentic, but I
just couldn't resist
'Yearbooking' myself.
Oh, and if you've been to the theatre lately (or just see trailers on TV), you've probably seen the trailer for the new GI Joe movie that's coming out this year. Yep. GI Joe. While the original GI Joe action figures came out years before the 80s, they were revived and popularized in 1982 in a much smaller size. Between these little plastic dudes and a number of other toys we played with all through the 80s**, I'm starting to wonder if the toy industry is running out of ideas. Never mind the movie industry (Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles → we have Michael Bay to thank blame for both). I'm still waiting on a Pogo Balls, Popples, and Puffalumps re-emergence.



To wrap up this Eighties Era rant, and just because everybody needs a little EARWORM in their day, here you go. You're welcome.


______________________________________________________
*This dreadful earworm that unfortunately always makes you want to dance was recorded in 1989 but released in 1990. So this "chemical spill" squeaks in under the radar. Yo, VIP, let's kick it...
**My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, Transformers, Rainbow Brite, Care Bears...the list just goes on and on.

30 comments:

  1. I'm with you totally on 80s fashion, though at the time it was "normal"--i.e., what all the girls were wearing, and I didn't think much more of it. I never did go in for wearing jackets and rolling the sleeves up Don Johnson/Miami Vice style--that was a guy thing to do. I never had a mullet either. Though I did try growing my hair long-ish (past the collar). My hair was too thick to really make that work.

    I'm also totally with you on the whole 80s revivalism in Hollywood and with other media. I have no problem with nostalgia (you've read my blog so you know), but let's remember, play some songs, talk about what it was like... but then live TODAY. Create new stuff. Steve Jobs didn't bring out a clunky Apple III computer to reminisce about the 70s. He was proud of his past achievements, but did something NEW for the 21st Century. Unless no-one in Hollywood has any original ideas left. Which is possible, I suppose...

    But the 80s were my teenage years, so I have a real fondness for them. I have some great memories, and some... well, memories I'd sooner forget. :) So I get your rant... but I'd cut the 80s a little slack. I owe them a lot. :)

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    1. I can't knock everything about the 80s. There are some really great songs and movies that spring from that decade. I could list a number of them, but I won't because we'd be here all day. But as for the fashion, well, that's a different kettle of fish. So, so tacky, unflattering, hideous, [insert every nasty word you can think of]. Glad to hear you didn't sport the mullet or Miami Vice style. Ew.

      I was born in 1978, so the 80s were a major part of my childhood. I have some fond memories, but mostly I think it's an era that should just stay where it it :D

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  2. MICHAEL BAY, BACK AWAY FROM THE 80s AND STOP MAKING FILMS.

    I love, love, love 80s music. And some of the best films were made in this decade (Back to the Future and Die Hard spring to mind). But the fashion needs to stay there, consigned to history.

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    1. I have a confession to make: I have seen all of the Transformers movies and didn't hate them (except for Megan Fox and the latest bimbo on the 3rd one). But really, he needs to just come up with something new already.

      I like some music from the 80s and a lot of movies from then too (too many to list here). But I agree, the fashion needs to stay there. :D

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  3. I'm guilty of loving all things 80s (and 90s-- I was born in 1989 so I grew up a 90s kid but I had all older cousins). However I am not sure that the scrunchie needs to come back. But now it makes sense that I saved them from my childhood LOL!

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    1. The scrunchie needs to stay in the 80s. I have some fond memories of the 80s, mostly relating to music and movies, but mostly it's kind of a tacky era. The fashion was certainly horrid! :D

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  4. Those pants! Oh those pants! My favorite thing from the 80s was the Labyrinth. That's what those pants make me think of.

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    1. It's bad enough that people seem to think that yoga pants pass for everyday or even dressy wear, now they go and encourage them to wear those things?! Yowza!

      I think Labyrinth is probably one of THE coolest things to spring from the 80s. You're right, these pants kind of make me think of David Bowie's trainwreack trousers (I just couldn't look away, even as a child). But I still love that movie and I'm in my 30s :) The Goonies was pretty great too.

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  5. I gasped, out loud, at that shot of all those hair scruncies at Forever XXI!!! Someone MUST stop them...before we start to see kids with pony tails on the SIDE of their head, and one of those massive satellite dishes holding it up. It was bad enough to see those visored neon sunglasses come back...but the scruncie? Yikes.

    I will say, I am a huge fan of 80's music - love me some Lionel Richie (don't judge :)), Joan Jett, Thomas Twins, and yes, Journey. Some of the best rock ballads came from those 10 years - and of course, many are tied to some of my best memories growing up.

    But the scruncie. Ew.

    And have you seen the latest Old Navy commercial starring Blossom and Joey - no, not the 80's, but early 90's...but just goes to show, what goes around, comes around. What's next, Punky Brewster will start pimping H&M? ALF will be brought back to Tuesday night TV? Oh, the horror!

    I'm still stuck on the scruncie. I feel icky just writing it out. Thanks for that. :)

    And thanks for the great post!

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    1. I know, right?! So, so terrible. I think I gasped right in line at the till when I saw them. I had to take a picture to document the horror. When you mentioned the ponytail on the side of the head, I immediately thought of Deb in Napoleon Dynamite. Nice.

      I like some 80s music and a lot of 80s movies, so I can't write off the entire decade. That Old Navy commercial made me squeal a little because I just couldn't believe they revived the Blossom cast and even worked in a "Whoa". So bad. I noticed that Tide has "Pop Goes the World" by Men Without Hats on their latest commercial. What's next? Depends featuring "The Safety Dance"?? LOL

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  6. I have to say, I'm a fan of the 80's, and I rock a scrunchie around my living room when I'm cleaning. I agree that we DEFINITELY need to move forward and stop dipping into the past for fashion/entertainment/trends, but I do like a lot about the 80's. I was born in the early 80's, and I wore ice cream colored slouch socks over my zip up jeans while I feathered my bangs and sported a scrunchie. I also had those plastic circle things that you could use to make a tail out of the end of oversized t-shirts. Remember those? Yeah, mine was pink.

    Also, you've RUINED my schedule!!!! Last night, I decided to watch an episode of Downton before bed and ended up watching 4! Holy crow, is it grand! Thank you for giving me reason to be a couch potato this weekend! :)

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    1. Oh, I totally remember those plastic circle things. How about jelly bracelets and jelly shoes? I also wore slouch socks and sometimes they were two different colours that matched the rest of my clothing. Sweet. I even remember being so thrilled that my dad allowed me to finally buy a pair of bicycle shorts to wear with my neon-coloured oversized tee (he originally thought they were a little too tight, leaving nothing to the imagination of my male classmates). I rocked those bicycle shorts, let me tell you :D

      Haha! Glad you're enjoying DOWNTON so much :) Such a great reason to spend the weekend on the couch.

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  7. I never had wall bangs but I did have a very nice selection of scrunchies. And I had a lot of Rainbow Brite and My Little Pony merchandise.

    Great post for today!!

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    1. My hair was a little too thick for wall bangs, and my parents would never have paid for the amount of hairspray it would take to hold them up. Instead, I spent much of the 80s looking like either a Vulcan or a Romulan because I had very thick, straight, dark bangs that blended into the rest of my hair. How embarrassing.

      My younger brother and I used to play Barbie, My Little Pony, HeMan, and GI Joe all at the same time. Talk about a sweet mash-up LOL :D

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  8. I'm a sucker for the 80s. Film and music mostly. I was born in the late 80s but I grew up on The Goonies, Mannequin, Willow, The Princess Bride etc. Good times. :)

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    1. The Goonies, Willow, The Princess Bride, Brat Patrol, The Neverending Story, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Back to the Future, Gremlins, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Ghostbusters, Flight of the Navigator... There are just so many more to list. I also remember watching the Disney Sunday Movie nearly every week too. Those were some of the good things about the 80s. Music and movies. Not much more. :D

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  9. I can't say I'd ever wear a scrunchie again; I'll leave that for the kids. I'll also leave the neon colors to them. But I admit I'm a fan of leggings, just not shiny pink spandex ones.

    though if I ever performed on stage I would go for it (under a dress though). I have so many ideas for stage clothes but I'm terrified about the idea of actually performing!

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    1. I will never wear a scrunchie again. Ever. Ew. Same with neon colours. But you're right, leggings are very comfortable. Just avoid the shiny spandex :)

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  10. It's amazing how decades just kinda repeat. I don't think I can ever accept the scrunchie coming back. Those things are atrocious!

    Not sure if I'd rock the florescent look, either. Ugh.

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    1. There are so many other awesome decades to borrow fashion from--the 20s-60s have some really great things to choose from. I'd be all over flapper dresses :D As for the 80s, there isn't a single type of fashion from that decade that looks good. Ugh. :)

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  11. This post made me laugh A LOT. I was born in 1989 so missed the 80s first time around, though the scrunchies were still in fashion way into my era (I personally had an electric blue number with lametta strands). I'm not in a hurry to live out what I missed, I think for the most part the past should stay firmly in the past! I look forward to reading the rest of your entries.
    Amy (AtoZ)

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    1. I think there were a lot of people not willing to pry their fingers off of 80s fashion for a very long time after the decade passed. I can recall seeing hints of the 80s for quite some time later. Ick. Though, that electric blue scrunchie sounds fascinating :)

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  12. This one is for you, doll:

    My Lovely 80's pic

    I had an eighties-themed birthday party two years ago - didn't I look hot? ::cough-cough:: Electric-blue and bright pink eyeshadow, baby! I'm not really that big, btw - I was five months pregnant and I tend to bloom up when I'm preggers.

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    1. That's hilarious and totally awesome :) I think an 80s-themed dressup party would be totally 'rad', but that's just it--it's a dressup party. Like Halloween. This fashion should not be carried over into everyday life. It just needs to go far, far away :)

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  13. Oh, the scrunchie. I knew it was just a matter of time when I saw all the kids wearing bubble skirts. I know it won't be long before my daughter starts popping the collar of her jean jacket and wearing a Debbie Gibson hat.

    I lived through the 80s, too. Some of it was wonderful and amazing and some of it, like scrunchies, makes me shake my head. However, I wish I had kept my fluorescent MTV Remote Control T-shirt. Because THAT is cool.

    We called wall bangs "Chicken Head." I had them -- and the curling iron burns to go along with them (curl it up, curl it down). I also had gigantic Sally Jessy Raphael glasses. How horrible.

    Loved this post! :)

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    1. Yes! The bubble skirt! I will confess to sometimes sort of popping my jacket collar a little bit. But only just a bit ;) Hahaha, Debbie Gibson... I couldn't stop laughing at the Chicken Head thing and the Sally Jessy Raphael glasses. Too funny :D

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  14. The one thing I Ioved about the eighties was the music, and I'm actually happy we've seen a resurgence in recent years from acts like Gwen Stefani, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. The fashion is a whole noda can of worms; one that's probably best left buried in the ground.

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    1. Yes, there was some pretty good music from that era. I still listen to the odd 80s song :) As for the fashion, well, I think you can guess what I think about it :)

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  15. I was born in 1985, so by the time I was in school, it was 1990. Thankfully, I wore a school uniform, because almost all my civvies were hand-me-downs from my cousin who was five years older than me and very fashion-forward. So by the time I was 8, in 1993, I was rocking out some truly excellent/horrifying 1988 fashions. There was a lot of neon, often in Pollock-esque splatters on t-shirts or hairclips...definitely some bright purple stirrup-leggings...and the best of all, a colorblock jumper in neon green, orange, hot pink, and purple. One piece, baggy, above the knee. Google Images reveals nothing that ugly, not even close. So I could really go forever without seeing that look come back.

    But Puffalumps? Mine is still in a closet somewhere (not sure if it landed in my apartment or if my mother still has it) because that squishy little dude basically did not leave my hand between birth and the first day of kindergarten. LOVE.

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    1. Thank goodness for a school uniform! Mine didn't show up until circa 1993 when I switched to a uniform school :) Sadly, it wasn't early enough to escape 80s fashion. And as for the Pollock-esque tees--I can totally picture what you mean! Yikes :)

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