Counterculture Of The 80's

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When people look at the 1980’s, the question often times asked is, “what was even going on”. Known for its characteristically bright neons, crazy hair dos, and high school coming of age films, this decade definitely made a mark on history. Oftentimes stereotyped with these aspects, the reality of the decade was revolt against the social, financial, and political turmoil of the 1960’s and 70’s.
Predating this decade, the United States of America had seen many conflicts in all aspects of life and culture. Beginning in the 1960’s, a new age of counterculture was on the rise. These radicals believed in fighting the social machine that before, had made the cookie-cutter lifestyle a status-quo. With this came political activism and a new generation
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With the rise of television and in-home electronics, the video generation was born. Movies like Pretty in Pink, Back to the Future, Star Wars, and Dirty Dancing were gaining extreme fame and inspiring the youth culture to follow its messages and trends. In music, MTV lead the way with music videos that propelled stars like Madonna, Prince, Michael Jackson, and Phil Collins into the stardom many wished for. Out of this came the rise of Pop and Hip-Hop, two defining genres that changed the trends and styles of the…show more content…
Inspired by social icons in the news, most American followed suit in the crazy hair trends, soon making them the norm. Following the trend of consumerism, dressing for success also became big as citizens tried to mimic the wealth and beauty they had come to know in icons of the time. Genres of dressing also arose in the contrasting styles of “Preppy” and “Street Style”. The first favoring the typical white-suburban look, many wore pastel polos, sweaters, Keds shoes, and jean or khaki pants. Street style, however; followed the rise of Hip Hop and Pop, taking inspiration more from music stars in the form of sequin dresses, colorful athleisure pieces, wild prints, and outrageous colors. Fleeting trends during this time included jelly shoes, parachute pants, leg warmers and so much more. Although many look back and see these as silly, numbers of the 1980’s trends have reared their heads in modern culture in the form of ironic tee shirts, mom jeans, and bodysuits (DeLeon).
Although many things seemed good in the 1980’s, there was also issues plaguing America. The drug epidemic had by then spun completely out of control. The use of narcotics like cocaine, claimed many lives and earned widespread coverage by media and news. Following this Nancy Reagan began the “War on Drugs”, a campaign to combat pre-existing drug usage and prevent future

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