Hope you’re having an awesome week. I’m currently slogging through what I hope will be my last series of edits on Dragonfly Summer.
Jo, my protagonist, is forced (and I mean kicking-and-screaming forced) to go back to her hometown and investigate her childhood friend’s disappearance. Returning to the scene of the crime means Jo has to relive her past, and that means…yep, you guessed it–going back to the ’80s. But it isn’t all bad. Here, in my humble opinion, are ten things that were awesome about the ’80s.
1) The Music. Lots of great music was released in the ’80s, but when I talk about the sounds of the decade, I mean the bright, happy pop tunes. The power ballads. The faux-heavy metal hairbands. Wham. Depeche Mode. Glass Tiger. Bon Jovi, the early years. Duran Duran. Corey Hart. Prince. A-ha. Rick Astley. Poison. Madonna, the early years. I don’t think we realized just how much our school dances kicked ass. The synthesizer and the one-hit wonder would never reach such heights again.
2) Teen Movies. Thanks to John Hughes, the ’80s spawned a number of timeless teen movies that will be adored by generations to come. The Breakfast Club versus Bring It On? No contest. Seen Pretty in Pink lately? Molly Ringwald still looks good. Not an easy feat for the ’80s. (Okay, ignore the prom dress.)
3) The Toys. The original Strawberry Shortcake, Carebears, Charmkins, Rainbow Brite, Popples, Wrinkles…the list goes on and on. I’m not sure if the boys had as much fun, but I do remember Castle Grayskull being pretty damn impressive.
4) Keyboards. What’s happened to the keyboard, that miraculous instrument that can sound like all others…but shouldn’t.
5) So-Cheesy-They’re-Awesome Music Videos. This was the decade of the music video. A-ha’s Take On Me. Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer. Robert Palmer’s Simply Irresistible. Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Madonna’s Like A Prayer. The list goes on and on….This spoof with Hugh Grant is so on target, it made me laugh until I cried.
6) Jelly Shoes. Flexible, colorful shoes that look like candy? Sign me up. This is one trend I was happy to see return.
7) Berlin Wall Coming Down. There aren’t many moments in life when you’re keenly aware that history is taking place right before your eyes. And even fewer still when it’s taking place in a good way. This was one of them.
8) Epic Soundtracks. Star Wars. Raiders of the Lost Ark. Chariots of Fire. Need I say more?
9) Over-Accessorizing. When you see someone with an arm full of leather or rubber bracelets, you can thank the ’80s for that. Madonna in particular. She made over-the-top trend look cool.
10) The Original 90210. Once they lost Brenda, it was never the same. And don’t even talk to me about the new one.
…and Ten Things That Should Stay in the ’80s…
1) Perms. Whoever thought that soaking our heads in toxic chemicals that smelled, burned our eyes, and fried our hair was a good idea must have been insane. If you had any hair left after the process, you got to look like this a few months later. Not good.
2) Banana Clips. The worst crimes against hair were perpetrated in the ’80s. There are so many to choose from, but this tacky mockery of Roman gladiator helmets is right up there.
3) Harem Pants. You know what’s flattering? Not harem pants.
4) Annoying Sitcoms. We are currently living in the era of the kick-ass drama. I approve. But in the ’80s, terrible sitcoms with their over-the-top canned laughter ruled. Full House, Family Matters, Charles in Charge, Small Wonder, Webster, My Two Dads, Mork and Mindy. Ugh. Even a lot of the “good” ones don’t hold up today. (To be fair, there are still awful sitcoms being made, but I no longer have to watch them. As an adult, I can just say no.)
5) Men Wearing Spandex. If it’s not the ballet, it should be banned.
6) Crop Tops. I see fashion designers are trying to trick us into thinking this is a good idea again. It isn’t.
7) Acid Wash. Our parents had a point when they asked us why we wanted our expensive jeans to look like they’d lost a fight with Clorox.
8) The Cold War. Constantly thinking the world was going to end in a nuclear war sucked big time.
9) Misuse of the words “ignorant”, “gay”, and probably a million others I can’t think of right now.
10) The Workout Wear. Aren’t you glad you don’t have to wear these stellar outfits to the gym?
What did you love or hate about the ’80s? What ’80s trend would you like to see return?
Thanks for reading!