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Old 05-08-2019, 01:57 PM
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I miss the uniqueness of the 19XX decades


The 1940s, 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, hell even the 90s... each decade had its own very distinguishable personality in terms of pop culture, music, fashion, technology, cars, etc.

The most recent two decades, though??? Not so much. By now the 2000s and 2010s should each have its own personality, but I just don't see it. It's all just been kinda the same since the millenium.

For perspective, even in the 1980s I could look back 10 years to the 70s and see a crystal clear difference. In the 90s I could look back to the 80s and see the difference. And even in the 2000s I could look back on the 90s and see the difference.

I look back on the 2000s today and see yesterday. Everything has become so homogeneous.

Just my opinion, curious if anyone agrees.

(BTW, in an intentional effort to not start any fights, I purposefully omitted references to the varying political climates across the decades. That's just my preference, but I'm not the boss, so say whatever the hell you want to.)
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Old 05-08-2019, 02:42 PM
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Easy, technology-wise. The 2000s were the decade of the phone / PDA, the Blackbery, the Palm Pilot, and their ilk; the 2010s were the decade of the iPhone and its ilk with capacitive touchscreen and an explosion of computing power. The 2010s are the start of the shift to electric vehicles.

World-wide the shift of economic power to China became obvious in the 2000s.
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:17 PM
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Easy, technology-wise. The 2000s were the decade of the phone / PDA, the Blackbery, the Palm Pilot, and their ilk; the 2010s were the decade of the iPhone and its ilk with capacitive touchscreen and an explosion of computing power. The 2010s are the start of the shift to electric vehicles.

World-wide the shift of economic power to China became obvious in the 2000s.
What about aspects of culture, like music or clothing fashion? The 70s, 80s, and 90s were pretty easily distinguishable on both of those counts. Before the 90s were over, The Wedding Singer had nailed the 80s in a comedic way. Could you envision a movie like that about the 2000s or 2010s? Or even about the 1990s, really?
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
What about aspects of culture, like music or clothing fashion? The 70s, 80s, and 90s were pretty easily distinguishable on both of those counts. Before the 90s were over, The Wedding Singer had nailed the 80s in a comedic way. Could you envision a movie like that about the 2000s or 2010s? Or even about the 1990s, really?
That's exactly my point.

Quartz also has a good point about technology. Technology changes so fast we almost make intra-decade distinctions. Example, first half of the 90s, very few had cell phones or home internet... but by the back half they were both commonplace.
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
What about aspects of culture, like music or clothing fashion? The 70s, 80s, and 90s were pretty easily distinguishable on both of those counts.
For the 2000s, how about hoodies and NEDs? In the 2000s we dressed down; in the 2010s we dressed up. And Harry Enfield's Loadsamoney character was just as appropriate for the UK in the 2000s as the late 1980s.

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Before the 90s were over, The Wedding Singer had nailed the 80s in a comedic way. Could you envision a movie like that about the 2000s or 2010s? Or even about the 1990s, really?
For a film about the 2000s, how about Avatar? It works on so many levels.

For the 2010s let me suggest two cultural icons: Game of Thrones and the Marvel series of super-hero movies.
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:55 PM
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The "1960's" in a cultural sense, at least in the USA, really ran more from about 1963 (Beatles' first album) to about 1975 (end of Vietnam war.)

The early 1960's were extremely like the 1950's.
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:07 PM
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I tend to agree when it comes to culture. There is a distinct feel to film and music from the 70s vs 80s vs 90s.

But I don't know if there is for the aughts or the teens.

I disagree about technology though. The teens is when smartphones, streaming, and apps really caught on.
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:14 PM
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It's not hard to understand why we don't see the last two decades as having an "identity" yet. Not enough time has passed to enable seeing those decades in a comprehensive historical view.
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:05 PM
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After WWII to sometime in the 90s, the personalities of the decades were heavily influenced by the age of the baby boomers -

50s - the boomers were children, and their parents were enjoying the post-war affluence
60s - boomers were in their teens with the idealism that is characteristic for that age.
70s - boomers were in their twenties, and starting to take responsibility for their life, taking jobs and finding life partners. The idealism of the late teens/early twenties age was still present.
80s - boomers were getting well settled into their life, and starting to have children of their own.

After the 80s, boomers lives weren't changing significantly from their 30s, and the decades started to blur after that.

Note, not all people who were born in the baby boom went through the same experiences at the same time but the baby boom generation was such a huge bubble of people sharing the same limited age range and same rites of passage that if only half or even a quarter of those people have the same experience at the same time, it is like a rock dropped in the pop culture pond.

Technology was going through similar growing pains in the period that Stuntman Mike refers to. Movie technology (except for special effects) had mostly matured by the 70s, but the special effects were still maturing into the 90s and 2000s.
TV technology started in the 50s, and evolved through color TV, cable TV and onward.
Music technology developed starting with electrified instruments and production tools, and evolved until the synthesizers and drum kits of the 80s allowed people to sound like a full band with one or two actual performers. Grunge evolved as a rebellion against the heavily synthesized and produced music of the 80s.
Each change in technology was picked up by some artists, used to express their message, and other artists picked up and riffed on the new messages, images and sound.

Bottom line there is that a lot of the progression of pop media up until some time in the 90s/2000s was driven by changes in media technology, and when those changes flattened out, the changes stopped being tied trying the new technology, and those producing media were more about either picking up on whatever trendy or what they liked, because there is no longer a technology barrier to producing whatever you are interested in producing.

Major events also played a part in producing pop culture, starting even earlier:
WWI led to the jazz age of the 20s
The stock market crash led to the Great Depression
WWII led to the baby boom and the prosperity of the 50s.
JFK's assassination played a role in the culture of the 60s, and the civil rights movement also played a huge part.
The oil embargo and shortages of the early 70s probably contributed to the Green movement.
I can't think of any event from the 80s - unless it was the election of Ronald Reagan! - or the 90s of significant effect. The next major event was 9/11, and I can't think of any major event after that.

Now, this is a very U.S.-centric maundering, but it should be remembered that the U.S. has been a big producer of pop culture since the 50s.

One more thing that has contributed to the lack of obvious pop-culture trends starting in the 90s is the advent and growth of the internet. This has allowed pop-culture to fragment, as people are able to find their tribe, their music and sometimes their preferred movies, TV, and other visual media, rather than only having what is physically distributed to the area they live in.

Finally, it's hard to see the trends until you're distanced from them. I remember watching videos and movies in the 80s where people seem perfectly normally dressed and coiffed, and now I watch those same videos and movies and go "OMG, look at that hairstyle"
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:30 PM
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I miss the uniqueness of the 1XXX centuries, up to the 19th. Each century had its own very distinguishable personality in terms of pop culture, music, fashion, technology, vehicles, discoveries, etc.

The most recent centuries, though??? Not so much. Just a mishmash of ever changing, planet destroying "progress".
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:35 PM
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So how has the style of 'the kids' changed from the 90's to the 00's to the 10's?
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Zyada View Post
After WWII to sometime in the 90s, the personalities of the decades were heavily influenced by the age of the baby boomers -

50s - the boomers were children, and their parents were enjoying the post-war affluence
60s - boomers were in their teens with the idealism that is characteristic for that age.
70s - boomers were in their twenties, and starting to take responsibility for their life, taking jobs and finding life partners. The idealism of the late teens/early twenties age was still present.
80s - boomers were getting well settled into their life, and starting to have children of their own.
Not at all. The boomers had no influence on the "pop culture, music, fashion, technology, cars, etc." in the 1950s. 1960s culture was also produced almost entirely by people too old to be boomers. Really, the same was true for the 1970s for most things except music and maybe fashion.

What really sinks the argument is that culture changed wildly from decade to decade throughout the 20th century before the boomers were born. The 1900s were different from the 1910s which were different from the 1920s which were different from the 1930s which were different from the 1940s which were different from the 1950s.

The lack of visible cultural distinction between decades is one of the oddest features of the future to this boomer. It's beyond weird. Nobody in the past could have imagined this happening.
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Old 05-09-2019, 07:09 AM
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For the 2010s let me suggest two cultural icons: Game of Thrones and the Marvel series of super-hero movies.
Itís nitpicky to say Robert Downey Jr spent weeks at #1 as IRON MAN in the Ď00s, but maybe less so to note that it was after Christian Bale played a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist in BATMAN BEGINS before a billion-dollar DARK KNIGHT in the Ď00s, and that the X-MEN franchise had already gone 1-2-3 to spin off a solo effort from Hugh Jackman as WOLVERINE in the Ď00s ó after Tobey Maguire generated, what, a good $2.5 billion as SPIDER-MAN back when? The Ď10s took it to new levels, but pop culture was already ready for blockbuster superhero sequels.
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Old 05-09-2019, 07:59 AM
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It's not hard to understand why we don't see the last two decades as having an "identity" yet. Not enough time has passed to enable seeing those decades in a comprehensive historical view.


The Wedding Singer hit theatres in 1998, just 8 years after the 80s had ended, and that movie was a fantastic showcase of the music, hairstyles, clothing fashions, and other cultural aspects that are highly (and uniquely) representative of the 80s.

It's 2019 now, so we should be able to make a movie that clearly showcases the music/ hairstyles, clothing fashions, and other aspects that uniquely define the 2000s - but I can't imagine anyone doing that, because the 2000s, viewed from 2019, don't seem nearly as distinctive as the 80s seemed when viewed from 1998.

Likewise, the zeitgeist of the 90s should be as distinctive right now (in 2019) as the 1970s were in Y2K, but I don't think it is.

Last edited by Machine Elf; 05-09-2019 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:33 AM
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Changes are happening more frequently and in smaller increments.

I remember the day after the Beatles were first on Sullivan. Guys started combing their hair down over the foreheads, etc. The teachers got upset with that. And on and on. Styles, music, etc. all changed within a short period of time. Elvis also caused a major change. Both nicely spaced out. Going back to depressions, wars, etc. similar idea.

But now it's not such big, noticeable things every X years. It's little things several times a year.

As to war, we are now in perpetual war mode with a small percentage of the population doing all the nasty stuff. It doesn't suddenly ripple across society.

Secondly, change is more "diverse". There are so many subcultures with their own music and style that the shifts going on in one world don't cross over much into others. Thanks to the Internet, people scattered around interested in one area can connect and do their thing apart from their physical neighbors. So fads just don't work the way they used to. There's just not going to be another "Nehru shirt" craze where one day you don't see them and the next day they're all over the mall.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:43 AM
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For the 2000s, how about hoodies and NEDs?
What are NEDs? UK specific?
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:51 AM
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The 1960's changed faster and more than any culture ever, and without any one defining reason. They just did.

I know I'm old, but I feel sorry for people who did not experience the 1960's. There is no way to describe what happened and how much the world changed from 193 to 1968.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:59 AM
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Weren't the 1900s and 1910s kind of a boring mishmash too, like the present 20-year span? Things didn't really get crackin' in culture until the 1920s.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:55 AM
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I think the infinite capacity of the Internet has flattened modern Nostalgia. You don't have to remember things because they are always there. You can't miss what never goes away. This causes a resistance tow hat is new because there are less gaps for new things to wedge themselves into which creates the feeling that things are stagnant even when things are actually changing.
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:03 AM
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The 1960's changed faster and more than any culture ever, and without any one defining reason. They just did.

I know I'm old, but I feel sorry for people who did not experience the 1960's. There is no way to describe what happened and how much the world changed from 193 to 1968.
I'm old, too, but I'm not that old.
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Old 05-09-2019, 01:03 PM
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Changes in technology as used by the average person have hit a bit of a plateau. Take music for example. Vinyl records for home use, then 8 track tapes for a short period, cassette tapes for cars and Walkman, then compact discs, then finally digital music on your iPod. And since then it is mostly on your smart phone. I do not see major changes in this coming soon. My old car still has a 12 CD disc player in the trunk but newer cars don't even come with a CD player any longer, there are various USB ports and other ways to get your music played. And I think it will stay this way for awhile.

I am actually surprised that the DVD/Blue Ray format for selling movies still exists. Why has this not be replaced by smaller digital storage methods, I don't know, but eventually our DVD movie collection will be headed into storage along side the VCR collection. Land line phones have been mostly replaced by cell phones, and now smart phones but what is next to define a decade or period? Smart phones will get smarter, have more features, etc. but they will not be replaced any time soon. So the things that may define a decade are coming slower and slower.

What I am getting at is that there have been several stages where major changes occur and the stages are no longer so apparent. What once may have defined a period or decade no longer happens on such a drastic level, we are in more of a period of refinement.

Last edited by Dallas Jones; 05-09-2019 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:30 PM
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Exapno Mapcase, I certainly should have started with major events that influenced the different decades both before and during the baby boom generation, but the majority of the decades that Stuntman Mike talked about were during the baby boom years.

Let me re-cap major events that would have affected American culture:
1895: First commercial movie
1914: start of WWI
1917: U.S. enters WWI
1918: WWI ends
1919: Start of Prohibition
1928: First "talkie"
1929: Stock Market Crash, start of Great Depression
1933: End of prohibition
1939: Invasion of Poland by Germany
1941: Pearl Harbor, official US entry into WWII
1945: WWII ends
1954: approximate start of Civil Rights movement/Brown vs. the Board of Education
1956: Start of the Interstate Highway system
1957: Launch of Sputnik
1963: JFK assassination
1969: First moon landing
1972: Watergate
1969, 1972, 1979: various oil shortages due to politics.
1986: Challenger explosion
2001: 9/11

Ok, I can't think of any really major events between 1972 and 2001. Surely there were some, maybe they didn't seem that large because I lived through them, but I can't think of anything that people go "Hey, where were you when this happened"



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Not at all. The boomers had no influence on the "pop culture, music, fashion, technology, cars, etc." in the 1950s. 1960s culture was also produced almost entirely by people too old to be boomers. Really, the same was true for the 1970s for most things except music and maybe fashion.
Certainly the producers of pop culture were born before the baby boomer generation. But it's not the producers that drive pop culture, but consumers. If there weren't people buying Beatles records, then no one would have ever heard of the Beatles.

But the first problem is defining who the baby boomers are. The census bureau defines the group as people born between 1946 to 1964 - but if you look at this graph, the birth rate was already declining dramatically in 1959. I would say that the real drivers were those born between 1948-1955. By the time you get to the end of the 50s, everyone being born were either younger siblings or had parents who were too young to be in WWII.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_b...irth_Rates.svg

I know I was born in 1962, but don't really think I belonged in the baby boomer generation. Some people agree with me, and consider this to be "Generation Jones" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Jones



Examples of baby boomer impact on pop culture
1950s - Howdy Doody, Davy Crockett TV shows (three shows aired in 1954 and 1955), hula hoops, the Disney series, Disneyland, and Mickey Mouse club all were aimed at and produced fads specifically for children.

1960s - "My Generation" was released when the first of the boomers were in their late teens, "Don't trust anyone over 35", Rock and Roll in general, "The Graduate". "Star Trek" was an good example of the idealism that often occurs when people are just old enough to know they can have an impact on the world, and aren't as tired as someone who has been fighting for 10+ years. Also see - the Civil Rights movement,
The first of the baby boomers reached eligible age for the draft in 1965, just in time for LBJ to escalate the Vietnam war.

1970s was about either being poor - Chico and The Man, "Knock Three times", "Welcome Back Kotter" - or about environmentalism - John Denver, "Jonathon Livingston Seagull", and the earth tones of fashion and furniture - or about being single - "Looking for Mr. Goodbar", "Annie Hall", Woody Allen, etc

Finally, the 80s was about having your own kids and being relatively well off to - "thirtysomething", yuppies, and while Dallas started at the tail end of the 70s, it was the beginning of the evening soap opera trend of lives of the rich.

With the 90s, the baby boomers were fading as pop culture consumers, with the gen-xers and the proto-millenials starting to take over the majority of pop culture consumption.


One final thing though - we tend to round off, especially nostalgia shows going for the easy "50s", "70s", etc.
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:06 PM
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Changes in technology as used by the average person have hit a bit of a plateau. Take music for example. Vinyl records for home use, then 8 track tapes for a short period, cassette tapes for cars and Walkman, then compact discs, then finally digital music on your iPod. And since then it is mostly on your smart phone. I do not see major changes in this coming soon. My old car still has a 12 CD disc player in the trunk but newer cars don't even come with a CD player any longer, there are various USB ports and other ways to get your music played. And I think it will stay this way for awhile.

I am actually surprised that the DVD/Blue Ray format for selling movies still exists. Why has this not be replaced by smaller digital storage methods, I don't know, but eventually our DVD movie collection will be headed into storage along side the VCR collection. Land line phones have been mostly replaced by cell phones, and now smart phones but what is next to define a decade or period? Smart phones will get smarter, have more features, etc. but they will not be replaced any time soon. So the things that may define a decade are coming slower and slower.

What I am getting at is that there have been several stages where major changes occur and the stages are no longer so apparent. What once may have defined a period or decade no longer happens on such a drastic level, we are in more of a period of refinement.
I'm really resistant to thinking that technology defines a decade - style defines a decade. What are the 2000's styles? The 2010's?


(Oh, and off-topic, but I'm the dude they sell DVDs/Blue Rays to. I'm also the dude with the landline. Guess I live in the past.)
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:45 PM
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Changes in technology as used by the average person have hit a bit of a plateau. Take music for example. Vinyl records for home use, then 8 track tapes for a short period, cassette tapes for cars and Walkman, then compact discs, then finally digital music on your iPod. And since then it is mostly on your smart phone. I do not see major changes in this coming soon. My old car still has a 12 CD disc player in the trunk but newer cars don't even come with a CD player any longer, there are various USB ports and other ways to get your music played. And I think it will stay this way for awhile.
I don't think that's true at all.

Even your example of music doesn't show a plateau or stagnation. Vinyl was the dominant form of music distribution for like 80 years. Cassettes and CDs each for a few decades. Digital files for maybe a decade, and now streaming is dominant. Changes are coming faster and faster!

And it's even less true for non-music.

A few days ago Google showed a video of an illiterate Indian (Pakistani?) woman who is able to get around because her phone can now read text aloud to her through her camera.

Cars are on the cusp of being able to drive themselves without human input.

Technology use by people is accelerating not stagnating.

Quote:
I am actually surprised that the DVD/Blue Ray format for selling movies still exists. Why has this not be replaced by smaller digital storage methods, I don't know
There's a lot of value in form-factor compatibility. A CD/DVD/Bluray/HDR-Bluray-sized disk is already pretty small. Having every future device that plays optical media easily play all the old stuff and also build on the manufacturing processes that already make all the parts the right size.

They could make smaller Bluray disks, but storage space for optical disks isn't a major problem for most people.

And of course it kinda already has been replaced. I haven't bought media on disk for a while. I just stream it all.

I think the reason that it feels like new decades don't have as obvious a "feel" to them isn't that style has stagnated, it's that it's stratified. Where there was once a mass-media driven monoculture, now there are umpteen subcultures. Style in all sorts of things are evolving rapidly in subcultures, but the mass culture is a sort of lowest common denominator.

Game of Thrones is very popular right now, but it has ~18 million viewers for recent episodes and might get ~30 million for the series finale (I'm guessing here). Friends had 50 million. MASH had 100 million. We're probably not going to see a television show that so affects popular culture that a bunch of people run out to get their hair cut like one of the characters, which makes those markers of culture harder to notice.
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Old 05-09-2019, 07:05 PM
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I agree that in terms of style things have stagnated since the late 1990s. I was watching an episode of Friends last week. When I compare Friends to say, Three's Company and Big Bang Theory, it's obvious that a whole lot more changed between 1979 and 1999 than between 1999 and 2019. The same goes for music. Ariana Grande, Drake, Bruno Mars, Ed Shearen, etc. as representatives of 2019 are not noticeably different compared to Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera, "N Sync, etc. as representatives of 1999. But compare the 1999 group to a group of musicians representative of 1979 such as the Bee Gees, Gloria Gaynor, Donna Summer, The Village People, etc. and the difference is a lot more obvious. I think clothing and hairstyles can probably be said to be about the same as well. the 1999 version of me would have had no trouble coming up with ideas with what to wear to a 1970s themed costume party. If you asked me today what I would wear to a late 1990s themed party, my answer is that I would wear my regular everyday clothes and keep my same hairstyle that I currently have.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:27 PM
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I dunno, Stuntman Mike, I tried to contemplate your op without politics, but I just can't. Politics is too much a part of the differences that make each decade unique. It's like you're trying to look at something with one eye covered.
My mental image of the 60s (I was born in 70) is everything is beige, free love, civil rights, the beatles, alla that, it has a bland beige feel to it for me. The 70s, man I was a free range kid who roamed all day for miles and miles. That was when I became politically aware, when Carter was elected, and the foundations for who I am politicallyl were laid. That decade is Burnt Orange. The 80s, man, the 80s were cool, I entered adolescence, I had found heavy metal, hard rock and Dungeons and Dragons ( and later Warhammer), we got our first Commodore 64 and I played Bard's Tale. Soon after we got our first IBM clone PC at home and I played Hack.exe, discovered pot, I discovered LSD and magic mushrooms, wine coolers were a yummy sweet way to get drunk, I was coming into my power as a person and Reagan was President and had "Freed the Hostages in Tehran" (I was a kid ok?). The 80s are a slightly darker than Royal shade of blue. The 90s I got married, started a business, bought a house, sold the business, quit my job, joined the army then got divoreced and during all that I had two kids. 90s are the decade of Bush and Billary Clinton and war. the 90s are light purple, almost lavender edged in red. The 00s, I was just 6 months shy of separating from the Army and transitioning to Nat'l Guard on Sept 11. We had just finished a PT Test and were doing a weigh in when it came across whatever show was on the telly at that time about the WTC. Oddly, the 00s are, to me, a time of guarded optimism and "defiance" of terrorist organizations world wide following 9/11, tinged with paranoia. This decade saw the establishment of the Gestapo Secret Police Homeland Security. Our Democracy was starting to weaken. There was the widespread acceptance and legalizaton of homosexuality, and the beginning of the end for the prohibition of hemp and marijuana. The 00s ended with an economic disaster for most and the election of the US's first President who wasn't old and white. To me the 00s are a transparent Grey color. The teens, the teens are a sort of muddy poop brown and yellow mix, not blended, just mixed, sort of swirled and marbled and really kind of gross looking. Democracy has further weakened, the cultural and political divide in the US has been widened by those in power, and we are starting to discover what has really happened to us in the 00s.

The decades are distinct, culturally, fashionwise, etc. But you just can't exclude politics, or you leave out so so much.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:40 PM
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Ok, I can't think of any really major events between 1972 and 2001. Surely there were some, maybe they didn't seem that large because I lived through them, but I can't think of anything that people go "Hey, where were you when this happened"
I would say the fall of the Berlin Wall was the most major event for me as a GenXer growing up.Challenger was perhaps more of a "flashbulb" memory than the fall of the wall -- which was kind of led up to over time, but that was the major geopolitical event of my lifetime until 9/11, I'd think.

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Old 05-09-2019, 09:16 PM
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The Wedding Singer hit theatres in 1998, just 8 years after the 80s had ended, and that movie was a fantastic showcase of the music, hairstyles, clothing fashions, and other cultural aspects that are highly (and uniquely) representative of the 80s.

It's 2019 now, so we should be able to make a movie that clearly showcases the music/ hairstyles, clothing fashions, and other aspects that uniquely define the 2000s - but I can't imagine anyone doing that, because the 2000s, viewed from 2019, don't seem nearly as distinctive as the 80s seemed when viewed from 1998.
Honestly, I mean this in the nicest way...that's because you're old. You haven't bought a new T shirt since the Bush administration. And by President Bush, I don't mean the one from the history book, I mean the one from living memory.

JNCO, Vans, Crocs and the Converse All Star high tops? Wallet chains, studded bracelets, and the resurgence of the puka shell necklace?

Music, huh? Contemporary R&B artists dominating the alternative rock scene of the 90s? When Korn and Filter and Fuel and 3 Doors Down failed to outsell Usher, Beyonce, and Rihanna? One word: Autotune.

How about when TV was all game shows, all the time, where The Weakest Link battled for viewers with Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? And when that wasn't on, it was reality competitions like Survivor, Big Brother, the Amazing Race, and the Mole, who couldn't hold a candle to American Idol?

I'm not even going to bring up the technology giants like Facebook and a revitalized Apple.

So I guess I gotta ask...what the hell are you talking about?

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Likewise, the zeitgeist of the 90s should be as distinctive right now (in 2019) as the 1970s were in Y2K, but I don't think it is.
Are you kidding me? You don't remember the AOL "You've got mail" noise or the squelch of a 56k modem? The acid wash jeans, the flannel, the bowl cuts, the grunge rock scene, the boy band mania, and the first cell phones?

You're not seriously suggesting the 90s wasn't distinctive, are you?
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:23 PM
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You're not seriously suggesting the 90s wasn't distinctive, are you?
I somehow ended up with old David Cross standup on my Youtube suggestions list, and I clicked on this. That look is like the most 90s thing ever.

Also, graphic design wise, bright obnoxious colors, squiggles, random shapes, that sort of thing as here. TO THE XTREME!!! marketing, etc.

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Old 05-09-2019, 09:27 PM
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The aughts: rise of awesome television. Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood.
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:30 PM
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FliktheBlue said it perfectly, IMHO (post 25). Technology has changed since the 1990s — ubiquity of the internet, then smartphones, including how we consume music — but style? (clothing, music, even popular speech patterns...). Not much.

Some interesting reasons for this have been proposed by previous posters, e.g. that these two things are related: technologies allow us to experience almost anything almost any time, so we’re no longer moving or being together with others in a single “time.”

And, the baby boomer “life decades” sequence noted by a previous poster is also a factor, I think: just as being 55 doesn’t feel as distinct from being 35 as being 35 feels distinct from being 15...

Also, with music at least, I think we’ve simply run out of ideas (broadly speaking). There are only so many easy-for-untrained-humans-to-digest chord sequences and melodies to choose from, and once the globally expected set of popular music sound palette was set in place, it’s unlikely many people will learn to love radically different sounds (e.g., of traditional instruments in non-Western cultures; or, avant-garde serious art music). Yes, there is an “out there” electronic style that started more or less with Radiohead and Bjork (etc. — A Tribe Called Quest...) and is now quite popular (threading through R and B and hip-hop — Kendrick Lamar, Janelle Monae...), so the masses CAN get used to new sounds, but I still think we’re stuck in a rut (unavoidably) when it comes to pop song chord sequences, and probably melodies too.

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Old 05-09-2019, 09:52 PM
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Oh, I should have put Missy Elliot right in the middle of that continuum of “out-there electronic sounds evolving to penetrate truly popular music.”

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Old 05-09-2019, 10:17 PM
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I somehow ended up with old David Cross standup on my Youtube suggestions list, and I clicked on this. That look is like the most 90s thing ever.

Also, graphic design wise, bright obnoxious colors, squiggles, random shapes, that sort of thing as here. TO THE XTREME!!! marketing, etc.
The first link didnít really make me think 1990s. IMHO the guy in the video wouldnít look out of time today. The second like does seem like itís from a previous era, but without the big 9 at the top my guess would have been 1980s. I think the things they showed in that link were mostly from the early 1990s, which was the last distinctive era that in my mind at least kind of blends into the late 1980s. Take the first picture thatís titled SoCal Surfware. At first glance I thought it was a screenshot from Saved by the Bell. L to R at first glance looks like Zack, Jessie, Screech, Slater, and Kelly .

Either way, IMHO at least, the first guy doesnít look out of place for today. The second link ireminds me of the early 90s which to me is part of the same era as the late 80s rather than the current era weíre in that started in the late 90s.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:20 PM
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When I was in high school (2000-2004) you couldn't listen to the radio without hearing metal/hard rock acts like Disturbed, Linkin Park, and Godsmack. Or pop-punk acts Blink 182 or Offspring. Or rappers like DMX, Eminem, or Ja Rule. Then there were the boy bands and pop-starlets.

In the last few years pop has been dominated by starlets with a more electronic-dancey sounds and pretty-boy R'n'B acts, rap has been overtaken by mumble rappers and the only rock that gets any play is stuff like Maroon 5 and Portugal the Man. On the other hand anyone can now listen to niche stuff like folk metal from Switzerland (Eluveitie) and Rap-Metal from India (Bloodywood).

As for big, historical events we've seen the election of the first black president of the goddamn United States in 2008. Seriously, how am I the first one to point this out? That had a cultural impact that might have been hard to see, but there were a lot more black people on TV after January 2009 from leading roles to actors in ads. Then there was the election of Trump. Try watching any late-night show from his nomination until today and not hearing his name.

And that's not even taking into account social media and everybody thinking that their opinions are worth hearing.

ETA: wrt to hair and clothes, what rules are there left to be broken?
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  #35  
Old 05-09-2019, 10:38 PM
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and the only rock that gets any play is stuff like Maroon 5 and Portugal the Man.
Yeah, when I listen to the current batch of songs on "alternative/indie" radio, the playlists have gotten really ... well ... "wimpy"? I mean, all seem to hear is mellowed-out rock like the Lumineers, Mumford and Sons, The Head and the Heart, Strumbellas, etc.

2000s indie/alternative I remember as having a bit more edge, like the Strokes, White Stripes, Queens of the Stone Age, Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys.

To me the 2010s are a much mellower decade in mainstream alternative (I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but I hope you can understand what I mean) rock music than the 2000s were.
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:35 AM
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Nitpick: The actual saying was "Don't trust anyone over 30," originally said by Jack Weinber

I'll always remember this Peanuts comic strip from May of 1971

Linus: Bob Dylan will be thirty years old this month.
Charlie Brown: That's the most depressing thing I ever heard.
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:57 AM
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Well, yeah, everyone having their face in their phone is definitely a 10's thing.

I think one of the reason fashion is difficult to pin down, is there is a HUGE amount of choice when it comes to clothes now, and that is being fully taken advantage of.

In the 80's, at least when I went to school, you almost had "uniforms" people wore that represented their cliques. I think that has largely faded away since the 90's. To me, the "look" in fashion seems to be as casual as possible. T-shirts and shorts, someplaces even in the workplace, are ubiquitous. "Rich" people don't care about "looking rich" anymore, at least when it comes to clothes. Tech industry played a big part in that.

Starting in the mid 00's at least in pop, an 80's electronic sound definitely made a comeback and never really went away. More recently some more instrumental folk reminiscent of the 60s made a comeback.

Last edited by Ashtura; 05-10-2019 at 09:01 AM.
  #38  
Old 05-10-2019, 09:45 AM
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Well, yeah, everyone having their face in their phone is definitely a 10's thing.

I think one of the reason fashion is difficult to pin down, is there is a HUGE amount of choice when it comes to clothes now, and that is being fully taken advantage of.

In the 80's, at least when I went to school, you almost had "uniforms" people wore that represented their cliques. I think that has largely faded away since the 90's. To me, the "look" in fashion seems to be as casual as possible. T-shirts and shorts, someplaces even in the workplace, are ubiquitous. "Rich" people don't care about "looking rich" anymore, at least when it comes to clothes. Tech industry played a big part in that.

Starting in the mid 00's at least in pop, an 80's electronic sound definitely made a comeback and never really went away. More recently some more instrumental folk reminiscent of the 60s made a comeback.
Fashionwise, I also kind of feel like trucker hats and, on the opposite end of the spectrum, metrosexual look were more 00s and gave way to ... some other kind of "hipster" look in the 2010s. More man buns, facial hair, and stuff like that. I mean, it's a bit of a continuum. I also think of "boho chic" as more 2000s than 2010s, and I feel 2010s was more bright colors, big hipster glasses, and things like that, although there were aspects of it in the 2000s, too.
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:55 AM
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Fashionwise, I also kind of feel like trucker hats and, on the opposite end of the spectrum, metrosexual look were more 00s and gave way to ... some other kind of "hipster" look in the 2010s. More man buns, facial hair, and stuff like that. I mean, it's a bit of a continuum. I also think of "boho chic" as more 2000s than 2010s, and I feel 2010s was more bright colors, big hipster glasses, and things like that, although there were aspects of it in the 2000s, too.
Oh. Yeah. I totally forgot about the hipster stuff. That was deliberate.

O.P. That's one case that goes against the rule. In the 90's men weren't trying to look like put-together lumberjacks.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:40 AM
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Oh. Yeah. I totally forgot about the hipster stuff. That was deliberate.

O.P. That's one case that goes against the rule. In the 90's men weren't trying to look like put-together lumberjacks.
What's weird to me is hearing Kramer, from Seinfeld, described as a "hipster" or "hipster doofus" in that 90s series. I mean, I was in high school and college in the 90s, and, looking back at it now, I don't see how Kramer is in any way a "hipster." I'm not sure I thought of him as a "hipster" back then, either. But that's a common description of him.
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:19 PM
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A few mens' fashion/style things that differentiate the 90s from 00s and 10s:

1. Skinny jeans
2. The Man Bun
3. Scruffy beards, and hipster facial hair.

A few other relatively recent social trends driven by the internet.

1. Cosplay. This certainly existed before, but it's vastly expanded in its popularity and reach.
2. Twitch.tv More people watch people playing video games than the NFL.
3. Artisanal everything.
4. Instagram/facebook/twitter sharing of every moment. You would never see multiple people at a restaurant all taking pictures of their meals in the 90s or 00s. It's... fairly common now.
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:50 PM
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I think the biggest change culturally since the 1990's, at least in TV and music, is acceptance of homosexuality. Remember what a big deal was made of the episode where Mariel Hemingway kissed Roseanne? And of course there was Ellen's coming out episode. Today if a show has a gay character you'd probably only know it because you watched it, and sometimes only if regularly (e.g., Captain Holt on Brooklyn 99 or Alex Danvers on Supergirl).
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:54 PM
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If you ask me, it would be the 90s. It's probably a nostalgia thing, since those were my teen years, but I miss the music, the tv shows, and I'd also LOVE to go back and watch Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr play in their prime once again.

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I can't think of any event from the 80s - unless it was the election of Ronald Reagan! - or the 90s of significant effect. The next major event was 9/11, and I can't think of any major event after that.
Seriously? Someone mentioned the fall of the Berlin Wall, there was also the collapse of the Soviet Union. You cannot possibly tell me that wasn't a huge deal? Much, much bigger than Reagan, or the Challenger explosion, as tragic as the latter was.

Major revolutions in the middle east? The rise of the personal computer? The AIDS epidemic?

The advent of the internet. That was major, and pretty much changed life as we know it. (Yes, I'm aware that technically it existed long before that). The end of the Cold War. The first WTC bombing, Waco, the cease fire in Northern Ireland?

The Columbine massacre? The end of Apartheid? Seriously, dude.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:30 PM
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The advent of the internet. That was major, and pretty much changed life as we know it. (Yes, I'm aware that technically it existed long before that).
Yep, that was probably the biggest thing for me in the 90s. It's a harder event to track, because it gradually crept into our lives, but I certainly remember the early 90s being different from the late 90s because of the growing ubiquity of the Internet, email, etc. While I mentioned the fall of the Berlin Wall as being the biggest geopolitical event in my lifetime, the growth of the internet in the 90s (and onward, obviously) has been the biggest technological and social/interpersonal event in my lifetime, I think.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:44 PM
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I don't really follow fashion so I'm wading in out of my depth, but stuff I remember from the early 2000s that I don't see anymore:

Really low slung trousers - I remember Britney and the Hilton sisters wearing pants that were barely keeping them from an indecent exposure charge

Fauxhawk

Denim with everything

Men's highlights

Handkerchief tops

Emo

Massive oversize sunglasses

And I'm not sure what women WERE doing with their eyebrows, but they WEREN'T doing that blocky dark heavy permanent marker thing that they do now. Or the face highlight that makes you look vinyl.

More recent looks I don't remember being around in the early 2000s include the hipster thing (that's what we were calling the low slung trousers as opposed to current usage), or that hairstack/lumberjack thing that men are doing. For women, I feel like alternative fashion retro 50s pinup styling with heavy tattoos (rockabilly?) took off closer to the end of the first decade, or at the start of the second.

When was "manbun" coined?

IMO: I feel like we've fractured into more subcultures. It's not that there isn't anything distinct to the decades, it's that there are many different ways to present yourself and a less ubiquitous mainstream.

Last edited by Cazzle; 05-10-2019 at 11:45 PM.
  #46  
Old 05-11-2019, 09:22 AM
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Remember: In the 1960's pants on women were unacceptable. There were public places that would not allow women in pants to enter (I am NOT kidding). Women in pants was considered unnatural and accused of being lesbians (I am still NOT kidding).

There were tales of women going into restaurants in pants and a long shirt, being refused entrance, going back into their cars and taking off the pants, and going back to the restaurant in whatever was left.

I heard a woman on a cell phone tell the listener "My in-laws would not come into the house because I was wearing slacks." I muttered "What century are they living in?" and she said to the listener "That's it exactly. The cashier just summed it up perfectly: What century are they living in?" I was so proud.

Yes, and the acceptance of gay people. Neil Patrick Harris was scared to come out until his publicist told a newspaper he was "not of that persuasion." Whereupon he fired said publicist and came out in an interview with The Advocate. And what was the reaction? Nothing.

On a similar note, when Robert Guillaumne took over for Michael Crawford in the LA production of Phantom of the Opera, the theatre was worried about getting letters against the showing have an African-American Phantom and a white Christine. They got two.
  #47  
Old 05-11-2019, 10:25 AM
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The first link didn’t really make me think 1990s. IMHO the guy in the video wouldn’t look out of time today.
Really? If I wanted to make a caricature of early-mid-90s fashion, that would be it. As one of the commentators says: “90s as fuck.” Flannel is still around, but I’m not sure most can pull off that torn jeans look unironically now. Sure, you may see people wear 90s fashion now, just like you’ll see 60s and 70s fashion, but that flannel and torn jeans look is sooooooo 90s, it almost looks like a parody of itself.

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Old 05-11-2019, 11:13 AM
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Remember: In the 1960's pants on women were unacceptable. There were public places that would not allow women in pants to enter (I am NOT kidding). Women in pants was considered unnatural and accused of being lesbians (I am still NOT kidding).
Yeah, remember waaaay back when the Guiness Book of World Records said that a woman trying to set the record for fastest marathon in a nurse's uniform* couldn't wear pants? That rule lasted all the way to ... a few days ago.

* Apparently this a thing you can get a world record for.
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Old 05-11-2019, 12:56 PM
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The thing that's different after 2000 is the rise of the internet and the ability for everyone to stream their own entertainment. Previously, pop culture was consistent because we all watched pretty much the same TV shows and listened to the same songs on the radio. The corporate gatekeepers were able to create a consistent culture that moved slowly. But now, each of us is watching our own selections of videos from a variety of sources and listening to our own personal music choices from streaming libraries. It's going to be much more difficult for a unified culture to form when we're all creating our own version of the current pop culture.
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:59 AM
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Remember: In the 1960's pants on women were unacceptable. There were public places that would not allow women in pants to enter (I am NOT kidding). Women in pants was considered unnatural and accused of being lesbians (I am still NOT kidding).
Well, sort of.

I was in my teens in the 1960's; rural New York State. Girls and women routinely wore pants at home, to do some kinds of work, at picnics, and so on. Slacks and jeans were routinely sold in women's cuts -- they'd have a side zipper, not a front fly. I've got a 1949 Sears catalog (which would have been distributed nationally) with several styles of slacks and also dungarees for women "for the peppy college girl!" So they certainly weren't entirely unacceptable; though of course individual family standards might vary.

What wasn't done was for women to wear pants for office work, or to the kind of place that required men to wear a jacket or tie. There were more such places than there are now.

Through the early 1960's, my mother and I would put on skirts to go into town and do the grocery shopping. (And my father would put on a jacket and tie when going into town.) And almost all the way through the 60's I had to wear skirts to school. By the late 60's there had been a drastic shift, and many younger women (and some older ones) were wearing jeans routinely to do ordinary errands.

ETA: there were public places that wouldn't allow women to enter at all. Some restaurants, clubs, etc. were men-only. And all the employment ads were classified -- help wanted male, help wanted female; there might be a third section for jobs either gender would be hired for.

Last edited by thorny locust; 05-12-2019 at 09:02 AM.
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