From Stranger Things to ABC’s The Goldberg, Netflix’s hit shows have tons of things that remind us of the wonderful 1980s, a time where we wanted our hair to be the biggest in the room and our spandex as tight as possible. Those were the simple days when using a fax machine was a dream come true, and jazzercise was the coolest thing around.
Although they may sound ridiculous compared to what we have today, there is an undeniable nostalgia that comes with their memories.
Going down memory lane, below are authentic, vintage pictures from the 80s that will either make you laugh and make you cringe.
If you lived through the 80s, there is no doubt that it will always be a part of you. Today, the closest thing we have to 80s entertainment are shows set in this decade. Ghostbusters, E.T. The Extraterrestrial, Diehard, Back to the Future, and the likes were the blockbusters of that decade, and their imaginative backgrounds are still being imitated today.
Music has always been an important part of any decade. However, there was something special about that of the 80s. It was when punk, post-punk, new-wave, synth-pop, and even disco were in vogue.
Speaking of what was in style, the 80s was also the decade where you either owned a VCR or a Betamax.
Although Sony sold about 2.3 million Betamax machines in 1984, people don’t get as nostalgic about it as they do with cassettes or vinyl records. The 1980s was also the time where MTV was “the music television.” It was where you found the good, bad, and ugly of the music industry since its launch in 1981.
Fashion in the 80s meant many things. It meant being Madonna by rocking spandex, lace skirt, half-shirt, and a crucifix. It also meant baggy clothes, lots of denim, and neon.
The 80s was indeed a period of lots of weird fashion trends, and some of the photos we can’t help but cringe at.
Although jeans have been in the scene for a long time, the 80s took denim to a whole new dimension. Denim was one of the fashion trends of that time, and the more of it you had on, the more stylish you were.
There are virtually no clothing items that did not also come in denim. There were denim jackets, denim shirts, denim pants and skirts, and even denim shoes!
If you didn’t spend the 80s trying to look like Madonna, then this decade must have passed you by. The singer was widely popular for her style as she was for her musical talent. For that reason, silver crosses, headbands, and lace gloves were in every girl’s closet.
In addition to the “Madonna look,” spandex was another important fashion piece in the 80s. This decade was where extreme form-fitting pants were a thing. No wonder yoga pants came to stay in the 21st century.
We cannot continue the list of weird 80s fashion without mentioning neons! These outfits were bright enough to be noticed from miles away were also the top style of the decade.
Complementing these colorful outfits were colorful suckers on the arm. Even then, it wasn’t still complete without the black rubber bracelets, on the other hand. This was the to-go outfit for the cool kids of the 80s. Since there were outfits for the cool kids, the preppy rich ones also had their sense of style, and this was a “never-to-be-worn” cable knit sweater worn around the neck as portrayed by the 1984 film Making the Grade.
The fashion of the 80s is not complete without the decade’s signature hairstyle- big and permed hair. Perming of the hair was even more popular than guys even permed the end of their mullet. We cannot also forget punks’ favorite, Mohawk. They were as high as 12 inches.
Now to keep the puffy hairstyle intact, an insane amount of hair spray was needed. Therefore, Aqua Net was a must-have for big hair lovers.
We cannot talk about the 1980s without talking about its politics, which is sometimes synonymous with Ronald Reagan, who was the president of the United States for most of that decade.
Just like any public figure, Reagan had people who supported his ideologies and those that didn’t. Although he was a very popular president, the Iran-Contra affair ruined his reputation.
His wife, Nancy Reagan, was also popular, and this was due to her “Just Say No” campaign. This campaign was her absurdly simple solution to the crack-cocaine epidemic of that decade.
80s Pop Culture
Just like every other decade, the 80s also had its pop culture! As an 80s kid, you most likely were asking alongside the whole country, “Who shot J.R.?” from the hit CBS TV show Dallas. This show ended in a fascinating cliffhanger where there was a murder attempt on its villain J.R. Ewing. This resulted in the popularity of the above phrase. It was referenced even in the upcoming presidential election by republicans saying, “a democrat shot J.R.” Later, it would be found that the culprit was none other than Kristen Shepard, his mistress and sister-in-law.
A year into the decade, on July 29, 1981, the Wedding of the century took place at the St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. It was the day that Princess Diana and Prince Charles got married in front of 3,599 guests and a 750 million audience. A year after, the couple welcomed their first child, Prince William. Three years later, their second child, Prince Harry, came along.
The 80s also had the most-watched finale of a TV show in the history of the country. In 1983, about 125 million people tuned in to watch the finale of the Korean War-based show, M*A*S*H. No tv show has been able to gather that much audience except for the Super Bowl XLIV in 2010, which had a larger audience.
Finally, we cannot talk about the pop culture moments of the 80s without mentioning John Hughes. He was one of the filmmakers that owned 80s cinema. He is popular for directing many cult classics like sixteen candles, pretty in pink, The Great Outdoors, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and many others.
All in all, as these pictures show, the 1980s was an ecstatic period for those who lived through it.