By Tierney McAffee
I <3 the 80s (but only cause I have to)
Ah, the 80s, our mother decade. Most of us 80s babies—along with the rest of the country—look back in shame at the era that birthed us. And it doesn’t take glasses that cover 70 percent of your face to see why—our mom is a cheesy, acid-washed mess of mullet, shoulder pads and Coreys. She rocks out to the Thompson Twins, wears spandex to dinner and blames gay people for AIDS. I’m embarrassed just thinking about her, but let’s phone home to Mom and see what else she has to offer.
Although most of us were fresh out of the womb for the majority of the 80s, its culture still lives on today—in the form of reality TV. But the 80s were so much more than Bret Michaels and Ozzy Osbourne. They were the good old days when Prince was a name and not a symbol, Michael Jackson was still relatively black and Madonna was like a virgin…wait, that can’t be right.
Teased hair, eyeliner and tight leather pants were in vogue for men, while women were buzzing their hair and donning neckties. I’m convinced the entirety of the 80s took place in the proverbial closet. One side-by-side look at Boy George and Prince reveals the virtual impossibility of distinguishing gay from straight.
So, conveniently, the gay and lesbian community didn’t have to hide because the men were already in the closet rifling through their mother’s jewelry and ruffled blouses, while the women were slipping into Dad’s suits.
Our lady of the 80s may not have the most refined taste in duds, but at least she isn’t strapping on three-inch heels to iron and bake pies à la the ultra-traditional, painfully square Mother 50s. Don’t let our cross-dressing mom’s legwarmers fool you, she’s no slouch when it comes to progress–in fashion and in forward thinking.
Mama 80s is nothing if not funky, anything but boring and everything we were born into. All things considered, she wasn’t so bad—unless you mean bad in a good way. I wouldn’t trade her in for any other mom in history.