Every decade has those shameful fads that it wishes would just go away. The 1980s seem to have more than its fair share, what with the hair, shoulder pads, neon, etc. Even though it seems like the people of the time embraced these oddities open-armed, I’m here to say that while we felt the pressure to ride the trend, we did question many of them and sometimes just stood back and shook our heads (while we applied yet another coat of goopy lip gloss).
Seems like a great idea, right? A no fuss, all-in-one garment that’s great for any occasion, right? Don’t be fooled — jumpsuits don’t look good on anyone. So unless you’re one of the original Charlie’s Angels, an auto mechanic, or maybe a member of ABBA , jumpsuits are off limits.
“It’s a Town Car AND a Country Car”
Always pictured on a nice estate with a guy in a tux, the Crysler LeBaron never looked new. It had cheap fake wood sides, looked like a piece of junk right off the lot and . . . it’s a wagon for heaven’s sake! Who wears a tux and drives a wagon? This was an early 80s attempt at being “retro” and it failed miserably.
Making Lamps Out of Anything and Everything
This was the hobby of the 1970s homemaker. I can remember my friend’s mom gutting an old candlestick phone while I sat in her kitchen eating a snack after school. There were garden gnome lamps, a barrel lamp, lamps made out of vases . . . the possibilities are endless.
Cheesy Posters of David Hasselhoff
My best friend in high school had a poster in her room of David Hasselhoff, naked, with puppies strategically placed. She said she hung the poster as a joke, but I always wondered. He really seems to capture the “come hither” look, don’t you think?
The Village People
Shirts open to their navels, dressed in tight, elaborate, over-the-top (did I mention tight?) costumes, they had big hits like “YMCA” and “Macho Man.” I didn’t know anyone that actually “got” them or felt they understood. Never mind, we still love the songs!
Creepy 80s Pseudo Sci-Fi TV Shows Involving Puppets from Space and Child Robots
The TV shows “Alf” and “Small Wonder” are among the most embarrassing representatives of 1980s broadcasting. Inane, low budget, an absurd premise, bad scripts and ridiculous plots are what these two shows had in common.
In “Alf” an extra-terrestrial hand operated puppet crash lands in the Tanner family garage in the San Fernando Valley. He is the last survivor of his species (it’s hard to feel sad about that once you’ve seen a few episodes) and he hides out in their kitchen while waiting to repair his spacecraft. Not sure where he’s going since his home planet was destroyed. His adopted family fears what will happen to them if it gets out they’re housing an alien, yet they grow to love him despite his “culture shock, survivor guilt, general boredom, despair, and loneliness” (Wikipedia).
“Small Wonder” — meet the Lawsons: Dad is an engineer who decides to create a 12 year old automaton girl. She is kept in a box when not in use. The family regularly exploits her by using her superior but undependable knowledge on get rich quick schemes that never pan out. She has various outlets, sockets and ports on her body. She is void of emotion and speaks in a monotone voice. Is anybody else thinking that it’s really creepy that a grown man chooses to make a robot in the form of a 12 year old girl?
Those are my picks — what are the 70s or 80s fads that you’d like to forget?