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In the mid-1960s, fashions were fairly straightforward:
By the mid-1970s, things had changed a bit:
And after that, by the mid-1980s, things had changed again:
1965 to 1985 is a period of 20 years. And the people in those pictures look like they’re from different planets. It’s just amazing how fast fashion changed over only 20 years.
Of course, those 20 years were a time of great social upheaval, so such changes are not all that surprising.
Check out this picture from a TV show in 2003:
And then check out the fashions in this TV show today, 20 years later:
Oops — I got them reversed.
But it doesn’t really matter. Fashions would seem to have changed very little in the past 20 years. Certainly nothing like the changes I showed above, from 1965 to 1985.
There have been some fashion changes recently, of course. Lots more beards and tattoos. And there have been changes in men’s fashion as well.
But again, compared to the changes from 1965 to 1985, it would seem that the changes in fashion are much, much more subtle. I wonder why that is?
I’ve seen discussions on this topic around the web over the past few months. Lots of theories. None of them make much sense to me. Who knows, I suppose. Maybe it’s meaningless — maybe it just doesn’t matter.
But one reason I find this so odd is that over the past 20 years, we’ve seen absolutely enormous changes in our culture, our politics, our technologies, our social cohesion (or now, our lack thereof), and so on and so forth. But to look at our fashions, you’d never know that anything happened at all — everything looks the same.
Our music hasn’t changed much, either. I looked up what the number one song was exactly 20 years ago, and found that it was a collaborative effort from three artists seeking a greater understanding of the profound philosophical challenges that face each succeeding generation. The three artists were P. Diddy, Nelly, and Murphy Lee, and they produced the timeless classic, “Shake Ya Tailfeather.”
I listened to it, and to my untrained ear, it could be released today — I’m around a lot of current music because of my kids, and this sounds like (and I mean exactly like) what they listen to.
Imagine the top songs from 1965, like “Help” from The Beatles, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” from The Righteous Brothers, and “My Girl” from the Temptations. Compare them to top songs from 1985, like “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham, “Shout” by Tears for Fears, and “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds.
There are a lot of similarities between the music of the ’60s and the music of the ’80s — but a very different sound.
The rendition of “Shake Ya Tailfeather” by Mr. Diddy, et al., sounds very, very similar to stuff on the radio now, 20 years later.
So, our culture, politics, and society have changed profoundly over the past 20 years. I mean, check out The Babylon Bee headline in the picture. Can you imagine either of those events happening in 2003?
Many of us live much of our lives in virtual worlds like Instagram and Facebook that didn’t exist 20 years ago — that’s an incredible social change. Our society is falling apart at the seams — half the citizens of America think that our most recent President should die in prison, mostly because they don’t like him. Our political discourse appears to be controlled by the interests of transsexuals, who few people had heard of in 2003. Supporters of the Democratic Party burned cities across the country for months during our last election.
The unthinkable has become commonplace, in one social arena after another. Things are changing so fast. It’s bonkers now. Everything is so, so different.
But our fashion and music are really no different at all. You’d never know anything had changed.
I wonder why that is?Published in