The Weekend Shift: Some '80s trends are better left in the past

The 1980s have come and gone twice already. Once in reality, and again in a nostalgic comeback several years ago, when we Gen X-ers were starting to relate more to the show Thirtysomething than we did to Facts of Life. But, you take the good, you take the bad ... or so Mrs. Garrett would have us believe.

Actually, we left out a lot of things when we brought back the ‘80s. Let’s take a moment to revisit some of the forgotten little gems that era gave us — a few of the cultural fads that didn’t make the cut.

We skipped bringing back the fantastically awful hair we had back then, when Aqua Net cornered the hairspray market and worked beautifully to produce the cemented poof-o’-bangs us gals wrangled each morning. We rocked feathered mullets, perms and jheri curls and each of these hairstyles worked to make our Glamour Shots the delights to behold they still are today.

While mustaches have regained popularity, gone are deep-dark tans and straight dudes in short-shorts (save the occasional leather-skinned, pot-bellied senior at the beach). Shoulder-padded blazers on women are best left in the ‘80s, because looking like a triangle in primary colors is, and was, like, totally bogus.

No more brightly dyed lucky rabbit’s feet. Anyway, they weren’t even really lucky. So. Plus, we had far less regard for the rights of rabbits to keep their feet in the ‘80s.

Breakdancing was fun and unique, and yet it seems it’s becoming a lost art. Sure, a few bad-asses are doing it, but back in the day every kid on the street was outside trying to be all Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. Technology has diminished the need for boom-boxes and cassettes. But fuckin’ A, that shit was fresh.

Unicorns are popular-ish again, but Pegasus is nowhere to be found. And it’s shameful that we forgot the Unipeg — the ultimate in equestrian fantasy — for we boldly imagined the merging of the unicorn and the pegasus to create the magnificent flying unicorn. Unipegs were bad-as-all.

Remember Max Headroom and Spuds Mackenzie? Those guys were the coolest in their day. Everyone wanted to hang out with them. Now they’re probably out there at a busy intersection holding a sign that says, “Why lie? I need a beer.”

Nobody wants a waterbed anymore. (Maybe more confounding is that we wanted them in the first place.) 

And where are the guys who are willing to wear spandex, full make-up and big hair while they belt out love ballads with other dudes in spandex, full make-up and big hair? Sure, hair bands were no Zeppelin, but they rode the wave until it crashed into the jagged cliffs of Nirvana. And we loved all of it in our tight stone-washed jeans.

And speaking of painted on jeans, where is the love for Billy Ocean?

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