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Where Today’s Pop-Culture Got its Roots

Let’s face it, everybody loves the ‘80s — and if you don’t, you don’t realize that most of the pop-culture you consume today found its inspiration from the era of parachute pants and big shoulder pads.

Although we’ve forgone some of the fashion choices, signs of ‘80s nostalgia in pop-culture has outlasted the rolling 20-year cycle of pop-culture trends. Today, 38 years later, ‘80s culture is alive and well in movies, TV, and music; i.e. Stranger Things, The Blade Runner sequel, T. Swift’s album 1989. And those are just some examples.

So what gives? Why are we so much fonder of the ‘80s than any other decade?

Why Are We Reliving the ’80s?

A first look at the ‘80s may only yield loud clothes and bad hairdos. But upon a second glance, the ‘80s reveal a cultural richness unlike any other decade — starting with a music revolution that changed the name of the game.

Wild Confidence (And Hair)

Artists like Prince, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Whitney Houston had an irresistibly wild confidence that defined the era. Synth pop helped establish the synthesizer as a primary instrument in mainstream music as bands like the Talking heads and Duran Duran took center stage. Rock was at an all-time high with the likes of Van Halen, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, and Guns n’ Roses. Run-D.M.C. broke hip-hop into the mainstream and it stayed there — becoming the staple genre for radio today.

Political Intrigue

The ‘80s were also a time of political intrigue and technological innovation that has become the plot of extraordinary television airing today, such as The Americans and Halt and Catch Fire. Not only that, but classic ‘80s movies and television retain a charm that transcends time like Back to the Future, the Princess Bride, and Moonlighting.

Technological Developments

The technological developments made in the ’80s have undoubtedly shaped the world we live in today. It was the first time we as a population were exposed to the mass-media immersion that we take for granted nowadays. We can now recall the iconic moments of the 80’s with the click of a mouse, which might explain why we still feel culturally connected to the decade.

Good Ol’ 80s Nostalgia

The ‘80s offers an escape to our younger selves and to the last full decade before the internet staged a coup on our attention spans. There is something about the ‘80s that still remains a novelty, from fashion choices to the new sounds of the time — so there will always be much to choose from when considering what to wear for your next ‘80s-themed party.

Join Arthur Murray Central New Jersey in celebrating the ‘80s on July 13th for our Spotlight Night. Relive classic songs that have shaped our lives, as a population and personally. Channel your inner Madonna or Axl Rose, or just have fun with neon colors and teasing your hair. Most importantly, dance and appreciate what the ‘80s did and is still doing for us!

Written by Jindalae Suh for Arthur Murray Central New Jersey