I have collected a bunch of toys from my childhood home (Star Wars figures, Matchbox cars, Legos, my Atari 2600). This got me thinking about my childhood. I was born in the early 70s and grew up in the 80s, a generation x baby. Demographers, historians and commentators use beginning birth dates from the early 1960s to the early 1980s to mark the Gen X babies.
Instead of being glued to electronics all the time, we spent time going outside to play games like Tag, Red Light Green Light and Mother May I to kick the can, spin the bottle and truth or dare when we got a little older. We rode our big wheels, played whiffle ball or stick ball. We went to the school yard or went over to a friends house.
In the 80’s we had TV’s that requited you to get up off your rump to go change one of 7 channels, yes 7. We had 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13 and the greatest part were there was always something on TV worth watching. Now we have hundreds of channels and kids seem to be bored. Then again they didn’t have great TV shows like The Dukes of Hazzard, The A Team, MacGyver, The Cosby Show, Who’s The Boss, Different Strokes, Growing Pains, Family Ties and Full House just to name a few. Or movies like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Pretty in Pink and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Revenge of the Nerds.
We also had a style all our own. Hair in the 1980s was generally big, curly, bouffant and heavily styled for girls. This was in contrast to the long and straight style worn in the 1970s. Guys
The 1980s brought an explosion of colorful styles in men’s clothing. The look of several popular TV stars helped to set fashion trends among young men. Miami Vice was one such series, whose leading men donned casual t-shirts underneath expensive suit jackets—often in bright or pastel colors worn with capezios. The t-shirt-with-designer-jacket look was often accompanied by jackets with broad, padded shoulders, and a few days’ growth of facial hair, dubbed “designer stubble”, a look popularized by the series’ leading man Don Johnson.
These are just a few things about growing up in the 1980s. Did you grow up in the 80’s? Share your favorite 80’s memories in the comments section down below. If you want to share photos, send them to me on twitter (@theguycornernyc) and use #tgcNYC80s