It is not a secret that trends have the tendency to reemerge after years of inactivity. It can be seen through items such as Rubik cubes and vinyl records, hair styles, clothing and accessories. It can also made apparent through our television shows and music. However, what I see as a returning trend is more or less, the return of an era of American history. I have to say, the fifties and sixties are coming back in full swing.
Truthfully, I was originally skeptical that an entire era could potentially reemerge in today’s day and age, but looking around, I see that is easy to compare today’s culture to that of the . Over the summation of this article, various aspects such as popular culture, political ideals, and social norms will be compared from today’s standards to that of the fifties and sixties as well as the potential causes.
I guess it would be best that I start with something that more people are familiar with, and that would be popular culture. One of the more noticeable trends, popular culture plays an active part in any society that permeates into people’s lives. It can vary from clothing styles, hair styles, behavior, music, television, and much more. To start off with, let’s discuss music shall we?
- Music– Some of the more common genres of the fifties and sixties were Jazz (Ex. John Coltrane), Doo-Wop (Ex. The Platters), and Rock and Roll (Ex. Elvis Presley). Each of these genres have had their respective peaks in popularity during throughout the fifties and sixties although they descended in popularity over the coming years to other genres such as Rock (Ex. AC/DC), Pop (Ex. Michael Jackson), Rap (Ex. Tupac Shakur), and others. The aforementioned genres did not die entirely, but were not in the central limelight. However, in recent years, there has been a resurgence of the use of Doo-Wop and Jazz in music in both background instrumentals and choruses as well as being the basis of the songs. With Doo-Wop, there is more of resurgence through the use of covers of popular songs. Music groups such as Scott Bradlee’s Post Modern Jukebox have created covers using Jazz and Doo-Wop as the basis for songs such as We Can’t Stop and Rude. However, other artists have used these genres as the basis for their songs such as Meghan Trainor, who has used Doo-Wop as the primary music genre in her song Dear Future Husband. In my opinion, this is a welcome change of pace in music. It is a dreadful idea that some of the classic music styles that our parents and grandparents had listened to before us could disappear.
- Hairstyles and Clothing– Modern fashion and style has often taken a page out of previous trends that were once popular. This is no different for the styles of the fifties and sixties. For hairstyles, there is a growing trend for men to have hair that is curtails to modern style and business etiquette. One of the styles would be ‘The Pomp’, a variant of the pompadour hairstyle that was made famous by musicians such as Elvis Presley. In the media, celebrities such as Sam Smith have been seen with this style. With this style, it is practical to the extent that it is low maintenance and easy to apply. However the reverse can be said for women’s hairstyles. There has not been a resurgence in women’s hairstyles as of yet. With clothing, popular fashions are also making a slower return in popularity for both genders. But it will still be some time before you see more people sporting poodle skirts.
- Political Ideals– Politics can be one of the most consistent notions imaginable as regimes and governments can remain the same for decades to come. One of the largest political fears of the fifties and sixties was the fear of nuclear war breaking out between the United States and the Soviet Union. While the concern over the United States and Russia using nuclear weapons has died down over the years, However, there is still an unease between the two countries as acts of cyber-war are being committed by both parties involved. Other countries such as North Korea and China have also committed cyber attacks for political and social means.
- Social Ideals– During the fifties and sixties, American society was in the midst of a social revolution as civil rights for the African American community began to rise with historic events such as the Rosa Parks bus protest and the rise of political figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. I am not going to say that the social protests rivaled that of the fifties and sixties, but the social protests that have occurred within the past few years were impressive nonetheless. Social movements such as the Occupy Wall Street movement shows that people are willing to voice their believes through protest. Through social media, social protest has become a powerful voice in changing social and political policies.
With trends and lifestyles that come back after years of underexposure, you have to ask “How do they come back?”. Truthfully, I don’t know the answer. If I did, I would try to make a small fortune. I think that it is a sense of nostalgia that these trends make the return that they do.