Born In The Wrong Era
How often have we said to ourselves "I was born in the wrong decade"? Well if you're me, it's really often. In this fast paced world of technology, media invading our lives like never before, generic bands flying off the conveyer belt like the chocolate scene in I Love Lucy and regurgitated modern fashion lacking much innovation, it's hard for me to gain focus on what these modern times are all about besides money, fame, power and STUFF. How is a simple girl like me supposed to get my bearings in a world obsessed with never touching the ground?
Usually when I hear someone declare that they should have been born in a different decade, it's when I'm zipping a woman into a dress at the vintage clothing boutique where I work. She sees the dress come to life on her body and, for a few moments, she exists in the 1940's. It's all about the clothes. For me, it's about craving the atmosphere of a simpler time (okay, and the clothes).
Long before we had all the information in the world at our nimble fingertips, anything from how to fix a bicycle, to what Angelina Jolie likes on her toast, we had to venture out into the world and learn things for real. If we wanted to fix our bicycle, we had to go find and interact with someone who knew how. And as far as Angelina's toast goes, well, we just didn't fucking care. The media wasn't making us believe that it's important (it's not, by the way). How refreshing is that?
My decades of choice? The 1920's and the 1960's both encompassed a certain balance of simplicity and advancement that intrigue me. Both saw dramatic upheaval in social progress. Both saw women cast off their bras, along with all other pesky barriers separating them from the menfolk. Both openly embraced African American culture, music, interracial relationships and took great leaps in the civil rights movement. Of course not everyone during these times accepted this growth, but it gave the rest of us things to work toward and things to take a stand against. Go underdogs!
Now let's talk about the fashion. Ah, the glorious things we adorned ourselves with in those magical times! The ethereal barely-there frocks, and beaded gowns of the 20's, and the colorful, kaleidoscopic prints splashed upon the silhouettes of the 60's. Both decades invented new ways to wear things, and embraced styles from the mysterious east. They adorned these outlandish ensembles with flowing scarves, piles of jewelry, and punctuated it all with defiantly artistic makeup. The style reflected the attitude of times: rebellious, bohemian splendor. How marvelous!
We can't travel back in time. Not today anyway. So what can we do, my decade-displaced friends? We can reflect. At least we live in a time where we can access the stories, the images, the music and some of the people who were around in the past we so romanticize. Take it in, learn what you can, and apply it where appropriate. Let it inspire you to make the days you spend in this century memorable, make things happen today. Someday our present will be someone else's desired place in time. These will be the good old days. Let's do what we can to make them count. And wear old clothes while we do it!
Images courtesy of Planet Oddity, "They Thought The Year 2000 Would Look Like This"