The 80s Valley Girl

HThe 1980s brought upon a new style, language, and just a way of life: the Valley Girl.

The term ‘Valley Girl’ originated in the 1970s, but was at its peak in the 1980s and it referred to a socio-economic class of middle and upper-class white women living in the San Fernando Valley, California. Over time, the traits and behaviors of Valley Girls represented a bunch of spoiled, ditzy girls most interested in shopping, appearance, and social status. They even had their own dialect, referred to as Valleyspeak. (Ex. Like, as if!)

Want to speak like a Valley Girl?! Click here for some tips on learning the lingo.

In 1981 came the release of a hit single by Frank Zappa entitled “Valley Girl,” on which Moon Zappa, Frank’s 14-year-old daughter, delivered a monologue of meaningless phrases in Valleyspeak behind the music. This song made some phrases famous, like “grody to the max”. Some of the terms used by Moon were not actually Valley phrases, but were surfer terms instead (ex. “tubular” and “gnarly”). But because of the song’s popularity, some of these surfer phrases actually entered the speech of real Valley teens.

Here’s the song:

The 1995 film, Clueless, also featured a Valley Girl in the form of the main character, Cher (Alicia Silverstone)

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Cher uses the words “like,” “as if,” “whatever” and “duh” a good amount throughout the film. She also refers to attractive men and women as “bettys” and “baldwins.”

Here, we get a glimpse of some of her Valleyspeak:

Valspeak is also heard quite a lot in Bill and Ted’s Excellent AdventureBill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, and Wayne’s World.

There was also the movie, Valley Girl, which starred Nicholas Cage. It’s about Julie, a girl from the valley, who crosses, paths with a boy named Randy, a punk from the city. Their two worlds collide and love is found.

Now, clothing designers are even showcasing apparel following the Valley Girl trend…

by popular designer Wildfox

by popular designer Wildfox

Popular retailer NastyGal even did an entire Lookbook following the Valley Girl trend:

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See the entire collection here!

Oh and…

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‘Easy A’ Loves the 80s

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The 2010 teenage comedy, Easy A, is a happy-go-lucky romantic comedy about a high school teenager played by Emma Stone, who’s an innocent girl that uses her school’s rumor mill to make a name for herself. The film is designed to take after the famous novel, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, because Emma Stone commits fake acts of adultery to gain popularity and status, but instead she gains an awful reputation.
Notably, this film is partially known for all of its famous 1980s movie references. The main character, Olive, creates these web diaries in which she shares information about all her exploits. One web diary in particular features her referencing all the great ’80s movies about romance, in which she opens with, “Whatever happened to chivalry? Does it only exist in ’80s movies?”
Here’s that web diary:
All these iconic ’80s movie references, in order are:
Say Anything, 1989

Say Anything, 1989

Can't Buy Me Love, 1987

Can’t Buy Me Love, 1987

Sixteen Candles, 1984

Sixteen Candles, 1984

The Breakfast Club, 1985

The Breakfast Club, 1985

And finally, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, 1986

And finally, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986

Another subtle reference to an ’80s film occurs when the main character, Olive is sharing a moment with her love interest Todd. He lets her know he has fallen with her and over the radio we hear a Cary Brothers cover of the famous ’80s song “If You Were Here,” originally by Thompson Twins. This song is actually the song playing when Jake Ryan and Sam share their first kiss in Sixteen Candles!

Here’s the original song:
In the end of the film, Olive Pendergast does, in fact, get her perfect ’80s movie ending! We get 3 of those ’80s movie references again in this scene alone- Breakfast Club’s “Don’t You Forget About Me” is playing on the speakers Todd is holding over his head (Say Anything) and he even takes her on a lawnmower ride like in Can’t Buy Me Love. What a guy.
Here’s that final sequence:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKLX5Xfvte4
You’re welcome.

Speak & Spell

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The popular ’80s toy, the Speak & Spell, was an educational toy designed to teach kids how to spell words. It made its debut into the world in 1978, but peaked among the youth until the early ’90s. It was everything a parent could hope for in a toy: it educated children while they thought they were playing a game!

How does it work though? The Speak & Spell would speak a word and then ask the player to spell that word. You then would proceed to spell out that word using the keyboard, and following your anticipation, the “game” would let you know if you were correct or not.

The toy even had mini-games that came with the console such as “Mystery Word,” which worked like a game of Hangman.

Kids loved the fact that this toy could literally talk back to them, as other similar games invented prior did not have that capability. Commercials began to appear on TV…

One even featured Mr. Bill Cosby!:

Speak & Spell became a necessity for every 80s household, and we started to see it featured in popular movies and songs. For example, the Speak & Spell is what our favorite little alien E.T. used to “phone home!” (Noteworthy: Mary saying “Ouuuuuch”)

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He makes a makeshift communicator to talk to his family on his home planet, and here we see the famous Speak & Spell as a key component of it, because, how else would you contact life on another planet?!

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Similarly, we see the Speak & Spell makes a (slightly horrifying) appearance in the third installment of the Poltergeist series, Poltergeist III, starring the late Heather O’Rourke in 1988. Before the spirits come out to mess with her, she is playing with her Speak & Spell.
Now, the Speak & Spell is still around for newer generations, with an iPhone/iPad app!
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Not quite the same, but still cool.
You’re welcome.

 

Jellies: Making a Comeback?

The 80s were an era of great shoe fashion and it was then that women were lining up to buy the newest craze: Jellies.

Jelly Shoes

All the celebrities were wearing them and they appealed to many different age groups when they peaked. They are made from a material called jelly rubber, and came in a wide variety of colors and patterns, some even with sparkles. Although the term ‘jelly rubber’ sounds like it would be comfy, I can attest to the fact that the shoes are anything but. They often contributed to a great deal of blisters, and when the weather was hot these shoes became a slip ‘n slide for your feet.

Jellies, for the most part, tend to have flat soles, but chunky heels have since also been made available. Girls have decorated them with stickers, flowers, and other motifs to make them a little more personal. Glitter was most popular in the 80s, but some designers put objects in the jelly such as little plastic fish and other geometric shapes.

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Glitter, glitter, and more glitter

Not only are these shoes fashionable, but they are also practical. For example, if you ever want to indulge in some casual wading around in a river or stream, these shoes are perfect. They will protect your feet from little rocks while draining out water, and when you’re on land your feet will be dry in no time.

So, are they making a comeback? Some of these celebrities have recently been caught sporting this old 80s fad around.

First, we have Azealia Banks:

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Kylie Jenner:

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And lastly, Anne Hathaway:
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These stars are all about their Jellies, but are you?
Many retail stores today are selling these shoes, but they are not as easy to come by as they were in the 80s.
However, retail outlet ASOS has a version of the clear gladiator-looking Jellies here, but if glitter’s more your thing, you can buy the same pair covered in glitter from the trendy website, TopShop, here.
You’re welcome.

The Goonies To Return?

The Goonies

Richard Donner, director of the successful cult children’s film, The Goonies, recently announced that a sequel has been confirmed! Also famous for directing the Superman  and Lethal Weapon movies, among others, Donner’s The Goonies still has a high fan base today, with many excited fans anticipating a sequel.

Richard Donner circa 1987

The original Goonies first hit the big screen in 1985. In the movie, two brothers named Mikey and Brandon come from a family that gets caught up in a financial crisis because developers seek to destroy their home and build a golf course in place. To save their home and stop their family from moving, these guys team up with an adventurous group of friends and find themselves on a treasure hunt. Mikey had discovered a map in his family’s attic and from thereon out, the crew sets out on a quest with the guidance of famed “One-Eyed Willy” to find his hidden fortunes. However, this cavern that holds their sought after treasure ends up being beneath an estranged family, The Fratellis, who threaten the kids throughout the film and want nothing but money (Gekkoism, anyone?) so they also seek the hidden treasure when they hear of its existence. The movie sets up lots of laughs along the way, with mishaps and adventures lurking in every corner of their adventurous journey. Also, hidden in the Fratelli’s basement is the infamous character the gang stumbles upon named ‘Sloth,’ and he’s creepy looking, but a dude you definitely want on your team.

Here’s Sloth saving the day:

As for the sequel, Donner told gossip site TMZ that he hoped to bring back all the stars for a follow-up. But what do they look like now? I bet you’re all as curious as I am so…

Here’s Chunk:

Then there’s Mikey:

And there’s Brand: (bit easier on the eyes)

Donner hopes that these stars, as well as some others, agree to come back together for a sequel after seemingly parting ways since the movie’s release date in 1985. Fingers crossed!

You’re welcome.

Fashion 101: The Cosby Sweater

The ever-so-suave Bill Cosby and The Cosby Show brought attention to an fashion trend that gained its popularity in the late 80s and early 90s: The Cosby Sweater. It was notorious for its array of asymmetrical patterns and abstract color schemes.

Still not ringing a bell? Maybe these photos will help…

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The Cosby Show, which ran on NBC from 1984-1992, depicts an upper-class African-African family living in Brooklyn and trying to deal with all the issues life throws at their family. Right from the start, Bill Cosby’s character, Cliff Huxtable, started wearing these outrageously colorful and innovative sweaters, and thus the “Cosby Sweater” was born. These sweaters worn by Cosby personified his character, making him appear as a friendly family man often caught up in his childlike actions and mannerisms.

But how did these sweaters get their start? In this video, the creator and Dutch fashion designer Koos van den Akker, goes into detail about his inspiration and creation of these infamous Cosby Sweaters here.

Not only did these sweaters add to the mise-en-scene on the Cosby Show, but many of them actually pertained to what was actually happening in each specific episode.

For example, this sweater was designed for an episode in which Cliff Huxtable runs track and field in a rematch with an old nemesis.

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And then there was that time when two jade-colored tigers that licked each other on a bed of hot lava..

Yeah, that one never happened. But anyway, as for this fashion trend, the Cosby Sweater also sparked creation of many other artistic ventures, such as band names. The song below is called “Huxtable Hustle” in light of the Cosby Show’s characters, and it surprisingly isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever heard.

Now, many of these Cosby Sweater-inspired creations are sold all over the world, and many sport this fashion, especially at “ugly sweater”-themed gatherings. They are for sale on the website Etsy, just to name one place. You can buy them here!

You’re welcome.