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)


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:

Screen shot 2014-06-07 at 11.46.21 PM

See the entire collection here!

Oh and…

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Things Kids from the 80s Can Only Remember

The Muppet Babies….I do not know… Apparently people argue that they were better than Arthur. I would have to disagree.

That Muppet Babies is greatest cartoon of all time (sorry, Rugrats ).

He-Man and She-Ra. They are brother and sister but people thought they were sucha hot couple together….interesting.

Even though they were brother and sister, you thought He-Man and She-Ra made a hot couple.

Th Cosby Show. One of the best TV shows ever. This one is not all about the 80s kids. I think many people know this one. Great great show!

"Must-see TV" meant The Cosby Show .

This one is very sad. But remembering where you were when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded. This is very similar to the explosion of the Space Shuttle Columbia on February 1st, 2003 when it exploded on re-entry.

Remembering where you were when the Challenger disaster happened.

The caption where is got this picture of the Breakfast Club, reads, “Trying to be as cool as the teens in John Hughes Movies.” Right on with this one. John Hughes movies, especially teen movies were great, really entertaining. I would be lying if I said I did not have interest in watching more of his films.

Aspiring to one day be as cool as the teens in John Hughes movies.

Pop Star movement. yup, defiantly do not remember this. Probably would not have taken notice or part of it anyways. Haha

Being either "Team Cyndi" or "Team Madonna."

The original Transformers Movie. So apparently Optimus Prime dies in this movie. Yeah I feel bad for the kids in the 80s who had to see this. He is such a boss. He saves the day in all the transformer movies nowadays! Cannot believe he died in this movie!

The emotional blow you felt when Optimus Prime died in The Transformers: The Movie .

The collecting of Garbage Pail Kids….what? I think it is a good thing that this only lasted for a short time in the 80s…

The joy of collecting Garbage Pail Kids and putting the stickers on your bedroom wall.

Hahaha this one made me laugh. I think this personifies the 80s for kids today and what our perception is. When i think of the 80s, I think of neon colors and outfits that make you stand out. Well, here it is. the neon biker or leggings that girls wore to school.

That it’s perfectly acceptable to wear neon spandex biker shorts with just a T-shirt to school.

Continuing the trend of 80s clothing, the pegs on your jeans. A staple in the 80s and still is today for kids who try to replicate that.

Taking that little extra time in the morning to get the perfect peg on your jeans.


What Fashion would you capture in the 80s?


Fashion in the 80’s was completely different then it is now. Women were styling with their scrunched up or poofy hair and huge gold hoop earrings, and a pearl necklace, while the men wore their sweaters around there neck and had fanny packs on their hips. We usually associate fanny packs with tourists  because when you go to a place filled with tourists now a days, you’re bound to see someone with a fanny pack, there’s no doubt in my mind. In this generation, fanny packs are associated with unfashionable or old people.


Other than having big curly hair, women, just likethose today, were really into their makeup.They wore bright and heavy makeup making sure everyone could see how beautiful and glamorous they were. Women usually wore light-colored lipstick and dark and think eyelashes. Women had a fashion statement and showed it to the world.


Some men in the 80s went to the preppy look. This included sweaters around their neck, turtle necks, khaki slacks, and polo shirts with a popped collar. Men went for an Ivy League college student with this look. They took on a more classy and conservative look for the ladies. The most popular brands worn by the preppy kids were Izod, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Brooks Brothers. This look made men seem more intelligent. I think it’s a fashionable look to a certain extent. I think popping your collar is too much and in this day and age the popped collar is associated with Frat boys. You can’t finish the preppy look without having the shoes to complete the outfit. You couldn’t wear the popular converse or newest Air Jordan shoes with a preppy out. That just doesn’t work. You have to be wearing loafers, or as must people know them, BOAT shoes. Without boat shoes you can’t pull off the look. They’re a necessity.




gay or preppy






Hair in Film: 80’s Glenn Close

So hair seems to play a much bigger role in characterizing characters in 80’s films than it does in film today.

Here are some examples:

In Fatal Attraction Glenn Close plays a crazy woman and thus her hair is pretty extreme. Through much of the movie it looks like you possibly shoved a finger in a light socket. It seems to get bigger the crazier she gets. You can compare this still of her first meeting with Douglas’ character:

close beg

where her hair is at least pulled away from her face and somewhat tame, to this photo as the movie has progressed and she has completely lost it:

close big

Seriously. She looks like someone styled her hair with some sort of electric shock instrument. It has become an entity unto itself. She literally could not play a sane person with this hair. I would not believe it.

Yes, the 80’s were seemingly dedicated to big hair, but in her other 80’s movies her hair is pretty tame in comparison. In Garp her hair is smoother in texture and tamed into a bun or updo.:garp

In The Big Chill her hair is curly, but it is styled into tight coils rather than frizzy craziness:


and in Jagged Edge, it is beyond tame. Smooth and styled to perfection:


Essentially her hair changes texture and style in extreme ways for each film, and this is not counting the period films she did in the 80’s. This is a huge contrast to an actress of today like Jennifer Aniston who has had literally the same hairstyle for almost every movie she has ever done.



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.


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:


Kylie Jenner:

And lastly, Anne Hathaway:
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.

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…



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.


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.

80’s clothes

80s-ClothingStyle-For-Men1         The clothes of the 80s are a lot different from the clothes that you see today. While doing research I noticed there was a huge range of fashionable clothing from baggy MC Hammer pants to bright, skin tight pants.  Other trends included shoulder pants, women’s legwarmers, huge earrings and accessories, and oversized clothing.  Just like today, fashion had a lot to do with what was out and that influenced what people were wearing. During the time that MC Hammer did his dance number on his music video, it was the baggy pants they got big and fashionable. Rock and roll played a huge factor in what people were wearing during the 80’s. During that time rock and roll was huge and if the singers up on stage were dressing a certain way then that transpired in to what people were wearing around that time. But, looking back I wonder if people in the 80’s were a lot less judgmental especially since people seemed to wear what they wanted, since the fashions looks like clothes were about having fun and looking out of control.


When we look back at these fashions now, some of them seem very ridiculous and I couldn’t believe that people wore them. For example, for a while in the 80’s they had the shoulder pad trend, and this was one of the bigger fashions especially women would follow; there would be shoulder pads on jackets, dresses, and shirts.  However, thinking back to how my generations and others talk about the shoulder pad trend, it seems like the majority of people not from this time have concluded that it was one of the worst fashions of the 80’s and potentially ever. Today the clothes that people wear are a lot more conservative and people like to dress in a way that is either really fashionable or dress in amore refined way that is kind of under the radar so to speak. But maybe people looking back at us in thirty years will also think that our fashion trends are ridiculous. Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 12.23.39 PM

Wealth and Social Status

Many of the films of the 80’s (and most from today for that matter) put a great emphasis on wealth. Wealth being the thing that controls whether one is going to be popular or well-liked. A few examples being Ferris Bueller, we can tell from his house and even Ferris’s dad’s office that the Bueller family has money. Ferris is also a very popular kid. Cameron too, he lives in a very nice house and his dad owns very nice cars and what do you know he is best friends with Ferris who is one of the most popular kids in school.

camerons-house2 ferris-bueller-250gt-804


Another example comes from Dirty Dancing in which you can see both the rich and the poor. You have Baby who comes from a very rich family and she is very pretty and all the boys want to talk to her. Her sister who is one of the most annoying characters but yet she is still popular. The father is the reason the entire movie takes place he is a well-liked man and it is a friend and patient of his that owns the resort that they go to. The other families that are at the resort are also very wealthy and you can see that this allows them to get whatever they want and in turn makes them popular around the resort. Then you have Johnny who has to work for a living and he doesn’t have money from the family and he is walked all over. His boss talks down to him and he is treated poorly.



In Sixteen Candles Jake Ryan is the most popular guy in school and what do you know he is also ridiculously wealthy. He drives a Porsche and has a huge house. A house that is sufficiently large enough to play host to party with all of the senior class along with some unwanted underclassmen. Even Jake Ryan’s girlfriend shows signs of having great wealth; from her perfect hair and perfect clothes.

Jake Ryan Jake's Girlfriend

Then from The Heathers the wealth of all the families involved is obviously the reason the Heathers and Veronica are popular. Their wealth is what gives them their social status. They have the money to have the latest clothes and the best hair products to make them the ideal women for that time period.


This can still be seen through in today’s movies as well. For examples, The Heathers sister movie Mean Girls also has very wealthy main characters–the wealth undoubtedly led to these girls becoming the “it” girls.

As you can see Regina drives the really nice car and has a really nice house and so obviously she must be the most popular girl in school.

I think the moral of this story is that you must be wealthy to be popular! Obviously because Hollywood has made this apparent for the last few decades. But according to this news story perhaps popularity is what brings the wealth not the other way around. That’s not the way Hollywood has long portrayed the role of money and wealth.



Make Up Of The 80’s

Coming out of the 70’s and into the 80’s there was a change in the make up women wore. In the 70’s there was a little color here and there with make up but it was primarily black eyeliner, a lot of it. But then here comes the 80’s and all of a sudden we have this explosion of color. We have colored everything! We have blue mascara and green eyeliner and rainbow eyeshadow. The main focus was on the cheek bones, this was done by applying an obnoxious amount of blush. This article really bluntly summarizes the general feel of 1980’s make up.


Of course, the hair most match the make up. There must be just as much hair as their is make up. The make up of the 80’s was brought up in 2004 with 13 Going On 30 when Jennifer Garner is dropped out of the 80’s into the modern era. She gets ready to go to a work party and cakes on the bright make up to match her equally bright dress.

Hollywood helped influence this make up trend (like the influence all make up trends). Ms. Madonna had a strong influence over the younger generations at this time. Here are a few picture of Madonna done up with the typical 80’s make up.

291863a madonna2

Janet Jackson also added to the bright ridiculous make up phase. She featured absolutely horrendous make in many of her popular music videos. The make up isn’t always worn by her but sometimes by everyone else in the video.

TV shows also reinforced the trend. Despite the horrible acting in Dynasty, the popular and wealthy women wore somewhat dramatic eye makeup and even more dramatic blush.

This sort of make up disaster era didn’t last long though. After a decade of bright everything, when the 90’s hit everything seemed to calm back down as we got back to  essentially natural everything with the exception of the black eyeliner.



Best 80’s Tumblrs

Check out these for inspiration for your avatar

Palm&Laser – 80’s graphics

Periodicult 80’s high fashion