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Subject: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: eightiesfan on 05/06/04 at 8:23 am

I got the idea for this thread from a post over at the 2000's section of this messageboard which discussed how rude a lot of kids are today.  I think probably every generation has seen its share of mouthy, obnoxious teens.

When I was a high school freshman, a couple of kids in my Spanish class told the teacher to "Shut Up"; he eventually got so mad he walked out of the classroom, slamming the door - the whole class started cracking up (including me, I have to admit).  Another girl in this same class said "F*** You" to the teacher and got suspended for it.

All in all, I think the way children turns out depends largely upon the family environment they're raised in as well as the school system they're educated in.


Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: Chris MegatronTHX on 05/06/04 at 3:48 pm

Come on, you know the answer to this. 

And stop lying, you know no kid in the 80's ever used the "f-word".  Teenagers in the 80's never used bad words, they had too many morals to do something so evil.  Teens in the 80's always obeyed their parents, teachers, and other elders and were always respectful.  They sat upright in class, and the worst that happened in school was chewing bubblegum or speedwalking in the hall.  On the weekends kids in the 80's volunteered at the old folks home and did various other community service work.  No one didn't even have to lock their doors at night back in the 1980's.  There was no such concept as violence back then.  Evil did not enter humanity until the treachously heathen 1990's arrived, and we were expelled from the Garden of Eden that was the 80's.  You know it's true.   

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: rubixgirl on 05/07/04 at 8:01 am


All in all, I think the way children turns out depends largely upon the family environment they're raised in as well as the school system they're educated in.



I think you are very right about that in any decade. It also depend on how long a child is allowed to keep that innocence that determines how someone views their childhood too.
Even though the weapons/words,etc. may change, its really the same deep down issues of self esteem and being loved or not being loved enough.

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: Dagwood on 05/07/04 at 12:46 pm

We had our bad apples, but not as many as today....or they didn't advertise.  I had a pregnant friend my senior year (1989) and the kids treated her like she had a disease.  These days it seems like it isn't that big of a deal.  Heck, some of the schools have daycare for the students' children. 

Also, most of the teenagers I know today don't seem that afraid of their parents.  I was and still am afraid of mine.  My friend (that was pregnant our senior year) has a son that is very mouthy and disrespectful.  I wouldn't have dared talk to my mom like that.  Behind her back, yeah but not to her face. ;)

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: RockandRollFan on 05/07/04 at 6:15 pm

As far as my family goes, I couldn't tell you...my sons were little....born: Rich 2/82....Blaine-1/84...Paul 1/86...Randall 12/86 and Brian 10/88 :)

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: Sentimentalist on 05/09/04 at 3:49 am

Most kids didn't walk around looking like a bunch of thugs.  Old ladies used to invite a whole flock of us in for cookies and kool-aid.
God lyk!

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: JT74 on 05/09/04 at 7:25 am

In the '80s most people wore their shirts tucked in, jeans were tight as hell, and mullets weren't considered crimes of fashion.  There was also MUCH less interracial mingling...white kids stuck together and black kids stuck together.  At least in my area, there were no interracial relationships.  Teens of the '80s seemed to be much more mature as well; now it seems that being "goofy" is in style, and the goofier one acts the better. I also don't remember kids being as foul-mouthed as they are today, and smoking weed wasn't nearly as popular.  We grew up in the "Just Say No" era, but that's now a thing of the past.  My middle school had mandatory Just Say No classes that every student had to attend before going to high school. 

We also liked many of the things that current teens are into, such as video games, cars, and of course drinking.  Unfortunately, the most exciting games of the day were 8 bit Super Mario Brothers and Metroid.  Nintendo was king in the eighties, and gaming wasn't nearly as competitive as it is today. 

Good God I'm old!  I hadn't realized how much things have changed in the past 15 years.

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: RockandRollFan on 05/09/04 at 10:21 am


Most kids didn't walk around looking like a bunch of thugs. 

I think those big pants make them look like they have a "Load" in there :P

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 05/09/04 at 12:13 pm

Are kids and young adults more promiscuous today than they were in the '80s?  It seems like the "total slut" is role model of aspiration for young women.  They guys just seem like a bunch of dopes.  Present company excluded, of course.
8)

It also seems like there's no "character education" anymore.  Selfishness, ahem, trumps all, and people don't respect others unless the fear them, or want something from them.

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: Dagwood on 05/09/04 at 6:20 pm


Are kids and young adults more promiscuous today than they were in the '80s?  It seems like the "total slut" is role model of aspiration for young women.  They guys just seem like a bunch of dopes.  Present company excluded, of course.
8)

It also seems like there's no "character education" anymore.  Selfishness, ahem, trumps all, and people don't respect others unless the fear them, or want something from them.


I don't know how it was everywhere else, but being a "slut" in our school wasn't cool...you were ostracized.  It seems different these days, but I can't say for sure considering the fact that I am not in high school.

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: JT74 on 05/09/04 at 6:33 pm


Are kids and young adults more promiscuous today than they were in the '80s?  It seems like the "total slut" is role model of aspiration for young women.


People talked about sex among their friends, but it wasn't something that was worn on their sleeves like it is today.  It was usually the good looking girls who were called sluts by the "average" girls (jealous), and then the guys would chime in.  Being permiscuous wasn't encouraged, but what people did behind closed doors is anyone's guess. 

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: goodsin on 05/29/04 at 9:12 am

I can only speak for my experience of being a teenager in the UK- teenagers tended to dress with musical trends (punk- bondage trousers, mohicans, safety pins etc; gothic- black clothes, eyeliner, tight jeans & long boots; new romantic- baggy trousers, flouncy shirts, big bleached & gelled hair; heavy metal-ist- tight stonewashed jeans, long hair(generally prepared with old engine oil, often in a 'mullet' stylee), leather/ denim jacket & basketball boots), or in any combination of the above & more. Sticky chemical hair gel/hairspray was used in abundance, possibly causing the wave of panic about the ozone layer. Some boys used to wear eye liner, but generally the braver New Romantics or the Goths were the only people whom this became widespread among. Facial piercing wasn't nearly so common, I had my nose done in '86 & was the only male I knew for ages who had anything other than ear piercings...
Teenagers still had 'attitude' in those days, but it was focussed slightly differently. Promiscuity wasn't particularily cool, AIDS was a new & frightening thing, and promiscuity wasn't as celebrated amongst teens as it seems to be today. Drugs didn't seem to be so easily available, and certainly there were very few cases of arrests being made for drug sale in schools, whereas these sort of arrests are fairly commonplace nowadays. Solvent abuse was pretty common amongst those predisposed to getting high. Crack was virtually unheard of, although Cocaine did make it big with the 'Yuppie' businessman crowd. Teens liked under-age alcohol drinking, as they do today...it always used to be a bit of a challenge to see who could get served at local off licences/ pubs.
Having reflected on the above, it doesn't look like much has changed...apart from the length of some peoples hair....  ;D

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: BlaznFattyz on 05/29/04 at 10:06 am

us teenagers were too  busy being into all the new things that were happening in the 80's .  we didnt have time to be jerks.

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: Dagwood on 05/29/04 at 10:29 am

I don't know...I knew some jerks.  I don't think any era is without jerks.

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: Bonnie Petitte on 05/29/04 at 10:38 am

Every era definately has it's jerks.  I don't think 80's teenagers were really any different from the kids of any other time.  They're around 35 now so people just think they were different, and that they must have acted the way they do now back then.  But a 35 or 36 year old today still acted like kids when they were 15 back in the mid 80's.

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: AL-B on 05/29/04 at 12:01 pm


Teens of the '80s seemed to be much more mature as well; now it seems that being "goofy" is in style, and the goofier one acts the better.
I was a "goofy" kid back in the 80's (and still am, at heart). And that didn't fly back then. I always hated how all these preppy jerks tried so hard to act "mature." Whenever you'd get one of them alone they'd lighten up a bit but when they were all together they'd put up their fronts. I tried for a little while to be like that so I could "fit in" but I've never been any good at pretending to be something that I'm not. When people would call me "goofy" I used to get upset by it.  Now I think of it as a badge of honor.  To me, being goofy means having the courage, no...the BALLS not to be a slave to what others think about you, and not having to go through life trying to act macho or cool all the time and instead just being yourself.

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: JT74 on 05/29/04 at 9:51 pm

^^I agree...everyone should be themselves, but in the 80's (and previous decades I might add), being oneself wasn't easy.

I admire the teens of today.  They don't have as much pressure to conform to everyone else as we did.  If someone didn't conform back then they were called geeks, dirtbags, fags, sluts, and every other negative connotation you can think of.  Kids of today are definitely more tolerant of different types of people then they were in the 80's.

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: bige31001 on 05/29/04 at 10:20 pm

I grew up in the 80's. I like to say I don't remember anybody ever doing somthing like to a teacher. I think we respect them a lot. I listen to a lot a music. Anything I could get my hands on. Fashion was a big thing too. I remember my first pair of parachute pants. Wore a lot clothes that had snaps on them. Girls with big hair. I was  a military brat and no matter where we move girls always had big hair. I could go on forever but every generation has to define itself.

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: Koop on 05/29/04 at 11:34 pm

One difference that I can think of between the way things were in the 80's when I was a teen and now, I would not have ever even THOUGHT about talking back to an adult, especially my mother.  These days, I hear teens in stores, etc doing it quite a bit.

Another thing, I dyed my bangs fuschia at the beginning of my junior year.  I came close to being suspended for that.  Nowadays, odd or strange hair doesn't seem to be an issue.

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: cheryl on 06/13/04 at 2:15 am

Well, since I was a teenager in the 80's, I guess I can add some input. It seems, lookin back, that it was very mild. At the time it didnt seem that way though. I listened to heavy metal & rock music, thoroughly ENJOYED seeing the guys in long hair & tight jeans. I dressed like a total slut in tight short skirts. I used to melt my black eyeliner before I put it on so it would be darker & not wear off. I look back at this & think how dangerous that was! I had the typical 80's big hair. Lol, I used so much hairspray. Admit it ladies of the 80's, Aqua net extra super hold!!! I was never seen outdoors without makeup, I acted bad in public but at home with my family, I never swore. I still dont cuss in front of my family. My mom wouldnt even let me say fart or whisper, it was rude. It is funny how back then you could act one way & then let that act down & be yourself when you wanted to. Kids now dont do that, they act big & bad & never change it. When I dressed & acted like a slut, I actually wasnt. I didnt even kiss anyone till I was 17. As a matter of fact the first boy I kissed & then a year later he was my first sex partner, then I was stupid & got pregnant cause I didnt know anything. But I did marry my long haired, tight jeans, rocker boyfriend & we have added 3 more kids to the first. Now my oldest is going to be 14 next month, he & his brother who is age 12, are so much different than our generation & it doesnt seem like it was that long ago. My oldest likes to listen to the rap music, wears his pants with the crotch at the knee, & has that all around nasty little punk attitude. He is obsessed with wanting to have sex & he keeps getting condoms & magazines from somewhere. I have 2 daughters, age 10 & almost 5, & I worry about them getting older. In the jr high school, the girls wear such revealing clothes, g-strings & heels. Kids now just dont have any morals I think. My slut look from the 80's would be conservative compared to now. Dont you just want to go back to the 80's & stay there? Every once & a while I get out my headbangers ball tapes that I recorded & sit back & watch. All of the fun times come flooding back & it is so comforting. I just cant believe that my kids are total opposites of me & I wonder how I raised these kids to be like this. The stuff that comes out of their mouths! My oldest is good for telling his father that he never knows when to shut his mouth! My mother would have put her fist down my throat or my father would have taken off his belt. I think that is the problem with kids today, not enough disipline. But you cant paddle them like we got paddled without someone calling childrens services on you. Kids dont respond with time outs & that old saying, oh kids will be kids. They are all spoiled & dont know what it means to work hard for something. My dad dug graves to give me & my sister $7.00 a week for lunch at school. I used to complain about my life & it seems like the older I get the more homesick I get to go back to the 80's.              Cheryl

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: Sentimentalist on 06/23/04 at 6:04 pm

I will bet that Sci-fi fans now don't get beaten up nearly as much as they did in the 80s!
God lyk!

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 06/23/04 at 9:59 pm

Cheryl wrote: Dont you just want to go back to the 80's & stay there?
Oh no! Oh no no no!  I have recurring nightmares in which I have to go back to my old high school, or junior high, or back to the grocery store I worked at in the '80s.  These are terrible dreams, but at least I get to go wearing my trousers, unlike in the nightmares I had about the places back then!
:o
If I could take the person I am now with me and go back to 1982 and start over, well that's a different kettle of fish!

Every once & a while I get out my headbangers ball tapes that I recorded & sit back & watch. All of the fun times come flooding back & it is so comforting.

I think every generation once they get into their 30s and 40s feels this way about their youth.  I got sooo sick of baby boomers prattling on and on about the fabulous '60s.  I get the same feeling of comfort watching John Hughes movies or listening to Ultravox or Siouxsie and the Banshees, but I know it's only nostalgia, only illusion.  For me, the good old days were not so good.

I just cant believe that my kids are total opposites of me & I wonder how I raised these kids to be like this. The stuff that comes out of their mouths! My oldest is good for telling his father that he never knows when to shut his mouth! My mother would have put her fist down my throat or my father would have taken off his belt. I think that is the problem with kids today, not enough disipline. But you cant paddle them like we got paddled without someone calling childrens services on you.

Well, I'm not a parent and have no desire to become one.  However, I don't believe domestic violence is ever the answer.  Kids dont respond with time outs & that old saying, oh kids will be kids. They are all spoiled & dont know what it means to work hard for something. My dad dug graves to give me & my sister $7.00 a week for lunch at school. I used to complain about my life & it seems like the older I get the more homesick I get to go back to the 80's.               Cheryl

"Kids today have no respect" was the older generations' mantra when I was a kid.  The thing is, I agreed with them back then, and I agree now.  I can't explain it quite.  My parents were pretty darn poor role models, but I was generally courteous and respectful to adults.  After the age of about 11, I wasn't disruptive in school, I didn't shoplift, and I didn't vandalize.

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: Atari on 06/23/04 at 11:30 pm

Early 80s- computer geek. I was into video games in a BIG way and was writing my own on my high school's Radio Shack computers. I was neither popular nor unpopular. I just didn't fit anywhere, which was cool.

Later 80s (1983 on)- I was a rock n roller. Long hair, played guitar, wore a long leather trench or some leopard print "cloak", fake leather pants with bandannas tied around them, shirts with no sleeves, and snakeskin boots. Metal ruled my world until Bon Jovi came along and ruined it for me (well, not really, but those guys were too pretty for my taste). Again, I didn't fit anywhere except with the other rockers, and barely then. And I was happy that way.

I had a little fun back then. Did acid once in 1983 and it scared me so bad, I never touched it again. I smoked a bit of weed, but it made me sick so I didn't smoke it that much. I drank a lot of beer then, and my small frame would only take a few before I'd barf it all up. Then I'd start over :)

I miss those days. Although my parents were ineffectual losers, (I still turned out better than them, much to their dismay... it's great), I had some great times then.

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: eighties lady on 06/23/04 at 11:36 pm


Well, since I was a teenager in the 80's, I guess I can add some input. It seems, lookin back, that it was very mild. At the time it didnt seem that way though. I listened to heavy metal & rock music, thoroughly ENJOYED seeing the guys in long hair & tight jeans. I dressed like a total slut in tight short skirts. I used to melt my black eyeliner before I put it on so it would be darker & not wear off. I look back at this & think how dangerous that was! I had the typical 80's big hair. Lol, I used so much hairspray. Admit it ladies of the 80's, Aqua net extra super hold!!! I was never seen outdoors without makeup, I acted bad in public but at home with my family, I never swore. I still dont cuss in front of my family. My mom wouldnt even let me say fart or whisper, it was rude. It is funny how back then you could act one way & then let that act down & be yourself when you wanted to. Kids now dont do that, they act big & bad & never change it. When I dressed & acted like a slut, I actually wasnt. I didnt even kiss anyone till I was 17. As a matter of fact the first boy I kissed & then a year later he was my first sex partner, then I was stupid & got pregnant cause I didnt know anything. But I did marry my long haired, tight jeans, rocker boyfriend & we have added 3 more kids to the first. Now my oldest is going to be 14 next month, he & his brother who is age 12, are so much different than our generation & it doesnt seem like it was that long ago. My oldest likes to listen to the rap music, wears his pants with the crotch at the knee, & has that all around nasty little punk attitude. He is obsessed with wanting to have sex & he keeps getting condoms & magazines from somewhere. I have 2 daughters, age 10 & almost 5, & I worry about them getting older. In the jr high school, the girls wear such revealing clothes, g-strings & heels. Kids now just dont have any morals I think. My slut look from the 80's would be conservative compared to now. Dont you just want to go back to the 80's & stay there? Every once & a while I get out my headbangers ball tapes that I recorded & sit back & watch. All of the fun times come flooding back & it is so comforting. I just cant believe that my kids are total opposites of me & I wonder how I raised these kids to be like this. The stuff that comes out of their mouths! My oldest is good for telling his father that he never knows when to shut his mouth! My mother would have put her fist down my throat or my father would have taken off his belt. I think that is the problem with kids today, not enough disipline. But you cant paddle them like we got paddled without someone calling childrens services on you. Kids dont respond with time outs & that old saying, oh kids will be kids. They are all spoiled & dont know what it means to work hard for something. My dad dug graves to give me & my sister $7.00 a week for lunch at school. I used to complain about my life & it seems like the older I get the more homesick I get to go back to the 80's.               Cheryl


Cheryl, I'm not going to sit here and quote this and quote that because I pretty much agree with everything your saying and I AM a mother of 2 now and being a product of the 80's. ;)  I was the rebel without a cause type.  Now I'm the I don't even know what to call it type...all I know is I am thrilled with my kids though yes, they are mouthy at times.  My 12 year old and I have such a good relationship it's unbelieveable.  And I also have a wonderful 5 year old. ;) I am blessed in that way.  I know back when I was coming up in the 80's things were not as they are now.  We didn't have all the negative aspects of school shootings, internet stalking, etc.  It was a different time ... just like when I was growing up I always envied my older brothers and sisters who grew up in a better time (the 50's & 60's)  hmmmm seems like we just like to live in the past in that aspect.  Guess the grass isn't always greener in the future, huh?  But have heart, Cheryl and continue to thank your Dad for what he has done for you.  Crazy the stuff I do now for my kids and have since I had my first, I wouldn't trade a bit of it though because I did live thru that time and know how things are supposed to be. ;)  My Dad used to say, You reap what you sow.  I know he was right.  And sadly I lost him a year and a half ago.  He was by far the wisest person I've ever known. ;)

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: Gtaman56 on 07/25/04 at 12:03 am

I am 15 and I know what you guys are talking about, every one these days thinks they are rappers. I just wish I was back in the 80's so I could have seen everything back then.

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: AnchorBay1986 on 07/25/04 at 5:04 am

evey girl wore Jordache jeans, and us guys  had a z28 or trans am  Z28 FOR ME  NOW ON MY 5TH AND 6TH, 81 AND 97.  ALSO GLASSPACKS AND AIR SHOCKS  AND NO SUCH THING AS EXTACY WAS AROUND  UNFORTUNATELY  MY FRESHMAN AND SOPHOMORE  YEARS OUR SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS WERE DUSTURBED BY  THE  THEN NEW  HIV AND AIDS !  BIGTIME BUMMER

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: Jason Walker on 11/24/05 at 4:38 am

I was a teenager in the 80's from 1986 ( 13 yrs ) to 1989 and all i remember was it was a time when we had some real good music..dumb movies....dumb parents.....and some dumb mates....thankgod the 1990's came around and we all grew up some more..LMAO

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 11/24/05 at 5:05 am


evey girl wore Jordache jeans, and us guys

Subject: Re: What were teenagers like in the '80s?

Written By: Bratpac on 12/01/05 at 9:26 pm

I knew some obnoxious kids in school but they only went so far.  I think perhaps in the last couple of generations the expectations of been lowered compared with my parents and theirs.  There were certain things you just didn't do.  I remember the first cuss word I ever said was when I was 16 and before then I spelled it out ha ha.  Now I hear kids saying them at 2 in some cases.  Then again like the famous words of the janitor of Breakfast Club "the kids haven't changed, we have."  Perhaps that's true too. 8)

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