So I’m an 80s baby that looked up to groups like Xscape and DC (Destiny’s Child) in the mid-late 90s as the ultimate trendsetters. Anybody else used to rock Tommy while thinking baggy jeans, polos, men’s Nautica and your dad’s V-neck sweaters were cool?! Did you have some fresh butter tims to make every high school friday night game outfit complete? Who didn’t do the Aaliyah swoop, like at least once on picture day? Mayn, those were the days! Is it just me or was pop culture then a little different than it was now?! Was there more diversity in the images and music..or has everything just evolved into new forms of the same today?! Sometimes..I think I’m just getting old. Because back in the day, I remember the older folks saying they didn’t understand us…that rap music bad, etc. and now I find myself doing the same. However, for some reason, I kinda think the facebook, myspace and twitter boom 90s babies are on a different spectrum of Millennialness than the 80s (and our cool friends that may be reading that were born in the 70s) kids!
We grew up listening to songs about love and relationships, with teenage girls that looked like grown folks..ie Monica Arnold coming out with “Just one of them days,” you know “don’t take it personaaaal..” at the age of like 13! Now, it’s a total different world with babies singing about “gucci this, gucci that, gucci erthang” (a song by the OMG Girlz for those who are not familiar with the hook…they’re in picture below). I strive to listen and understand the music of today because I want to be able to relate to the babies. I want to reach, connect and empower them to be their best selves…any school teachers or community servants out there feel me?! I can’t imagine growing up in the completely instantious society of today, hearing overtly sexual lyrics on the radio with corresponding vids on youtube and tweeting my life away from my cellphone at the age of like 11 (note: the “somebody rockin’ knockin da boots” video at least had a baseball bat and a pair of combat boots in it…people at least tried to be creative with masking the messages..no?..tehehe).
I’m just curious about the effects of today’s pop culture and digital media on current day tweens. When I have the opportunity to chat with some, it’s cool to hear them talk about the Cosby Show, Living Single and A Different World. I just wonder about the ones that think College Hill and Drumline were the first representations of HBCU life in television and film….bless their lil’ hearts! Reflect on your teenage years and the images you saw…think about the pearls of wisdom people shared with you. Are they the same messages you’d share with youngsters of today (especially with tackling issues of peer pressure, self-esteem, and dealing with this whole different world of facebook, text messaging, cyber bullying and digital medianess)?!?! Do you reach out to local organizations to give back to the kids? I know it’s something I do now, but really need to do more things to get involved. As a secret sidenote: sometimes, while out and about, I’m realizing that when I see the teen/tween ensembles, I become perplexed because they look uncomfy and like they’d make me itch…but other generations probably said the same about those baggy jeans, sports bras, v-neck sweaters and tims in the 90s….thoughts my superstars?!