There is a new trend among the beauty community on youtube; the woman in the video follows a makeup tutorial from the past, usually the 1940s to the 1960s.
This recent “retro” trend made me think about how my generation sees the past.
Many see the 1950s – 1960s as an easy happy time compared to the gray drudgery and stress of modern life.
We think that our 80’s, 90s and even early 2000’s childhoods were simple and better. We flock to shows, such as Mad Men, Stranger Things, Grease and cling to old cartoons and sitcoms – just to fuel our nostalgia and romantic imaginations.
Many young people wear vintage clothing to diverge from modern trends. So, nostalgia is tied to our generation.
I find that I am guilty of this, too. I do fantasize about living in a different time. Impractical as it is, the late 1800’s embody the simplicity I long for.
But, do we love the past or do we romanticize it?
Do we scrub the unsavory past clean?
We do, and everyone does.
All generations have romanticized the past in the same way. The 1980s yearned to be back in the 1950s, the 2000’s yearn to go back to 1980s and 1990s. Even our President and his followers yearn to “Make America Great Again.”
I’m not going to say that it’s harmful to yearn for the past.
But, our nostalgia should never cover up the truth.
The past was never as sweet as we think it was. The 50’s was a time of nuclear threats and conformity via PSA, not just A- skirts and greasers.
If, we yearn for a decade, we should yearn for both the good and the bad.
Romancing the past: nostalgia and youth