PUTTING ON AIRS

Our grandparents or maybe your great grandparents generation, were all about presenting the “perfect self”. When ever they went out in public they cared, excessively, about their appearance. There was always a mirror near the front door to check their face and hair and a hat, if they were wearing one. Women always had a pocket mirror to check their make up, through out the day. Hairdos had to be perfect. Men used to get their hair cut every 2-3 weeks. Men were always closely shaven unless they had a beard or moustache. There were no 3 day old beard looks back then. Mothers always carefully checked over their children’s appearance before going outdoors. If a little cowlick ( weird word) was sticking up, mother would lick her own hand to wet down any stubborn lock of hair that was out of place. If there was a little food on the children’s face, mother’s always carried a handkerchief to remove any such little issues. Public appearance was very important, and having that perfect look was important. Women wore nylon stockings and they obsessed over their seams being straight. Blue jeans were not usually considered proper wear out in public. People dressed up for even going out shopping. When commercial airplane travel became popular, people always dressed up for that. Back then, people cared a lot more about how they appeared out in public. Not only how they were dressed but just how they presented themselves in any public way. Proper language was important, slang words were discouraged and using the correct forms of speech was watched carefully . Being polite was very important and children were often corrected for not addressing adults in a proper manner. As I am writing this, I am getting images in my mind of just how different things were back then. I was born in 1942, so I became a teen in the 50’s, a very fun time. The 50’s gave us so many new and fun products, like cars with huge tailfins and gaudy chrome grills and bumpers. The introduction of rock and roll music had a huge influence on everything. That is when everything changed. People became a lot less concerned about their public appearances, everything was more casual. What created this change was the Youth Market that was quickly emerging. The beginnings of the Baby Boomers happened. Clothing became a lot more casual and blue jeans became the status quo of daily wear. People were experimenting with styling and have a great time. The economy grew by 37% in the 50’s and personal income grew by 30%, this must have been our best decade.

Published by david93950

published cartoonist, artist and poet and author

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