80’S ‘Embodiment of Historical Beauty’ SunkyOG
Updated: Aug 26
The '80s were an era that marched in with a variety of new trends for beauty, clothing, and music. Some of the popular hairstyles orbited around the far-reaching use of Aquanet hairspray, and this is how many people recall the 80s, whether they lived through them or not. Women of the 1980s loaded up their hair mousse and hairspray to scrunch up those curls, a style still seen today.
Black women's beauty was portrayed as unenthusiastic, and we can see that from the time of enslavement in North America onward," said Tracy Owens Patton, a professor of Communication and African-American Diaspora Studies at the University of Wyoming, who has spent time discovering how Eurocentric beauty standards have shaped the psychology of Black women today.
If you are a lover of fashion, you are also probably quite appreciative of beauty and hair. After all, it’s the hair that often adds the glam or attractiveness we all crave when we’ve pieced together a great outfit. Over the years, women’s beauty style has basically set the stage for each decade. Whether it was the pinup styles of the 1950s, the Afros of the 1960s, the big hair of the 1980s, or the more natural styles of the 1990s and 2000s, hairstyles have made a statement each decade.
And during that time, there was a hairstyle for everyone and every occasion: whether you were royalty, a soldier going off to war, or a mother about to give birth. There was even a hairstyle for women waiting for their men to come back from war.
For black people, it often started with one style being the “it” style for a season, and there are some more memorable styles that are still “it” today. One thing is for sure, what we love about 2022 is that we’ve seen styles of the past come back full circle with a more updated look. The ‘70s and ‘80s brought many groovy influences into the world but none groovier than the Afro. In reality, the bouncy, effervescent dresses and hairstyles represented so much more than an iconic way to wear your dresses and hair.
The most spectacular singular hairstyle bar none embodied black pride and the emergence of the black culture, denouncing the Eurocentric standards of beauty. Today, black culture stands square in the center of popular culture, no longer fighting for recognition like 40 and 50 years ago.
Many naturalists are aware that the current natural beauty “trend” is not a precedent and that an earlier movement existed back in the 60s and 70s. Nonetheless, the history of this “first” movement is often overlooked and even oversimplified.
The “afro style” of the 60s and 70s was not just a “style” of that period nor merely a political statement but a trend that created rich fashion sense and bravura that keeps improving from one generation to another.