Posts Tagged ‘teen angst’

TV and its impact 70’S style, Part II – KICK ASS, CRIME FIGHTIN’, LIBERATED WOMEN RULE!

Whether it was a result of women’s lib or the feminist movement, no one can deny that 1970s TV had an abundance of kick-ass women on the tube. Wonder Woman, The Bionic Woman, Police Woman, Charlie’s Angels – badass babes taking out the bad guys and making the world a safer place for you and me. Oh, yes, these crime fightin’ foxes could take on you, me and all the fumbling villains that crossed their paths. Girl Power!

And then there were the smart, hard working, fast talking, take-no-shit women of prime time – Maude, Alice, Ann Romano of One Day at a Time, Rhoda, Phyllis. Most of these characters were women trying to make their way and find their own voice in a new world – a world where economic times were hard and being an independent woman was, at the very least, a challenge. These characters inevitably showed girls and women throughout the USofA that we really could make it on our own – complete with sassy dialogue.

As a testament to the draw of girl power on TV, three of the top five TV shows during the 1975-76 season were The Bionic Woman, Maude, and Laverne and Shirley.

Given, there was a lot of T&A involved in the success of some of these shows. But inevitably, for a young girl like myself, watching these empowered women kick butt and make it on their own gave me the notion that I too could take on the world – maybe not in the same manner as The Bionic Woman – but none-the-less, I believe ultimately they were positive roll models.

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How to look (and smell) good, 70’s style

Oh, the things young teenage girls bought (or in my case, shoplifted) in the late 1970’s. My ‘looking good’ obsession started with Bonne Bell Lip Smackers. My personal favs were grape, Dr Pepper and watermelon. They sold big fatty versions too. And then there was the highly addictive Maybelline Kissing Potion. What a gooey liquid mess these were! But with flavors like bubble gum and kola, how could I resist? The Kissing Potion came in a clear liquid with a roller ball applicator.

Besides the ever-popular Loves Baby Soft, I also wore a fragrance called Blue Jeans. I can still smell the light, musky scent. And yes, I most definitely wore the cologne while skating at our local roller rink in an attempt to drive the boys wild. Then there was Babe by Faberge. Not only could you buy the fragrance, you could get soaps, lotions and deodorant too! And what girl didn’t want to be a Babe?

Last, but not least, one of the easiest items to um, lift. Eyeliner pencils. Small and easy to conceal, an enterprising young girl could lift 4-6 of these pencils at a time. Along with lipstick and nail polish, I’m sure I amassed a large collection of popular cosmetics. What? We were bored and we wanted to look good, and our measly allowance wasn’t nearly enough to keep us in style!

We All Love Avocado Appliances!

Ahhh, avocado. What an AMAZING marketing invention! Who knew that burnt green-colored appliances would be such a hit! The frenzy started in the mid 60’s, but didn’t really take hold until the early 70’s. Along with Cornflower Yellow and Brilliant Orange, these 3 color combos could be found in almost any kitchen, bathroom, or in my case, bedroom in America. Of course, my mom added her own flair to the color fad – white daisies! Our bathroom, our kitchen (my bedroom)  – all Avocado Green, Cornflower Yellow, Brilliant Orange and White Daisies everywhere! Oh, yes, along with gold fixtures. Gaudy much? Love that Avocado appliance!

1970’s Teenager in Suburbia

What was suburbia really like for a teenage girl in the 1970’s? In a word, sheltered. Although my friends and myself liked to think of ourselves as rebels, we were really just bored teens looking for a bit of fun in a largely unexciting environment. While urban areas were bustling with disco, punk rock and gender bending explorations, suburbia was asleep with banal shopping malls, 3 channels for your TV viewing pleasure and shag carpets.

At times a bit of the real world did edge its way into our quiet neighborhood. I remember hints to the Watergate scandal (my dads’ ever-increasing bad mood and outbursts of profanity while watching the evening news), the gas crisis (we bought a compact, gas saving foreign car, much to my dads’ dismay) and the ominous shadow of nuclear power plants melting down, thanks to the accident at Three Mile Island. But all of this was so far removed from my teen-aged concerns. Boys, Bubblicious, Loves Baby Soft and 8-track tapes were foremost on my mind.

The Great American Novel

It was the 70’s. I was 12. I thought I could write the Great American Novel. And like all Great Novelists, I used my everyday experiences as inspiration. At 12 years of age, my experience was limited, to say the least. None the less, I embarked on the word journey, convinced I would not only complete the novel, but make it a noted voice in teenage literature, synonymous with novels such as “Go Ask Alice” (which I read at least a dozen times) or “The Catcher in the Rye” (a book my parents never wanted me to read, but I got a copy from a sympathic neighbor – to this day I don’t understand WHY my parents didn’t want me reading this book.) I never did finish my Great American Novel, or should I say, it’s a work in progress . . .? Well, then, more to come.