Teenage life in the 1950s
Before the 1950s human between childhood and adulthood were called kids, boys and girls. But not until the 1950s there needed to be a word that described these young people, the word “teenager’ was developed.
The rise of television offered a uniform vision of life and success. What was seen on TV became the norm, especially for young people. New music genres also emerged in the 1950s. All of these factors helped change the outlook of young people. One of the most influential singers of the 1950s was Elvis Presley, whose "ducktail" haircut, black pants and open-necked shirts sparked a new trend in fashion. Teenagers listened to rock 'n' roll music on 45-rpm record players and transistor radios, and began to assert their independence from their parents. The 1960s saw social unrest and an emphasis on civil rights and ending violence. The music of that decade greatly influenced teens that developed their own hippie sub-culture, often referred to as "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll."
Popular music indicated that America’s youth held an interest in fashion with such hit songs as “White Sports Coat” and “Blue Suede Shoes.” However, people aged 15-21 were ignored by department stores and were expected to dress like their older counterparts. This was true despite the fact that teenagers had a whole lot of disposable cash at that time. Fashion designers sold full skirts and stiff petticoats, or a super-slim skirt and sweater with bows. Tight-fitting pedal pushers or capri pants were popular leisure wear and jeans (which in the 1950s were called dungarees) were becoming acceptable after people saw a photo of Marilyn Monroe wearing a pair. Young men wore a shirt, tie and sharply pressed slacks. If you were the rebellious type, however, you wore dark clothes all the time, refused to iron anything and were just generally looking rough on purpose (these were known as greasers). People definitely dressed up special for formal events. For...
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