Updated: Jan 5, 2022
The Power Of Nostalgia
Image source: Daniela Alvarez
Are trends actually doing their job?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary a trend is “a general development or change in a situation or in the way that people are behaving.” When you think of past generations, in just seconds you will picture a certain style, music, or even representative character from that time. We had the golden 20’s with flapper girls, 50’s housewives and racism, 70’s David Bowie and disco, 90’s jelly sandals and chokers, the 2000s were ruled by low rise jeans and Paris Hilton, and even the 2010’s trend with UGGs and Call Me Maybe. But lately, we have seen a big increase in bringing those past trends and making them trendy now. Netflix is packed with new TV shows and movies based on past years and the younger generations are romanticizing them.
Blast from the past or stuck in it
Is it because we are, as Irene Levy put it, "lacking in creativity?" To be more connected with our elders? Or just because, to be honest, they are way cooler than anything this generation has created so far? I am not trying to shame current artists; I respect the newer genres which go from indie folk to electronic and house, which were not a thing before. Everyone is doing their own things and nothing sticks. You only know who the biggest techno artist is if you listen to them. There’s no big person everyone is connecting to, while before, it was more representative. Although bands such as The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, were very controversial to their time, they are now respected and looked up to. So does this mean that future generations will be listening to Justin Bieber, doing TikTok dances, and feel nostalgic?
The Old feeling Young
As much as it has been impactful for the youngest, it has also helped the oldest. They get to enjoy what they’ve liked for years without being shamed as they used to in past eras. This doesn’t mean they are expecting it to stay the same. Since they too want the future of the world to grow and have something personalized. “It’s a disposable generation. They get rid of what they create, but it has been there since before. Why work on making something new and innovative when it’s been proven that the older style is successful and stays for a while.” is what Alfredo Alvarez, a 54-year-old man from gen X has to say. They would love to see how much we can make something amazing with all the opportunities coming our way, not be lazy and get too comfortable with what we have. I hear people from gen X say that the quality of music and lyrics were better back then, it’s a debatable yet understandable point of view. Does the fact that there is more freedom in what you can put out there have a more positive or negative impact on what we are creating?
Are the young feeling left out?
To get the feeling of younger generations, I asked Daniel Sequelis, who is 15 years old, what he thinks about past trends making a comeback and becoming part of their present. “I feel like some people like to experience what their parents or family members experienced in their time,” says Sequelis. So, are we bringing back trends because we can’t think of anything new or because of a sense of connection? For me, I can tell you some of my favorite, underrated, simple pleasures in life are singing in the car with my dad to KISS and stealing my mom’s clothes to go out. What about taking disposable camera pictures and feeling the rush of getting them developed? It’s amazing, but, thankfully, we are starting to become more environmentally aware and not doing that. We are now using editing apps that are cheaper and easier to carry around. So, does this mean newer generation trends are a mix between old trends and new technology?
Live in the moment
How can we fix this problem? If it even is a problem. Maybe this is happening because there's so much going on in the world. People don't really realize that back then it was just as bad, if not even worse. So thinking about how it used to be makes it feel as if we aren’t really here. It’s not all bad though, this could help us take what we know is good and incorporate it into the present. I think that accepting where we're at and working from that could help us create, as a generation, something that we love, are proud of, and would like future generations to remember us by.
Thank you to Alfredo Alvarez, Irene Levy, and Daniel Sequelis for being open to discussing with me about their feelings and opinions on the subject.