The Eighties was a hugely significant era for me – particularly 1983, the year I became a teenager. My bedroom wall was dominated by the likes of Wham! and James Dean not to mention an array of Athena posters. Maggie Thatcher was in power and we’d just come out of a recession. Cabbage Patch dolls made an appearance – someone reportedly broke their leg they were so desperate to get hold of one. The Compact Disc had recently launched proving far more successful than wrist watch TV which, let’s be honest, was never going to take off. 1983 also gave us breakdancing.
You’ll see from the photos I donned an attractive perm. A look achieved only by sitting in the hairdressers for several hours. A considerable amount of time was then spent on the daily upkeep of the big hair – greatly assisted by mousse and hairspray.
My style was initially inspired by music and film, the branded T-shirt phase, step forward Frankie Goes to Hollywood and U2, with ripped sweatshirts, leg warmers and drainpipe jeans courtesy of Flashdance. I skipped the goth period completely instead getting jiggy with the likes of stripes and turquoise. The mid to late Eighties saw me morph into a Madonna clone, messy hair tied back with lace and bangles to my elbow, before finally adopting a cowboy boot wearing rock chick look.
We also listened to Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Wham!’s Club Tropicana, Pat Benatar’s Love is a Battlefield, Whitesnake’s Here I go again, U2’s Sunday Bloody Sunday and The Cure’s Love Cats to name a few classics of the era.
I remember singing to Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart to the top of my lungs, I wanted to be her. How my brother and his mates laughed when they caught me singing into a hairbrush.
Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean was one of the best-selling singles of 1983. The 13-minute video for Thriller arrived later that year. It was MTV’s first World premier and remains one of the most influential pop music videos ever.
Frankie Goes To Hollywood released Relax (Don’t Do It) which, after being banned by the BBC, stayed at the top of the charts for five weeks in 1984.
Music was hugely important to me at that time. At one point I’m proud to admit I had all singles from the top 40. I’d play them on a portable record player in my bedroom. Sunday nights consisted of ‘attempting’ to record the charts from the radio. A minefield of finger and thumb control which often resulted in missing the end of the song or including a DJ’s waffle.
I saw my first film at the cinema in 1983 – it was Flashdance (certificate 15). I loved the idea of being a dancer but I couldn’t even do a crab properly so it was short lived. Perhaps that’s where the fondness for Dirty Dancing stems from.
Other films around included Star Wars, Superman, Octopussy and Terms of Endearment. Not forgetting Risky Business with Tom Cruise.
In 1983 there were only four television channels, hard to imagine now. Breakfast Time, the UK’s first ever breakfast show, launched. Blackadder, Taggart and Tuckers Luck, the follow-up to Grange Hill, also had their debuts. We were already watching Crackerjack, Saturday Superstore, Doctor Who, The Young Ones and The Tube.
Top of the Pops was essential viewing every week as was Dallas, Dynasty and the A-Team. Not forgetting Tom Selleck as Magnum PI.
Today I’m thankfully bubble perm free although my locks have become curly of their own accord. It’s not dyed yet, pretty good going for someone in their forties with dark brown hair. My style is far more reserved these days although I love colourful clothing – red is a personal favourite. I met my husband at work in 1999. We married in 2004. After a decade living together in London, we moved to Surrey in 2010 – our daughter arrived on Christmas Day that year. In December 2012, following twenty years working in the marketing communications industry, we launched our own marketing and new business consultancy. This blog came a month later. My fondness for Eighties music remains albeit more refined.
Special K has changed a lot too since its “Can you pinch more than an inch?” campaign in 1983. Their new 3 grain recipe contains rice, wheat and barley so it’s a great source of fibre and with 8 vitamins and iron. Having been a fan of Special K for many years, I was slightly apprehensive about trying the new recipe. I needn’t have been, it’s the same crunchy Special K just a little sweeter and more flavoursome.
To see the full range of Special K products and find out about their free slimming service, head over to www.myspecialk.co.uk.