Rage of the 70’s : Radicalism, Fashion, Music, and Funk

Rage of the 70’s : Radicalism, Fashion, Music, and Funk

Kalea Betancourt (11th), Reporter

As the idea of peace and love rolled into the nation, the 1970’s are often remembered as a progressive era for women’s rights, gay rights, and environmental movements. With so much going on around them, people turned to music, fashion, and the arts which boomed in the 70’s. With famous artists such as Andy Warhol and Frank Stella being household names, life seemed to get a little more colorful. 

After the death of what the world knew as The King of Pop, Elvis Presley died, a new and unheard of wave of music had started to emerge. New forms of soul, boogie, funk, glam and soft rock had the music industry changing forever. David Bowie, Queen, Steely Dan, and Diana Ross all producing sounds never before heard.

 With the normalization of the outgoing lives and fashion taste these artists advertised, it affected the fashion industry as well. From the bland, untailored, similar looks of the 60’s came the colorful, flared, form-fitting, freedom of diversity in style in the 70’s. 

Bell bottoms, flared sleeves, platforms, tie-dye, and peasant blouses raged within the fashion community. Even jewelry had a substantial shift from the layered necklaces and simple beaded pearls of the 50s to golds, hoops, wooden earrings, feather necklaces, and bangles up the arm. 

A very honorable mention from the 70’s comes the political and social changes. The 70’s was one of the most radical era’s including movements like The Red Power movement where Native Americans demanded self-determination in the US and the Chicano movement aimed to end discrimination against Mexican Americans. These movements also called for an expansion of workers rights, voting rights, and educational equality in the US. Hippies and political activists took over the United States with these protests and many others as well as women’s rights, gay rights, environmental movements, and the ongoing Vietnam war. 

Campuses across the nation participated in these protests as well. Walk-outs and sit-ins from highschool and college campuses were some of the biggest protests in this era, mostly in response to the expansion of the Vietnam war, going into Cambodia. 

Overall the 70’s raged with political, fashion, musical, and societal changes that changed the way our nation views many things, as a whole. What’s one of your favorite highlights from this era and would you like to experience it in real time? If we could turn back time, I sure would.