I ♥ 80’s


Some years ago, back in the 80’s, radio and TV were evolving at such a quick pace that it was almost impossible not to get caught in trends that were practically imposed by our dear fellas from the Northern part of our continent.

Everything became an obsession for the vibrant youth of the 80’s and the Anglicism “fan” (which is the short form of the word “fanatic”) entered our vocabulary just as many other linguistic additions were passed on by the imported music and shows.

Everyone became a fan of something: a singer, a boy band, an athlete, or junk food (courtesy of the American Invasion). Fashion industry was bursting with ruffles, baggies, denim, flats, and terrible haircuts. The late 80s were an explosion of new tendencies and questioning attitudes and the world was open to those who wanted to explore it.

I grew up in a time where despite the hideous outfits and even worse hair styles, we were more critical and we were interested in fitting into a more globalized culture. Unfortunately for our country, along came the cancer called “drug traffic” and a big chunk of our youth got lost along the path. They became fans of the over-the-top life style of the drug lord and they decided that the bad guy was the role model to follow.

Growing up in the Colombia of the 80s made me aware of those things that I am a fan of and of those that I am not very fond of. A good example of it is the music; I seem to be trapped in a time capsule where I find much more enriching hearing Cindy Lauper’s “True Colors” than to any annoying reggaeton tune. As for the looks, I would rather have the curvy body than the stuffed-all-over-the-place silicone made doll.

The transition from one generation to the next hasn’t been easy. If you are aware of the situation, a good chunk of people who were born and raised in the 80s and who had access to an education are leaving the country in a phenomenon called “brain-drain”. I am not a fan of it, but when one looks at the big picture, it seems like there is no other choice.

Now that I am in my mid-thirties, I can see why so many of my fellow Colombians are so passionate about basic things that are around them: cheap beer, bad television shows, cheesy beauty pageant contests, tasteless music, sensationalist news broadcasts, and poor soccer. The reason is simple: they serve as a placebo to the crude reality we live in.

When we become fans of someone or something, we take the risk of creating a parallel reality where we accommodate things to our convenience. Maybe I am part of that 80’s generation that still dreams of past days where being a fan was an innocent game. Today, many Colombians are strong fanatics of their “comfortable” life style and that idea, so deep rooted in people’s imagination, has turned them into the worst kind of blindfolded fan.


Puedes leer la columna en español haciendo Click Aquí


Autor: Ana María Arias
Twitter: @anmarigi
Ana María Arias