Body Decorations, 1961–79



People adorned their bodies in widely varying ways in the 1960s and 1970s. The popularity of modern styles at the beginning of the 1960s brought huge plastic flower ornaments, heavy makeup, especially around the eyes, and false eyelashes for women. Men accepted jewelry as part of their wardrobe, starting with the love beads hung around their necks in the 1960s and ending the period with multiple chains of gold adorning their necks and chests, bracelets around their wrists, and rings on their fingers.

Body piercing is an ancient practice that has become fashionable with young people as a way to express one's individuality. Reproduced by permission of © .

The middle years of this time period were punctuated by the antifashion of the hippies, or people who rejected society's conventional customs and embraced free personal expression. Although hippies were relatively few in number, they brought natural, homemade adornment and political symbols into the limelight. Both men and women tucked real flowers behind their ears and wore homemade jewelry. Many wore strings of love beads around their necks, peace symbols, and buttons protesting the Vietnam War (1954–75) to signal their desire for peace. Hippies also made Native American jewelry and headbands fashionable for whites to wear.

After the Vietnam War ended, fashion shifted again toward artificial, flamboyant styles. The gaudiest styles were developed by dancers at discotheques, or bars where people gathered to dance to music, and punks, who created a deliberately aggressive style of dress. Disco style was glamorous, with glittery jewelry and colored glasses complementing the bold clothes. Punk style was the opposite. Punks stuck safety pins through their skin, wore heavy metal chains and spiky dog collars around their necks, and painted themselves with black eye makeup, fingernail polish, and lipstick.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Schoeffler, O. E., and William Gale. Esquire's Encyclopedia of 20th Century Men's Fashions. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1973.

Steele, Valerie. Fifty Years of Fashion: New Look to Now. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1997.

Punk
Body Piercing
Mood Rings
Neckties
Puka Chokers
Tanning


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