Then vs Now: The bewildering fashion and make-up trends of today

Aug 04, 2022
Fashion used to be so much easier. Source: Getty

As a child of the mid-fifties, noticing fashions and trends didn’t really gel until I was a young teenager.

Then, along with my friends, we adopted the “surfie” look, complete with bleached jeans (achieved with Mum’s Janola bleach), tight tee shirts and thongs on our feet (jandals in NZ). We made our hair look shaggy with a pair of scissors and looking back, I don’t think we looked so flash.

Then, the “mod” look arrived with white boots, platforms, psychedelic prints and easy peel false eyelashes under big hair. Finally, a boho hippy look suited me best and was the cheapest to maintain.

But as an older woman now, I am utterly fascinated by the grooming habits of the young women of today.

Eyelashes that look like verandah’s jut out from dark, starkly contoured eyebrows that remind me of the Angry Birds cartoons, and skin sculpted with all sorts of different shades of makeup to make them look like models in 3-D. It must cost so much to maintain.

My grandson’s little girlfriend, who wore no makeup, one day came home with these massive eyelashes and I almost called her “eyelash” instead of her name as they were so prominent.

And the fake tan which requires a tent and a spray gun, and the straightening of the hair, and all of the products required. The mind boggles. And the fingernails. Long painted talons in a variety of colours and shapes which need constant refills and the requirement to sit in a salon that smells like a funeral parlour.

I’m not sure how they can afford it.

Then there are the jeans. When travelling recently, I noticed great chunks of denim missing from the top of the thigh on some young women walking past. They must be very draughty. In summer, the bikini bottoms expose two bottom cheeks like twin moons rising – some of the moons quite large indeed.

Fashion trends are often very interesting.

Hair that is shaved underneath. Tattoos that cover much of the body. Rings through the nose and the lip.

I personally enjoy seeing the variety of creativity with which we human beings can adorn and enhance ourselves. It would be a very dull world if we all looked the same.

I guess makeup and fashion trends reflect the changing times that we are in, and I for one can reflect and enjoy from my grandma armchair.

I’m pretty grateful for my lippy and blowdryer when going out. Growing older has given me the chance to dress comfortably in my own unique way with the minimum of fuss.

No eyelash verandahs for me, my eyelids have drooped so much they would probably look like caterpillars emerging from a chrysalis.


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