Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Teenage Dream

Teens.  Tweens.  Teenyboppers.  Youngsters.  So many different names for that particular age group that has a lot of cash and not a lot of responsibility.

But the concept of a "teenager" is a fairly new one.  In the years before the Boomers, there really wasn't a lot of time for most young people between the ages of 12 and 18 to listen to pop music, call their friends on the phone, or obsess over boys and clothes (those two are mainly girl things!).  The teens of the GI generation were dealing with the Depression and in earlier generations most teens were already working or getting married.

Then along came the 1950s and this HUGE group of kids were being born.  Times were prosperous!  GIs wanted their kids to have an easier life - a life of carefree ease.  TV became accessible, rock n' roll happened and the whole world changed.

And the ad agencies took note! This was an untapped market - middle class kids with money for soda, candy, movies, toys and records!  Radio stations played 'colored' music because the teens couldn't get enough!  Clothes, hair, perfume, toiletries - they all wanted in on that youth market.  So new!  So fresh!  So exciting!  I love these ads and brochures.  Fresh-faced teens - is there anything more promising or affirming?  Nothing like happy young adults with their whole lives ahead of them to sell things - even new vitamins!  :D

Suddenly anything "old" seemed out of place.  The culture of youth was beginning.

I love using (vintage) teens in my work, too - they lend an air of fun to any piece!  :D





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