In the ‘80s, the mute button was on
For colors and for words
Pastel festooned interior walls
Women breathlessly whispered to be heard
So we could carry the burden with care
Big shoulders and hair were in vogue
Mint greens, baby pinks and sky blues
Relaxed us so we wouldn’t go rogue
The pastel life appealed for a while
But then we realized
That keeping us in innocent colors
Were all just part of the lies.
It isn’t equal when we’re given more
But men weren’t required to take less
Care for your family and for your job?
No wonder it is all such a mess
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to be sexy
And make sure you don’t get too fat
This was how you can “have it all”
And still “be all of that”.
But times they changed and colors deepened
Bright and bold and loud
Like fuchsia and cobalt and emerald green
Attention getters finally, so proud
We shouted out and showed some skin
Girls just want to have fun
We asserted our independence
But was it a victory we won?
Why does it need to be a choice
Why can’t we have both/and?
Men have to evolve and make a space
Respect women, hand in hand
And women, we still have work to do
The trends are coming back
Don’t lose the goals we’re striving for
Because right now, they’re under attack
This poem was written for Patrick Jennings’ Pic and a Word Challenge #157 – Pastels. Full disclosure – I totally love the 1980s! Pastels, big hair (and big hair bands!!), shoulder pads, Jordache Jeans….fun times! I wasn’t aware at all about anything political besides the “Just say No” campaign. Maybe that was why it seemed so blissful!
For me, part of becoming a real grown up meant registering to vote and doing my part as a citizen. My parents are involved in the elections in our hometown – my dad as an assistant coordinator of six voting districts and my mom is a chairperson of one district. I’m very proud of them for doing this civic duty so I do my part and vote. We may not always agree on the issues but we all agree on making sure our voice is heard and our vote is counted.
As a citizen, voting is a privilege and a responsibility. So whether wearing your pastel jacket with the large shoulder pads or your skinny jeans and crop top – go out (on November 6) and VOTE!
©️ iido 2018