The Influence of Punk on Society and Mainstream Fashion

Essay by storme456College, UndergraduateA+, May 2004

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Punk rock music and style has subsisted for several decades since it originated. The punk movement opposed modern culture, not only through its fast paced music, but also through its fashion. The youths who proceeded to follow punk, were reacting to current social situations in the 1970's and doing so by expressing themselves through music, clothing, and violence. Punk chose to fight for such things as anti-capitalism and anti-racism. Punk stood against everything that was conventional with its Do-It-Yourself (DIY) attitude towards fashion and music. Ironically, though punk was opposed to traditionalists, once it gained media attention for being outrageous, it quickly became fashionable to wear ripped clothes, safety pins, multicolored hair, and lurid makeup. Throughout my paper I will be discussing punk ethos, punks being anti-fashion, yet dressing punk being thrown into the mainstream, and the overall impact it has bestowed on our culture.

The punk movement began in the early 1970's and challenged the social norms of society.

Punk has its initial American roots in New York City; however, it is argued whether it was the scene or actual movement that began in the United States or Great Britain. Youths in the United Kingdom during the 1970's suffered from a high rate of unemployment and entrenched social classes. Kids felt that there was no hope and little if no optimism for the future. With the continuing state of depression amongst certain people, the punk movement instantaneously captured the hearts of the lower and working class portions of society.

In the meantime, the American punk movement stemmed from frustration and anger from being treated as sheep and from the "politics of boredom". The public was being spoon-fed music that corporations simply intended to make a profit from. Heartthrobs such as Donny Osmond ruled the charts and the...