Wednesday, February 23, 2011

'The Year of the Yuppie'


A Young Urban Professional or a Yuppie, was someone who was wealthy and not incredibly modest about it. This image was entrenched into 1980's American culture. It was a symbol of achievement, and this cartoon shows the statement that being a Yuppie represents. Success. Although, on the other hand, the two people who represent the Yuppies are not in limosines, but instead are either walking or cycling, which suggests a Yuppie image, a bit like the less wealthy carrying fake Louis Vuitton handbags, the average Joe or Jane in the community can put forward the imagery of a Yuppie and so be transformed into one. It seems to me that to be a child of the 80's was to dress in a certain way, whether it be in the refined suits with shoulder pads for women and for a man to have more grease in his hair than in a frying pan, or to dress in a more Madonna way. The style of clothing represented the type of person that you were trying to be, and by dressing as a Yuppie, it was an expression of success and a drive for power.
The image from Newsweek also puts Yuppies with the height of technology, the tape player! Although it now appears to us to be archaic, the tape player was a symbol or forward thinking and prestige, I suppose it now is held in the same esteem as the Apple Ipod Touch was a couple of years ago, if you did not have one, then you haven't quite got there yet.
The system of transport within this image also suggests the average Yuppie, those who couldnt afford the limo, so either walked or cycled. The trainers also bring the tone of the style down, as a true Yuppie would most likely take image over comfort and wear their heels to walk to work, as the dampen a business suit with Nikes, although stylish I am sure, does not put across the total image. However, as the majority of the style is put forward, the idea of it is brought across. In a way, this image of afluent business people has progressed further than the 80's, for without the shoulder pads and the tape-player, the image is still used in order to look powerful and successful. The 1980's culture of the Yuppie lives on...

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