The ’80s Pin Project: Mother Warned You

For an explanation of what the Pin Project is, go here.

This week’s pin is a statement pin. A lot of pins that were worn in the 1980s had nothing to do with music and everything to do with giving the world your, like, totally bad attitude, for sure, y’know? Today’s random, hand-in-the-bag-eyes-closed-tight pin selection is exactly that.

*cue ominous organ music*

*cue ominous organ music*

Ooh, Mamas all over the world worry about someone like you, right? Because you’re hard, yeah? You’re tough, right? You’re so full of edge you’d even cut yourself. Watch out! Somebody in the room is…merciful Heaven…quelle méchanceténo?

Please note: the real people your mother warned you about? Don’t wear badges informing you who they are.

So this was the sort of pin that was worn by girls like me. We were nice(ish) girls from the suburbs who worked in malls and pretended to be grittier than we really were. It was a pin that was worn by guys with long, unkempt, kind of stringy hair, who wore jean vests over leather jackets and had wallets that attached by a chain to their belt loops. It was worn by kids who wanted to feel bad but would grow up to become working-stiff restaurant managers or mechanics or gym teachers. Or writers. Legitimate bad-asses let their actions speak for them. Me? I was just a kid from New Jersey trying to hang tough. I’m retroactively slightly embarrassed for my 16-year-old self.

That’s about it for this pin. I’m going to leave you with the song that epitomizes everything behind this pin–the faux badassery, the inherent drudgery, the in-your-face “I am a walking cartoon party” vibe that seemed to inhabit so much ’80s culture. Presenting Poison‘s “Nothing But a Good Time”.

6 responses to The ’80s Pin Project: Mother Warned You

  1. Garzilla

    Retroactive embarrassment of our ’80s choices haunts all of us. In your case, however, it is nicely compensated for by the “I lash out and strike at random” pin, which left a lasting impression that hasn’t diminished one bit in the decades since.


    • beyondpaisley – Author

      Ha! It’s funny that you remember that pin! Yes, well, I will get to it. Eventually. It’s funny that I feel shame about this but stand firm behind The Hooters.


  2. Pins were the in-thing back in the 80’s. I remember how I had a whole wardrobe of bins of my favorite bands. Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and yes, even Blondie use to be permanent fixtures on my school blazer. All my friends had them and it was our way of expressing how we really felt about the music back then. Gosh, I miss those days.


  3. If only we knew what we professed to to know then! Some bad kids turned good, others bad but in the end it was mostly just fun! As you say, I’m also slightly embarrassed at my 18 year old self! Thanks goodness it pre-digital, very few surviving photos!! 🙄


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