Fashion
Back in the 1950’s, teen boy fashion was separated by two categories; the Greasers and the Preppy. You could tell the difference between the Greasers and the Preppy easily because the greasers wore black leather jackets and white rolled-sleeve T-shirt paired with blue jeans. While on the other hand the Preppy look featured polo necklines with knotted side-neck scarves along with three-quarter sleeve fitted shirts and circular skirts. The category Preppy and Greasers was also separated among girls but with things like; Skirts, Jumpers, and the “Paper doll” look. Among teen girls the “poodle skirt” was a big craze. The Poodle Skirt defined a teenage girl. Poodle Skirts came in pink or powder blue. The Poodle Skirt was a way for teens to create their new kind of fashion. Teenagers demanded more their own style and due to this the first miniskirt was developed by teens in London, England. The outbreak of fashion spread real quickly to countries such as Great Britain.
Dating
Dating had become a common thing with teens. Millions of teenagers in the 1950's went on one or more dates per week. Social Conformity wasn’t just among the adults but among teens also. Since teens started dating at a young age, a girl of thirteen years had not started dating yet; she was considered a "late bloomer" by society’s standards. Back in the fifties, it was pretty much understood that boys pay for the expenses of the date. They take their girls out and show them a good time, but all of this costs money. There use to be a minimum of $7 that a boy spends on a girl in the 1950’s. In a boys mind in the 1950’s, after the boy spends at least $7 on the girl a little “petting” should be given in return. But, there was a concern of girls going too far on these types of dates and most of the time they regretted it. One girl expressed a letter published in the May 1959 issue of Seventeen magazine expressed. She writes in, "After several months of dating, matters got out of hand. Deep down I knew it was wrong, but I didn't have the courage to stop seeing him... I believe God will forgive if one truly repents, but I know there will always be the scar". This girl here regrets her actions with a young man, and wishes she had not done what she did. But, some girls did have a hard time understanding this before it happened and regret it afterwards. This is still an ongoing problem today as well as in the 1950’s.
Dancing
For teens dancing was one of the greatest freedoms they ever had. Teens didn’t want to dance like their parents did, they wanted to invent a wild range of steps and Rock ‘n’ Roll gave them the main thing they needed to dance, music! Not all dance steps were the same because some steps might be low and smooth; others, wild and angular. In some areas it was constant swing moves, while in others it was dancing with steps in place, simply holding your partner's hand, with no swing moves. Many of the moves came from television back then. Teenagers first started to copy the way Philadelphia kids danced on a television show American Bandstand, and then teens got all their moves from television. The Latin Hustle was not invented by Hispanics from Cuban and Puerto Rican dances, however it was the 1950s rock 'n' roll teenagers who invented all of these changes. Teens invented many more dance styles and made many changes to dance steps which in some cases people didn’t give credit to the 1950’s teenagers. Teenagers took dance in so well that they changed mostly everything about it which made them feel free and that’s all they needed.
Rock ‘n’ Roll
During the 1950’s Rock ‘n’ Roll arose and teens were mesmerized by it. Rock ‘n’ Roll was very influential to teenagers. Parents supposed that rock 'n' roll was the cause of the nation's youthful rebellion. The type of music the teens heard gave them a sense of wild freedom which was fresh for the fifties. The new and different type of music was condemned on numerous places. Rock n’ roll attracted to teenagers because the lyrics were relevant to their daily life and problems. Rock ‘n’ Roll was also a step further to new dances and inventions of the new dances. Rock ‘n’ Roll gave teenagers a new kind of freedom nationwide.
Punishments
Schools and teachers were very strict about serious things and little things also. Boy's hair touching the ears wasn't allowed, punishable by expulsion from school. Girls were forbidden to wear pants. Any talk about sex was taboo and could be punishable, because the staff thought if you talked about it you will also do it at a young age. The parents fared that their children would go on the wrong path and little restrictions would help them understand. But, these restrictions only worked on some teens, and not on all of them.


Primary Documents







Loss of Innocence Paragraph

During the 1950’s, the innocence of teenagers was fading away gradually. Music and the rising of rock n' roll showed these teenagers how to discover freedom and cut loose from the social conformity. Boys were able to spend at least $7 on a girl a month because of the prosperous economy. With the economy booming, came along the craving for new things and the cravings for making their own style of appeals. Teenagers expressed themselves in many ways. One way was dancing. Teenagers made their own dance styles which made them feel comfortable and unrestricted. When Rock ‘n’ Roll came along teens could sense that, that was what they needed. Rock ‘n’ Roll defined teenagers as teenagers. But, the parents of the teens thought that their children would become rebellious after hearing Rock ‘n’ Roll. What the parents didn’t understand was that getting their children away from Rock ‘n’ Roll made them rebellious. Teens were criticized for dancing and singing along with Rock ‘n’ Roll by their own parents and teachers. After the adults banned Rock ‘n’ Roll from some areas, the teenagers had to fulfill their cravings. Some ways teens fulfilled their need was by secretly listening to Rock ‘n’ Roll and smoking with their friends. Teenagers later were being listened to and Rock ‘n’ Roll wasn’t banned. For teenagers, music was a step further to their independence. .



Works Cited

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Powers, Richard. "Teen Dances of the 1950s ." Social dance at Stanford and elsewhere. R. Powers, n.d. Web. 15 Nov 2011. <http://socialdance.stanford.edu/syllabi/teen_dances.htm>.

Powers, Richard. "The Life of a 1950s Teenager ." stanford.edu. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov 2011

http://socialdance.stanford.edu/syllabi/fifties.htm.

"Teenage Dating in the 1950s." Teenage Dating in the 1950s. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Nov 2011. <http://universityhonors.umd.edu/HONR269J/projects/sombat.html>.

Valladares, Mercedes. "1950s Teenagers' Clothes." 1950s Teenagers' Clothes/ehow. Ehow, 20,Jan.,2011. Web. 16 Nov 2011. <http://www.ehow.com/info_7873094_1950s-teenagers-clothes.html>.