I have chosen this image from the 1987 movie, Wall Street as a good representation of the 1980’s. The image of the yuppie businessman with greased back hair, power suit, braces and flashy jewellery sums up an era when money was all powerful and the pursuit of it became all consuming. The film depicts the decadent lifestyle that could be achieved by those prepared to work 70 hours a week – accumulating wealth and being seen in all the right places with the right people. The yuppie lifestyle was criticised as flashy and shallow but many twenty-somethings of the time aspired to this way of life – influenced by the latest fads and crazes.
This was an era of boom and bust with the crash of the stockmarket in 1987 and the following recession. The rise and fall of Bud Fox, played by Charlie Sheen also provides a warning note that greed and ambition bring consequences, as he ends up in jail, but the benefits of capitalism are continually displayed. “Greed is good” is the famous line said by Michael Douglas’s character, Gordon Gecko, which is a good description of the period.