The Permissive 60s

6 December 2012

The swinging sixties... I'm pretty sure the same images pop up into people's minds when someone mentions the sixties. It's probably the best known decade of the last 100 years due to it's influence on present society.

The 60s are best known for the music - big groups like The Rolling Stones and The Beatles emerged resulting in huge crowds of screaming girls and boys with Mick Jagger haircuts. They were very influential on the youth. However, certain aspects of their music and lifestyle was definitely not a positive influence on the youth and yes, I am talking about the many references to drugs in their songs. The subtle references to drugs were not so subtle as the BBC banned certain songs from a Beatles album due to the inappropriate lyrics. I can't imagine what the state of the music industry would be today if radio and television stations were so nit-picky about lyrics; literally all songs would be banned!

Fashion took a new turn too with the popularization of the miniskirt by Mary Quant, and the influence of the space age on clothing which represented the idea of freedom and having no limits. The miniskirt is an outcome of this permissive society and it was much more than a fashion statement. It was a symbol of moving away from the conservative post-war society. Before the miniskirt it was rare to see a woman showing lots of skin in public so this was a new form of liberalism and showed that social norms were being relaxed.