By Wrapping Paper of St. Paul, Minnesota! Thanks, Tim!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Bold Shoulder

Well, I guess it was just a matter of time before something like this happened. Someone left their body parts on the NeighborGoodies Table. And they're not even good body parts... they're shoulders:

OK, so they're not technically shoulders, but they are, in fact, original 1980's era shoulder-pads, as made popular by the casts of Dynasty...

...Designing Women...

...and RuPaul's Drag Race.
The 80's were a weird time for a lot of reasons, not the least of which were the giant-shouldered women who invaded office buildings across the nation. Their linebacker shaped upper-bodies were meant to represent power, gusto, suffrage. These were worn by women who were finally standing up for their rights against their sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical biggot bosses. In fact, these 1987 vintage canned shoulders were so popular...

...they were even available in kids' sizes!

The label calls them "A big kids look for little kids!" I, however, call them "A new reason for big kids to beat up your kids!" I could almost understand a little latchkey girl wearing these in the 80's, trying to be like her office-bee mom--but there is a boy on this can. A BOY WITH A SKATEBOARD... As if to say "Hey! This kid's cool because he has a skateboard... and he wears shoulder pads That means you'll be rad if you wear them!!" Look, I was about as dorky as you could get in the 80's, and not even I would go anywhere near these things. If I showed up to 8th grade wearing shoulder pads, I can guarantee you there's no way in hell I would have lived to even see recess.

I opened the cans to get a better look inside and was shocked to discover that shoulder pads smell really, really bad...

...although I suspect I wouldn't smell so great if I was locked in a can for 22 years or so. I was also surprised to learn that while the adult version of the shoulder pads are made a soft, silky material, the kids' version is nothing more than little bits of foam:

If you're confused about the logistics of these shoulder pads, the adult's can of shoulder conveniently features a woman sensually showing us how to apply our new pads:
Step 1: "Lift bra strap and gently slide the flap (or under-panel) beneath the strap. Adjust pad to edge of shoulder and position comfortably."

Step 2: "Look great and feel comfortable for the rest of the day."

You'll also notice that while the other cans are from 1987, this specific brand was purchased in 1996! I think I speak for everyone when I ask: What the hell for? Shoulders had definitely deflated to a more reasonable size as soon as Paula Poundstone pointed out how silly the trend was in 1990:

I can only imagine that the NeighborGooder who owned these had been hooked on shoulder pads since her childhood in the 80's--remaining loyal to the Stay-Put brand for as long as she could until they went under due to shifting trends in fashion. Not content with trimming down her shoulders, our heroine was forced to switch over to The Perfect Pad:
...who were, for reasons unknown, still manufacturing the Ultimate Shoulder Pad at least through the mid-90's. I'd like to think that finally, in 2009, this woman gave up these shoulder pads willingly. However, I think we all know that her addiction likely got the best of her, and her spine was crushed under the weight of these foam pads. And because of her stubborn and repeated refusals to get help for her problem, her family has no shoulder to cry upon.


Ludovica said...

Haha! I still own clothes with these sewn in, but I have to say I have never seen shoulder pads that you added yourself. How the HELL does that work? I trained as a tailor for a while and you cant simply put extra bulk under clothes which werent designed for that.. which is why shoulderpads were generally sewn in during the garment construction process. I can only imagine these made ones clothing look very odd indeed. The good thing about shoulder pads is that it allowed the carrying of very heavy back packs less onerous, and as this was something I did a lot of in the 1980s I shall always be glad of that... despite the fact I have shoulders like a linebacker with or without any kind of augmentation. Not sure what use can be made of these now.. Clever adaptation might make interesting bulges in all sorts of interesting places if one were so inclined, but as I have far too many lumps and bumps of my own I think I will pass... You could tape them to overhanging items to prevent head injuries I suppose, or you could contruct a comfort lining for your tin foil anti-alien-probe hat.. Yes I think that would be a good piece of recycling

Jill @ Lune said...

crazy. I remember cutting those things out of clothes in the late 80's, and stuffing my pre-teen bra with them. Worked well - or at least I thought so. ;-D