My Saturday morning childhood ritual looked something like this...Wake up, have a bowl of the most artificially coloured cereal possible—Lucky Charms—topped with fresh cold full fat cow’s milk, and sit in front of the telly to dream.
And what’s truly, truly outrageous is that when my mum was in the hospital (to this day I’m not even sure why, yes, I know, clearly we’ve got some communication issues) I cried like a Madelene because I was missing out on my favourite 80’s cartoon classic as we had to go and visit her. I’m telling you ISSUES are rife!
For the uninitiated, Jem and the Holograms ran from 1985 to 1988 and kept gracing our TV’s for 5 more years. There was a horrible movie remake in 2015, but the OTT fashion cartoon was the lifeblood of many millennials. The show stars Jerrica Benton, her sister Kimber, and her friends Aja (a techy, mechanics savvy tomboy) and Shana (the band’s fashion designer). Then, there’s Synergy, she was Jerrica’s personal hyper realistic hologram creator. With her synthesiser electric fairy godmother, Jerrica transformed herself into a pink haired rock goddess called Jem, and her friends (blood sister and adoptive sisters) became The Holograms. They’re the most popular band in the world and spend their time battling the ultra cool arch-nemeses, the Misfits. These dudettes were my fave.
“I’m a designing woman (I’ve got what it takes), I’m a designing woman (I make my own breaks).”
— PHYLLIS "PIZZAZZ" GABOR, MISFITS
And these are the lessons I learnt:
- “A misfit never asks for anything. A Misfit takes. Whatever we want.”
We are supposed to understand that this attitude is wrong, and you won’t be liked and you won’t make it to the top. But their self-confidence is so appealing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying, be a dick. I’m saying it doesn’t hurt to channel this entitlement into getting what we want.
- “Other girls feel hopeless and trapped, but me, I’ve learned to adapt. I’m a designing woman (I’ve got what it takes)/ I’m a designing woman (I make my own breaks)”
I mean??? What brilliant lyrics!!! I need not say more.
- Statement earrings. I’m currently obsessing over Milk Tooth, Doodad+Fandango, Jetlagmode and my own designs (of course). They don’t control Synergy like Jerrica’s magic star earrings did, but they do make me feel powerful.
- “More than lookin’ good/We’re lookin’ stunning!” Another lyric from a Misfits song, it’s just a reminder of self-love. Yes, they always taunted Jem, which wasn’t cool but Pizzazz made no apologies about who she was and her egocentric love of, well, herself. Nothing wrong with that in my book.
- Stormer was actually the character I identified with the most. She’s the Misfits primary songwriter and the overall creative force of the band. She’s fine with harmless mischief but is often pushed around by her bandmates. In one episode she strikes out from the band to form another one with Kimber (Jessica’s sister, who also feels under appreciated) and they record an album together. Eventually, they return to their original bands but Stormer does so with a new-found self-confidence. YES!!!
- Millennial pink. Jem was the original millennial pink trendsetter.
- Brown. Neither The Holograms, Jem or the Misfits wore brown clothes. You can challenge me on this one…
- MC Hammer trousers. As you know, I love a good comfy trouser and I’m sure somewhere in my subconscious Jem was responsible for this.
- Angles, triangles, and geometric shapes galore.I’m obsessed with this sort of 80s/ early 90’s pattern and how could I not be!? Take a look at these geotastic pieces.
- Did I mention the clothes? OMG.The clothes. They were all completely amazing, full print, block colours, with huge coloured hair and makeup. Making the hyper psychedelic nature of this cartoon all the more appealing and it has seeped through my own design aesthetic like a charm.
Have I just gone on and on about a cartoon you’ve never seen? Or are you full of nostalgia because you remember exactly what I’m talking about?