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Breanna Coon / Her Campus

Retro Day: The Romanticism of the Past

White people really f*cking love the fifties.


I say this as a white college-aged woman who does, in fact, own two retro swing dresses. I’m really into the fit and flare style that makes those dresses so recognizable. 


So, honestly, I shouldn’t be surprised that a National Retro Day was instituted in February of 2018.


Retro Day (Feb. 27) is supposed to be celebrated by dressing in “retro clothes” and staying off electronics. Theoretically, it’s a pretty mediocre holiday. However, this holiday just emphasizes America’s unhealthy obsession with the past. 


Now, I’m not going to make you read an entire essay about this topic, so I’m just gonna sum this up: Romanticizing the past by ignoring its downfalls is a hard yikes. People were really out there believing that women shouldn’t have money and Native people shouldn’t reproduce. 




Now, people like that are still around, and because they keep passing those ideas along it’s unlikely we’ll see the end of those ideas anytime soon. But we should continue to make it clear to those people that it’s bad.


Part of making sure people realize that’s bad is keeping a realistic view of the eras for what they really were.


Now, onto the technology aspect of this holiday.


Sure, taking a little break from phones every day is probably a good idea for your health, but devoting an entire day to getting rid of phones might be worse than you think. By cutting your phone use for an entire day, you treat it like something you just need to get over with, and then you did a good deed. Once you do the good, you don’t have to do anything else.


Obviously, doing something healthy once then doing the unhealthy thing more because it’s the “fun thing” is much worse for you than just gradually cutting back on the screen-time.


I checked the retro-day website, and the first thing on said website is a link to buy retro outfits. Add another commercialized unnecessary holiday to the list, I guess. 


In conclusion, prejudice is bad, this holiday is ridiculous, and if you want to wear a swing dress and make a pie, just go do it. 


You do you boo, but make good choices.

Meg Chaffee is a junior at Winona State University studying History and Political Science. She hopes to teach high school social studies, because she wouldn’t be able to deal with her students eating smart glue during craft activities just because it has the word “smart” on it. She wrote a story on Watt-pad (during middle school, in an account she can no longer access) that received far too many votes for several awards, and no, she will not give you the name. In her free time she enjoys reading, writing, and watching The Good Place repeatedly on Netflix.
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