Once upon a time, there was no more fitting way to show your loyalty to your favorite teen idol or rock star than to adorn your bedroom wall (or ceiling) with a full-sized image of their smiling mug – staring at you lovingly, as if to say “You are the only one for me.” And if celebrity worship wasn’t your thing, perhaps you just wanted to ogle your favorite automobile, sports team, or a cat hanging from a pole reminding you to “Hang in there, Baby!” And if you happened to own a black light, there were hundreds of psychedelic scenes just waiting for their fluorescent colors to be vibrantly illuminated in your darkened room. Today, we take a look back at the iconic artwork that many of us spent hundreds of hours staring at through the course of our adolescence.
If you grew up in the 50s, your walls may have contained pictures of Marilyn Monroe, Ricky Nelson, James Dean or Elvis Presley. In the 60s, rock and roll posters continued to dominate, thanks to the British Invasion, and soon, Elvis had to share some space with The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. In the 70s, teen idols and television stars reined supreme, from David Cassidy to Fonzie to those lovable misfits from Welcome Back Kotter – all vying for your attention (and your allowance). And if you were a red-blooded boy in the mid-70s who didn’t have a poster of Farrah Fawcett Majors over your bed, you were the exception to the rule. Literally millions of these posters (seen above) were manufactured during the decade and the iconic image of Farrah in her red swimsuit is one permanently etched into the minds of millions of former teenagers.
Today, teens are less inclined to seek out these images at their local stores, although some specialty shops like Spencer’s Gifts still stock a decent assortment. Nor does one need to buy a teen magazine and cut it to pieces to remove the images of their favorite idol. With the arrival of the information age, and resources such as Google image search and YouTube, a teen can find thousands of images and videos of their heartthrob de jour with a few clicks of the mouse. Wall posters may still find their way to the teen bedrooms of today, but they don’t quite enjoy the same amount of lustful worship given to them during the glory years of decades past.
We suspect you may have ogled a few of these images back in the day. Tell us about the posters that adorned the bedrooms of your youth. Were you partial to Charlie’s Angels or was your room a psychedelic wonderland of black light images? Was your wall real estate dedicated to Leif Garrett or Ricky Schroder? We’d love to hear your memories in our comments section, as we fondly remember the iconic images that plastered our personal surroundings, here at Retroland.