Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Y is for Yuppies

This month I'm participating in the A to Z Challenge. My theme is the 80s. Today's letter is:




In 1980, Chicago magazine published an article by writer Dan Rottenberg titled About That Urban Renaissance. In the article, Rottenberg referred to an emerging group of young urban professionals, nicknaming them "yuppies." The term stuck. By 1984, the media was dissecting yuppies as though they were specimens in a lab.



Movies like Wall Street epitomize the excesses of the 80s. They wore expensive clothing and worked in plush offices with windows.



They were the first people to have cell phones. Big cell phones.



And sporty, ultra-expensive cars.



While it may have epitomized wealth and success in the 80s, when the stock market crashed in 1987, it took on an all new meaning. To put it in terms today's younger generations would understand, yuppie=douchebag.



Alex P. Keaton epitomized yuppies when they were cool. He went on to star in The Secret of My Success, which was essentially the end of "yuppie" having any positive connotation whatsoever. 



It was okay, though, because he worked his way up from the mailroom to become a yuppie.



Do yuppies exist today? Of course they do. They're "young urban professionals," after all. It's a little more challenging to spot them, though, since they dress a little more casually.



And they work from home.



Or from Starbucks.



But we have to appreciate the yuppies of the 1980s. They had to go to nine-to-five jobs, sit in cubicles, and work on computers that looked like these:



Do you think yuppies still exist?

45 comments:

  1. I think they still exist. Not as many, but they are out there.
    Now I wonder who coined the term DINKs?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had to look that one up, Alex! I'm glad we live in a time where people CAN be dual income, no kids. There are people who can't have kids, as well as people who choose not to. It shouldn't be assumed that having kids is the norm and everything else is just weird. But I live in the South--everyone has kids in the South!

      Delete
    2. I live in the South, and I don't have kids. :)

      I was asked recently if I had children. When I said no, the man said, "Maybe one day you'll be blessed." What?! This was a total stranger who knew nothing about me. Oh, those assumptions!

      Delete
    3. People are annoying. It makes me wonder if saying, "I can't have children" and bursting into tears would maybe make those people think twice about asking nosy questions in the future!

      Delete
  2. I do think yuppies still exist, like you Steph I just think they toned it down ;-) Even then I thought the suit was a bit too much...lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think today people realize it's FAR better to work from home or have flexible hours, wearing exactly what they want to wear, rather than conforming to some silly standard of what "successful" is. The entrepreneurs I see are young, laid-back, happy people.

      Delete
  3. They still exist, but now they drive huge SUVs and carry iPhones everywhere they go,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least everyone's gotten away from minivans. It was crazy to me that people would have one kid and go out and purchase a vehicle that sat seven!

      Delete
  4. I think that today's yuppies still exist but they have been uprooted from their original looks and taken another persona. They are techy and have mastered how to use social media to make money. They haven't completely switched from the grungy kid look as they matured and are now sporting long beards, camouflage clothing, some are working from their home, or are selling life changing program and raking in the big bucks.

    Have a YUMMY day.

    Hugs,
    JB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I think the true successes are tech-based entrepreneurs, and often those people don't subscribe to the rules that society sets for people!

      Delete
  5. That was a great Y post. The cool car with the big phone cracks me up!! I still use the term Yuppie sometimes, but what about Hipster? Is that the new Yuppie? I just looked up the word in the Urban Dictionary:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think so. I think hipsters have taken over the world.

      Delete
  6. I loved THE SECRET OF MY SUCCESS!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It doesn't hold up well, IMHO. It's on TV sometimes and the cheesy David Foster music and melodramatic scenes seem a bit over-the-top by Millennial standards.

      Delete
  7. I remember the Preppy Handbook, too. That was a good one. Yeah, yuppies still exist, but they shop at Whole Foods and do a lot of yoga.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The first time I'd ever even heard of the handbook was while researching this post. It seems like it's pretty well known, though!

      Delete
  8. Ugh! As a double graduate of art schools, how we abhorred the rise of the yuppy. Nice post. Loving your blasts from the past.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, there's definitely a hipster vs. yuppie vibe...the hipsters won!

      Delete
  9. undercover hip yuppies. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. The Secret of my success was a great movie. There are still yuppies about, douchebags I go with more though haha could kill someone with those cell phones

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we refer to them as douchebags more frequently now. I don't remember ever hearing that word when I was a kid!

      Delete
  11. Yes, they are still out there, but I don't know what they are called now. They wouldn't want to be called yuppies. Too outdated.

    I've love every post you've done about the 80s. A lot.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thank you! It's been a blast. I think the young entrepreneurs now would probably say, "What are yuppies?" and I'd just feel old!

      Delete
  12. For some reason I have a negative connotation for people who drive SUVs. Not that I'm a yuppy or that I ever was one. I'm more of a geek who enjoys a look and feel that is kind of geekishly cool, like my 2015 Z4. :D

    I would never be considered a yuppy! lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband drives a crossover...but I drive a Hyundai Sonata. I prefer small cars.

      Delete
  13. I've heard this word before, but never knew the meaning! (Duck Dynasty haha). Very informative post!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I saw this comment above somewhere, but I do think the yuppy has been replaced by the hipster. The terminology may change, but the characters don't. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yuppies still exist today as much as hippies still exist. They just use better disguises and blend in more. But if you look carefully, you'll spot them.
    Alex P Keaton. How did I forget about him?

    ReplyDelete
  16. I still recognize a few I would consider as "Yuppie," too focused on what they consider the "ladder of success" to be. Big cars...big houses...big bank accounts...and not much compassion for those who don't have those material things...but have big hearts and a lot of compassion instead.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh they exist and they can't wait to put that sweater over their shoulders again. Weren't the original Yuppies the hippies of yesteryear who shunned all they became?

    ReplyDelete
  18. The big phones crack me up. As does the Yuppie Handbook. I had forgotten all about that.
    Who didn't love Alex P. Keaton? No surprise Michael J Fox went on to become such a huge star.

    ReplyDelete
  19. LMAO! Great post! My husband showed me a pic of a BIG cell phone from his days at a car dealership. I think my mouth fell open. So true! The new yuppies work from Starbucks, or some other coffee shop, and wear t-shirts and jeans at home.

    Maui Jungalow

    ReplyDelete
  20. I think they exist today, like you said they are harder to spot. Dressing awkward was certainly a very 80s thing.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Such is the way of labels. One can negate you while another makes you a hero.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I suppose Yuppies still exist though they aren't called that, at least as far as I know. I'm not familiar with the business world. I was a teacher in the 80s, not a yuppie.

    ReplyDelete
  23. There are absolutely still yuppies, though the term seems to have fallen by the wayside. Now they're just "young professionals." They work in (generally entry-level) jobs in finance, sales, administration, civil service, etc. They live downtown in tiny, overpriced condos. They are terribly boring and only want to talk about their mortgage rate or their investment portfolio. They go to the club and party hard on the weekend, because it's the only thing in their life they have to look forward to.

    I used to work downtown in the financial district, the place is lousy with them. Not the same as hipsters at all.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I think they do still exist. I have even heard some people use the term- though I think most people don't call people yuppies anymore. :) Love the pictures that go with the post!
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
  25. The stereotypical '80s yuppie doesn't exist. That was a momentary thing. But the conditions for it still exist, so that personage has morphed into something different today.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Of course they still exist, and unfortunately, they're much easier to find than the Yeti. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Yep; they just call them something else. It is funny how each generation seems to have a name, I think son is in the millenial category. Hubby and me were never yuppies (I don't think)

    betty

    ReplyDelete
  28. I definitely think they still exist, but you're right about their physical characteristics morphing.

    Y is done. Yay!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Yuppies are alive and well here in Vancouver. They even outnumber the hipsters, although I'd say it's a close race.
    I love this trip through the eighties. Amazing to think how far we've come with technology. Imagine trying to carry that thing around in your back pocket!
    Catch you at Z--yippee!!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh yes, yuppies are still around, but I'm not sure there is the same fanaticism about the yuppie culture :)
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

    ReplyDelete
  31. It's funny how a term can shift in connotation like that.

    ReplyDelete