The Dark Side Of Nostalgia
Start writing a post
Community

The Dark Side Of Nostalgia

Nostalgia can give us good feelings and memories of our childhood, but it can also cause serious problems.

17
The Dark Side Of Nostalgia

Many people these days look back on the media they consumed as a child and are reminded of, in their minds, better times. They are reminded of a time that feels objectively better than the one they live in now. These were the days when there were no worries, no struggle, everyone was friendly and went to church, everything was just better. However, when you actually look back at those periods in time, the truth is never that simple.

Nostalgia driven media often omits the dark periods or outright sanitizes certain moments and people in history. One of the best examples of this is the period known as the 1950s. To many Americans, mostly white Boomers, the 1950s was a sort of American Golden Age. America was reaping the benefits of a postwar economy, the American middle class was booming, and this was the height of "American ideals" like religion and democracy. Shows like "Happy Days" often see this period as an objectively better time than the present, just look at the title. This, however, is not true.

Most nostalgic media often ignores the the dark side of the 1950s. The 1950s were a hard time for many people. The Cold War between America and Soviet Russia was at it's peak and children were being taught about the real possibility of nuclear war. The government was so paranoid about communism that any opinion that criticized America and her policies would have you branded a communist, ruin your professional life, or even get you thrown in prison. Not to mention the rampant racism and bigotry that came as a reaction to the civil rights movement. So why do some people remember the 50s so fondly and wish America would return to such a time period?

Most of the people who say they want to return to that time period are white Boomers who grew up as fairly well off children at that time. When you are a child, you know little to nothing about the troubles of the outside world. You remembers things like riding bikes, watching your favorite T.V. show, or getting ice cream at the drug store. Nostalgic media only gives you those moments you remember fondly to create warm memories of your childhood, so what's the problem?

Warping and sanitizing our view of the past has never led to good. It ignores the real history that is always more complex than many in American society would want. When we elevate only the "good parts" and ignore the bad you aren't teaching history, you're mythologizing real people and real periods of time. Mythologizing flawed and often downright bad people (Christopher Columbus) led to this "cult of traditionalism" among the older generation that we are dealing with today. People who twist and turn their logic to defend statues and monuments to bad people, some have even threatened harm on real people to defend them. Nostalgia can remind us of our happy carefree childhoods, but it can also close us off to new ideas and discoveries that can actually make the world better. We shouldn't be looking to the past for a better future, we should be looking at everything in front of us and ask ourselves, "how do we make this better for everyone".

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

49986

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

91109
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

357821
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

224039
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

115334
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

302633

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.

184909

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

125083
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments