According to reports from TMZ, MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN, Michael Jackson died due to cardiac arrest Thursday afternoon at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. He was only 50 years old.
Though feelings on Michael Jackson are mixed, it can’t be denied that Michael Jackson’s fashions and videos had a large impact on children of the ’80s. Those children grew up and then spread the influence and styles they were exposed to in his videos. From the monsters in Thriller who gave us all nightmares , to the luxurious Egyptian theme in Remember The Time, and beyond, Michael Jackson’s videos have certainly left their mark in pop culture, fashion, and the independent arts and crafts market.
In spite of the fact that Thriller was copyrighted in 1982, it still managed to go viral long before internet commonly existed. It’s so popular even today that parodies of it spread like wildfire through popular social networks due to our familiarity with the video. It introduced many of us to monsters in a very prominent way and today, no mention of zombies or monsters of childhood is complete without a nod to Thriller.
Michael Jackson also influenced fashion trends in the 1980s, with his Smooth Criminal video as well as Billie Jean and Beat It. In fact, no discussion of Michael Jackson related to fashion would be complete without discussing how his style influenced the 80s. From his leather jackets, to his single rhinestone glove, down to his white socks…Michael Jackson’s influence on 80s clothing and style trends is indisputable.
His influence on crafts and pop culture in the 21st century is also sizable. The fact that many of us have seen the Thriller video in particular so many times (though Beat It, Billie Jean, and Black or White have their memorable moments) has even turned certain hand and body movements or positions into gestures that lead back to Michael Jackson’s videos, and you can often find these duplicated in some fashion in current art or pop culture. Don’t be surprised to see more of it in the next couple of months or years as fans (even ones who aren’t sure how to feel any more) pay homage to the good things they associate with the pop legend.
Whatever you think of Michael Jackson today, his contributions to pop music and pop culture of the 80s will continue to affect fashions and crafts today, if Etsy is any indication. Though the last years of his life tarnished his reputation, many people are still upset over the loss of this childhood icon.