It was June 30, 1985. America was in transition from the laid-back feeling of the 60’s and 70’s to an electronic culture with a new generation focused on different things than equality, peace and love. They were the beginning of the generation of ‘me’. And the ‘me’ generation had their owns interests and agendas, one of them in the front of the train was money and material possessions. So who better to write and place this in the face for all to see than Madonna Material Girl?
Her hit, Madonna Material Girl, marked this shift in cultural focus clearly with no apologies or excuses. She was bold enough to make a video demonstrating just who she and this new generation were in diamonds and glitter. It is hard to know whether she was writing about herself specifically or just making a statement but either way we all knew that the times has changed and money was now was the goal and direction of the country and individual. President Reagan had done his thing and we were an economically strong country, affluence was the norm not the exception among certain racial and cultural groups.
I am not certain the same video or song would hold the same impact and weight today as it did then. Affluence has been such an undercurrent that it is accepted as how we exist now. The days of sharing and leaving doors unlocked have been replaced by SAT prep classes and parents writing high school students college personal statements and having them proofed by a college entrance application proofreader. Today education is focused on tests, not learning. Students volunteer for resumes, not service today. Madonna forecasted this. Enjoy Madonna Material Girl!