To Reboot or To Preserve The Classics
March 4, 2023
Relevance, Modernity Prevails
Imagine you hear an announcement from your favorite show, clothing item, or book, saying that there will be a sequel or reboot, a phenomenon that has become increasingly popular. There have been some terrible reboots in the past, like “That 80s Show,” but for every lousy reboot, there is a good one that makes the bad ones fade into the background. They’re not only have been great reboots in the film industry but in the literary and fashion industries as well. From the resurgence of a revamped Ugg to sequels of great books, creating something new out of an already great piece of long-lasting culture, led me to believe that reboots are an integral and necessary part of pop culture.
Now thinking about “That 80s Show,” the franchise just released another reboot called “That 90s Show.” Even though “That 80s Show” never really matched the original’s quality, “That “70s Show,” they are trying to redeem itself with this new release. While nothing can ever beat the nostalgia of watching Eric Foreman and his friends converse in his musty basement, “That 90s Show” has amazing reviews. Some cast return for the full show while others, like Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, only make small guest appearances. The show has the same coming-of-age feel, while still maintaining a new and different set of challenges for the characters but maintaining the same concept and style of filming.
Another redone item appearing everywhere is the Ugg Ultra Minis. First seen on Bella Hadid back in September of 2022, the shoe almost immediately sold out. They are comfortable, classic, and can be worn with almost everything. Uggs have been around for ages, and as time moves on, the shaft of the boot has become smaller and smaller. I remember having tall light brown Uggs back in first grade, and now, the shorter ones have become popular. The Vivienne Westwood brand has recently done the same thing, changing their pendant necklaces in order to revamp the design.
This revamping of old and classic items has become very popular recently because customers are often looking for familiarity. Scrolling through Netflix you have the option to start a completely new tv show, or you could start “That 90s Show,” which is familiar to you because you already watched its prequel. Which one are you most likely to choose? These reboots provide us with familiarity and structure, which is often nice when you don’t want to waste time or money on something that you might not enjoy. So why not buy those Uggs that you know you will like, or start that show that already seems so familiar to you? Who knows, it might be your new obsession.
Revivals Prove Off-Putting, Pointless
Old clothes, music, and sayings always tend to come back from previous generations, but to what extent should we reboot from the past? Rebooting old styles of clothes, music genres, and interior design is a way to tribute to past time periods, but not when they go against the wishes of someone associated with an object. Kim Kardashian instigated controversy after wearing Marilyn Monroe’s famous sequin floor-length dress to the 2022 Met Gala. Kim claims she only wore the dress briefly and did not damage it, and says she understands how much it means to American history. But does that mean she should have been allowed to wear it? While most agree that certain trends and songs are timeless, many believe that original historical objects should stay in the past. Such was the response to Kim in Marilyn’s dress; Bob Mackie, the designer of Monroe’s famous dress, condemned Kim’s choice saying, “It was designed for [Marilyn]. No one else should be seen in that dress.” While Kim Kardashian and Marilyn Monroe are both American icons in different ways, Marilyn’s dress was a symbol of her unique style and status as Hollywood’s most recognizable star and ought to be preserved as such. Tess Dayhoff ‘25 concurs, “The fact that the designer said no is really important because he is the one who crafted the dress specifically for Marilyn Monroe.”
Kim Kardashian also chose to dye her hair blonde and post public updates on her “crash diet” to fit into the dress, provoking more backlash for trying to imitate the bombshell signature look that made Marilyn the sex icon she is today. While these actions alone would not have been disrespectful, her insistence on wearing Monroe’s original hand-crafted dress made the act seem obnoxious. Geneva Stockton ‘25 points out that “Marilyn didn’t want anyone else to wear her dress. [Kim Kardashian] worked her way through the system to wear it against Marilyn Monroe’s will.” Stockton adds, “The dress didn’t fit her even after all her plastic surgery.” Kim Kardashian revealed she had to plead with her mom, Kris Jenner, in order to convince Ripley’s, which held the dress, to let her wear it. Dayhoff continues, “The intentions behind it also matter. If Kim Kardashian was trying to honor or pay homage to Marilyn Monroe, it would be different, but if she was wearing it just because, it seems disrespectful.” As Kim Kardashian stood posing for mobs of paparazzi at the Met Gala alongside Pete Davidson, it did not appear to be an act of homage to Marilyn Monroe, leading to confusion about why the dress was brought back in the first place.