Candid Snapshots of ’80s Punk Culture Through an Amazing Instagram Account

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Growing up at a time when there was no internet or digital cameras meant it was a challenge to document our scenes with quality photos! This Instagram user called Spitting Image shows punks from all over, especially from the ’80s.

Music is the most important aspect of punk. Punk music is called punk rock, sometimes shortened to punk. Most punk rock is a specific style of the rock music genre, though punk musicians sometimes incorporate elements from other genres. Punk subcultures often distinguish themselves by having a unique style of punk rock, though not every style of punk rock has its own associated subculture.

Punks seek to outrage propriety with the highly theatrical use of clothing, hairstyles, cosmetics, jewelry and body modification. Punk clothing adapts existing objects for aesthetic effect: previously ripped clothes are held together by safety pins or wrapped with tape, written on with marker or defaced with paint; a black bin liner might become a dress, shirt or skirt. Leather, rubber and vinyl clothing are also common, possibly due to its implied connection with transgressive sexual practices, such as bondage and sado-masochism. Some punks wear tight “drainpipe” jeans, brothel creeper shoes, T-shirts with risqué images, and possibly leather motorcycle jackets and Converse sneakers.

Some punks style their hair to stand in spikes, cut it into mohawks or other dramatic shapes, and color it with vibrant, unnatural hues. Punks will use safety pins and razor blades as jewelry. Punks tend to show their love for a band or idea by pin-back buttons or patches, which adorn their jackets and other clothing items. They sometimes flaunt taboo symbols such as the Iron Cross. Early punks sometimes wore the Nazi swastika for shock-value, but most modern punks are staunchly anti-racist, and will more likely wear a crossed-out swastika symbol.

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