P-Mag Nostalgia Project – 1988 With Slay Belle

In 1988, I am finishing up 7th grade (spring) and entering 8th grade (fall). I’m a middling student who competes in the science fair, is a baton-twirling majorette in our middle school marching band, and a perpetual chorus member in all the school plays.

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want, desperately, to have a Guess miniskirt, because that’s what all the wealthy, popular girls wear and I have yet to develop any style of my own – that won’t come roaring in, with a combat-boot clad vengeance, for a couple of more years yet.

My stick straight brown hair is permed twice yearly, because perms are what you do in the ’80s, and my next door neighbor-slash-BFF is in high school and tries to teach me how to do the perfect ratted bangs. After school, I walk to an older friend’s house and we spend the afternoon cutting up copies of Circus and Hit Parader for their pictures of Def Leppard (her) and Guns N’ Roses (me) and pasting them in construction paper books we made for ourselves because, you should know, we didn’t have the internet yet. On Friday nights, we go roller skating at a local rink (a skill I’ll find valuable in my later years). That rink was turned into a library years later, which, for some reason, is something I find endlessly amusing.

Persephone Magazine Nostalgia project banner for 1988.



Débuts in 1988:

The Wonder Years

China Beach

Yo! MTV Raps


Mystery Science Theater 3000


This year also saw the finales of Magnum PI, Jem, Cagney and Lacey, Solid Gold (another regular Friday night show in my household), St. Elsewhere, and What’s Happening Now!


1988 is an excellent year for movies even if you can’t reconcile the idea that the ’80s was an excellent decade for anything:

The Accused  (Jodi Foster wins the Oscar for Best Actress for this film)




Coming to America

Decline of Western Civilization: The Metal Years


You might have been listening to:

“Faith” ““ George Michael

“Never Gonna Give You Up” ““ Rick Astley

Tender Prey ““Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Tougher Than Leather ““ Run-D.M.C.

New Jersey ““ Bon Jovi


Did you know?

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  • Geraldo Rivera famously has his nose broken on his self-titled talk show during the broadcasting an episode called “Young Hate Mongers” when a white supremacist and a liberal activist get into a fight on the panel.
  • Perestroika begins in the Soviet Union on January 1st.
  • 1988 was a presidential election year, with George H. Bush defeating his Democratic challenger, Michael Dukakis. Bush is the first sitting Vice President to be elected President.
  • Benazir Bhutto is sworn in as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the first woman to head an Islamic state. She was assassinated in 2007.
  • Pan Am Flight 107 is blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland.
  • The first computer worm, Morris, is launched from MIT.
  • On August 26th, Mehran Karimi Nasseri,an Iranian refugee, becomes stuck in Charles de Gaulle Airport due to a passport issue, and resides in the airports lounge until July 2006. His story is the basis for the movie Terminal.
  • CDs outsell vinyl records for the first time.
  • Prozac is introduced to the U.S. market.


By [E] Slay Belle

Slay Belle is an editor and the new writer mentor here at Persephone Magazine, where she writes about pop culture, Buffy, and her extreme love of Lifetime movies. She is also the editor of You can follow her on Twitter, @SlayBelle or email her at

She is awfully fond of unicorns and zombies, and will usually respond to any conversational volley that includes those topics.

11 replies on “P-Mag Nostalgia Project – 1988 With Slay Belle”

The Accused is the only movie I’ve ever walked out of, not because it was bad but because it was so powerful. She deserved an Oscar for that one. (I went back in, I just had to walk out for that scene.)

Also, high five for Bon Jovi and roller derby. I swear, I think every girl in our league said she hadn’t been on skates since junior high.

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