Originally Posted by babygreenspots
I love bellbottoms. They are a classic that never completely goes away, and their history goes back to long before the 1970s. They are a sort of affluent revolution. They are a sign of liberty and, sorry, America. Oppressive regimes throughout the world have clamped down on bellbottoms as symbols of US imperialism and Western style excess. The mullahs outlawed them in Iran after the revolution. Bellbottoms were banned in China throughout the Cultural Revolution. As economic reforms came in with the early eighties, so did bell-bottoms. Throughout the period of economic opening, bellbottoms have represented freedom of self-expression and individualism. Whether you like these things are not, they are what bellbottoms (and western culture) represent.
Working in a professional environment, I certainly don't wear them, but the horror of them seems ever-so-slightly Mullahist or Maoist to me, since I have ties to both Iran and China. Bellbottoms are more than just a fashion disaster from the seventies. I know that they are overly flamboyant and tasteless, etc., but, as Americans, we should understand what they represent globally before pronouncing them evil.
You are looking at them from a sociopolitical perspective and, I would submit, giving them FAR too much power (much like the mullahs and Maoists). I, on the other hand, see them as politically impotent; they're just freakin' ugly pants that flatter almost nobody's physique. And yes, I understand their history, but that was purely functional, NOT fashion.
I would also submit that they are certainly not "classic," which would suggest that they are pretty much always stylish. That is simply not true. They were stylish in much of the 1970's and about half of the 1990's. Right now, boot cut is okay, but young people wearing true bellbottoms are ridiculed.