See Article History Skinhead, youth subculture characterized by aggressively masculine hair and dress styles, including shaved heads and heavy boots.
Contact Author Throughout history, there have been a lot of people in this world who've had a bad reputation, and granted, many of those people deserved it: Terrorists, the KKK, Nazis, gangs, the list could go on.
However, there's at least one group of people who have earned their bad reputation from having the wrong kinds of people become active in the scene instead of bringing it upon themselves. These people are who you would call "skinheads. It might sound crazy for someone to justify these people, but what do you really know about skinheads?
When most people think of skinheads, the first thing that comes to mind is often a racist Neo-Nazi white male with unsightly tattoos all over their body and a generally threatening demeanor.
They might even think of someone like this being affiliated with the KKK. How about a redneck? Sometimes, that's the case. Except all of this couldn't be farther from the truth. There are two sides to be evaluated here, with two very different types of people, so lets start with the history of this group.
Sketch of a mod and his scooter. Source What is a Skinhead?
It all began in the United Kingdom -- back in the late s and early s when people had more disposable income to spend however they pleased.
A lot of the young people spent their money on high end fashion trends that were brought about by U. These young people became known as mods, who would be known for their consumerism, devotion to fashion, music, and scooters, which were a major staple in this subculture. Of course, not everybody during the time could afford to keep up with such trends, and this caused two very specific groups to exist within the mod subculture.
The peacock mods also known as the smooth mods always had the latest fashions and were known as being the least violent of mods, while the hard mods were more working class: With significantly less money, they opted for boots, straight legged jeans, button down shirts, and suspenders.
When they did have money, they'd spend it on tonic suits and other classy outfits that they could wear to dance halls where they'd enjoy music of the ska, rocksteady, and reggae genres. These people often had closely shaven heads mostly for workforce reasons, and ease of maintenancewhich is where the term skinhead arose from.
By the late s, it was what they were commonly known as. Doc Marten's are the preferred boots among skins. Source Did You Know? The checkerboard pattern became associated with ska during the 2-Tone wave in Britain. It's widely believed to represent whites and blacks working together and being equal, which was still fairly new during this time period.
Musicians of 2-Tone ska bands were often composed of white skinheads and Jamaican rude boys. While rude boys have always been involved in ska music since it's inception, the skinhead culture had a considerable amount of influence on the 2-Tone wave of ska.
One of the most popular ska record label, Trojan Records, was even begun in Britain. Jamaican and British flag with the Trojan Records helmet uniting them. On the flag, a white and black skinhead girl stand across from each other. These skinheads were not racist, seeing as the original skinhead subculture was compromised of both whites and blacks.
Of course, there is always the exception with anything and anyone, but as a whole, skinheads did not care about the color of a persons skin, and many weren't even too big on politics later on though, this would change.
With most of their influence in music coming from the rude boys of Jamaica many of them were now in Britain since there was a surge of emigration from their homelandsuch as ska, rocksteady, and early reggae, it wasn't unheard of to see these two groups of people together often, especially at dance halls where they could drink and dance.
In fact, the second wave of ska that emerged during the s known as 2-Tone, most likely would not have come about without the culture mixing of skinheads and rude boys. They focused on working, staying true to their friends, and most of all, enjoying music and having a good time.
Things wouldn't stay so simple for long, though. The s quickly came, and the skinhead subculture began to fade while also splitting off into even more subcultures though they were small and are not of much importance to this article.
It was during the late s that some skinheads began associating themselves with political movements such as the British Movement and the National Front, which was a far-right, whites-only political party who firmly believed that many of the socio-economic issues that Britain faced were due to the non-white emigrants in the UK.
Even Neo-Nazis began to take the skinhead name and warp it, adopting the clothing style of boots, braces, and shaved heads. The s changed everything. It's because of these different groups, people often think of skinheads as being violent white supremacists. It's worth knowing that even though white supremacist "skinheads" they really do not even deserve to be called as such, and true skins will often get angry because of this exist in large numbers, so do anti-racist skinheads.
When referring to skinheads, the term tradskins is often used and preferred instead since it means "traditional skinheads," who are skinheads that keep true to their original roots and aren't racist. Even Neo-Nazi's began to take the Skinhead name and warp it.The mainstream media started using the term skinhead in reports of racist violence (regardless of whether the perpetrator was actually a skinhead); this has played a large role in skewing public perceptions about the subculture.
Feb 08, · Are Skinheads Racist? A Look at Their History and What They're About. Updated on May 24, Kay B. more. Contact Author.
most likely would not have come about without the culture mixing of skinheads and rude boys. They focused on working, staying true to their friends, and most of all, enjoying music and having a Reviews: Skinhead, youth subculture characterized by aggressively masculine hair and dress styles, including shaved heads and heavy boots.
In many countries skinheads are commonly viewed as extreme right-wing nationalists or neofascists who espouse anti-Semitic and other racist views, though the skinhead phenomenon is not always overtly political and not all skinheads are racists.
Skinheads: A Guide to An American Subculture is an insider's look at the history of skinheads in the United States, from their emergence from the U.S. hardcore underground in the s in New York City, Chicago, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles, to the current scene that thrives in many major metropolitan areas today.
Many younger skinheads looked up to Richard Allen because his look personified the fashion aspect of the culture. The crux to this, was that Richard Allen was racist to the core.
This was also the same time that politics entered the skinhead world. Skinhead History, Identity, and Culture covers the history, identity, and culture of the skinhead movement in Europe and America, looking at the total culture of the skins through a cross-sectional analysis of skinheads in various countries.