My Parents, the Tastemakers.

In entertainment we talk a lot about the tastemakers - the trendsetters, the people who set the tone for what the rest of us are going to be watching, wearing, listening to, and revering for that year (or many to come). They are people like John Lasseter and Pharrell Williams and Kate Spade - they identify what's hip and package it for us in delightful ways. They shape our culture!

But it occurred to me this weekend that we all have tastemakers - we all grew up with two people (or one or five - whatever your family structure was) who greatly affected what we watched, wore, listened to, and believed...our parents! These people weren't shooting to cultivate a hip, new, groundbreaking child with all the right attributes (at least I hope that wasn't their goal). They were simply sharing their lives with us, and in turn it, they shaped the culture of our youth.

The Philadelphia Story Dream Team.
My mom, Kathryn, shared her love of musicals (Oh, Music Man, you're still the best musical of all time!) and an obsession for classic movies, like The Philadelphia Story and The Maltese Falcon. She taught me to worship Billy Wilder and all things Cary Grant and Kathryn Hepburn. She gave me Little Women and Ernest Hemingway and a deep love of reading.

My stepdad, Roger, gave me Simon & Garfunkel (I'll save the story of how I listened to The Sound of Silence on repeat when my rats died for another post). He also gave me Second City TV and The Peanuts and Detroit Lions football (there has never been a kinder, better, truer Lions fan than Roger Hess, ladies and gentlemen).

Together they gave me a deep love of ALL movies. They exposed me to the best music...Rolling Stones, Elton John,Van Morrison...though my husband claims we listened to the worst albums from each of them (aka anything from the eighties). 

I look at this, and I can't stop giggling.
My dad, Dave, exposed me to classic rock like Queen, as well as classic comedy like Mel Brooks, Monty Python, and old Saturday Night Live episodes. I still remember watching the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and crying I was laughing so hard. Or was it Rick Moranis in Space Balls? Probably (definitely) both.

My stepmom, Julie, is the reason I know every line in Grease. She also led me to other staples of my youth, including Top Gun, top 40s radio, and the classic Thursday night line-up of Friends and ER (I think we about lost it when they did that crossover episode on Friends with George Clooney and Noah Wyle. OMG, swoon.).

And all this talk about how our parents influenced us made Brandon and me wonder - what will we impart upon our child? What is this kid going to be into because of us? How are we going to shape his likes and dislikes, just by showing him what we like? It's a super daunting task, but also one that really excites me! I can't wait to share everything with this little person, especially all the music and movies and stuff that I love. It will be so fun! I'll have a captive audience 24/7!

I'm super grateful to my parents for being excellent tastemakers in my youth. I hope I can pay it forward!

What do you love because of your parents? How did they shape your youth culture?