The Quest for Fame by Decade: How We All Thought We’d Get Famous

Each generation wants to be famous, but they do it differently. Here was each decade’s big idea for fame. 

1970s – Astronaut

A rocket ship blasts off with a pillar of fire.
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Fresh off the moon landing, kids in the 1970s looked to the stars. They wanted to be American heroes and join the ranks of Neil Armstrong in walking on the moon. 

1980s -CEO

An evil looking boss sits in his office counting his money.
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The Regeanomics of the 1980s showed generations of kids new ways to make it big: corporate culture. They wanted to follow in the footsteps of Gorden Gecko. 

1980s – Rock Star

Crowd of raised arms at a concert.
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The 1980s counterculture kids had a different idea of fame and fortune. They wanted to be rock stars! These kids worshipped bands like Queen, Arrowsmith, and Led Zeppelin. 

1990s – Movie Star

close up of movie clipper about to cut
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The 1990s stood as the golden age of cinema. Stars like Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, and Cameron Diaz optimized the glitz and glamor of the big screen. 90’s kids wanted in!

1990s – Pop Singer

Pretty red haired woman singing with a microphone.
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In the 1990s, the rock music scene gave way to a new era: pop music. Everyone wanted to be the next Britney Spears or Jennifer Lopez. 

2000s – Website Developer

A website on a laptop screen.
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The 2000s brought fascinating new ways to make it big. Everyone wanted to be like Tom and Mark, who created iconic online platforms in the early days of the internet. 

2000s – Blogger

Happy young man using a laptop computer on a purple background.
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With the rise of the internet came a new way to get famous: blogging. In the early days, no one was doing it, so all you had to do to get rich was put your content out there. 

2010s -YouTuber

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Writing gave way to video. Youth of the 2010s thought they’d rocket to internet stardom by making YouTube videos. 

2010s – Streamer

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Streaming also took off in the 2010s. Kids saw a way to make money with their favorite hobby: gaming. Everyone wanted to be the next Ninja. 

2020s – Tick Tocker

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Today’s kids have it a lot easier. They don’t need to spend a lot of time editing videos; they can take quick, short-form videos and rise to internet stardom on TikTok. 

2020s – Social Media Influencer

Female social media influencer holding a "follow" sign in one hand and a "like & subscribe" sign in the other.
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It’s not just TikTok. People seek fame all over social media. Instagram was one of the first platforms people sought out for internet fame.

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