How a shift makes a big change

ph Florian Wehde on Unsplash

On the night of December 31, 1987, singer Sabrina Salerno graced the Spanish television show Súper 88, a New Year’s Eve special on TVE, singing live Boys, a song that has become a milestone of Italo Disco. People were also eagerly awaiting the arrival of the New Year, 1988.

At that time, Antena 3, Telecinco, and La Cuatro had yet to emerge, so a significant portion of the Spanish population would have been tuned in to watch Sabrina in her unforgettable look: large hoop earrings, crucifix necklace, black leather jacket, square buckle, miniskirt, tights, and slouch boots with a cone heel.

During her performance, there was a wardrobe malfunction which resulted in increased attention and popularity for Sabrina in Spain, remembered as one of the most controversial moments on Spanish television. This incident, while unplanned, certainly played a role in shaping her career and her image as a global star.

On the night of December 31, 1987, singer Sabrina Salerno graced the Spanish television show Súper 88. A wardrobe malfunction during her performance ended up marking a turning point in the cultural path

The late 1980s was a period of significant change in Spain, marked by a burst of freedom and creativity in arts and culture. Sabrina Salerno’s performance and the subsequent media attention can be seen as part of this broader cultural moment.

The first shift indeed involved a physical change during Sabrina Salerno’s performance, but the second, and arguably more significant shift, was the change in perception regarding her talent.

A small event can ripple out to influence societal norms and expectations. This incident also hinted at broader changes in Spanish television that followed, marking a turning point in the cultural path of a country known for its conservative traditions. (Sergio Scialabba)

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