Seasons come and go. Fashion trends change and reemerge over the years. But parents, at their core, stay more or less the same no matter how many decades pass. They’re still the same caring, loving, and supportive people, whether we’re talking about 2022 or 1972. However, it’s also super cool to take a peek into the past and explore the vibes and style that our parents lived with and how they had fun and goofed around. That’s when you take out the family photo album to bring a smile to your face.
But what if you could take a look inside the albums of people around the entire globe? Well, that’s where the Old School Dads and Old School Moms Instagram projects shine bright. The work of Chase Banta, the two pages “toast and roast” the very best vintage parent pics, with all of the coolness and goofiness that you can expect. Now a dad himself, Chase was inspired to start the two feeds by his own dad.
Bored Panda reached out to the founder of the project and he was kind enough to answer our questions about parenting, nostalgia, and valuing our time with our loved ones. Because we never know how much time we truly have left with them.
Scroll down to check out the best photos and remember to upvote your fave ones, Pandas. Let us know which ones you absolutely adored. If you’re feeling up to sharing some of your or your parents’ old album photos, why not post them in the comment section or get in touch with Chase? Oh, and if you’d love to see some more totally rad old school dads and moms, then be sure to check out Chase’s earlier awesome feature on Bored Panda right over here. And be sure to check out his socials!
This is a gentle reminder to call your parents and everyone else you care about and tell them you love them.
Bridget, My Stepmom
She came into my life when I was 5. Because of her I grew up with Alex Haley, Malcolm X, Richard Pryor, New Edition, Maya Angelou, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Prince, and countless other cultural figures. She never tried to replace my mother, but loved me like one. She died of sickle cell anemia in 2006. She had a PHD in sociology and worked in college admissions at UCSB and Cal State San Marcos. Bridget, my dad and I watched the Rodney King riots from the home that she grew up in in Pasadena. Her family accepted my father and me truly as family. He and I were the only white people at their church on sundays. I’m posting this because she’s on my mind a lot these days. This is hard. I don’t always know what to do. But I try to ask her in my mind. I believe in anti-racism, that when I see it externally or internally I need to fight it. I also know what I know about all this because Bridget was in love with my German, white AF dad. Love is at the core of the solution
That’s My Dad
I can already smell the Bensons and Hedges menthols, the Sta-Sof-Fro he’d put in his hair, the Fendi cologne he’d wear. Dressed to the nines with Armani shirts, Saks Fifth Ave slacks and Ferragamo’s on his feet. He had to know he was the flyest brother in the room. But he never did say much. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I’d wake up at night to grab a snack as a kid and he’d be up alone in the kitchen, smoking a cigarette. He’d look over, glare at me for a minute and ask, “Boy, you want to hear a story?” I’d sit up on the counter and he’d share bits and pieces from his life: You’d never know he was born in a barn in Tennessee. You’d wouldn’t think he and his mom fled north to Chicago during the great migration, lived in the boiler room of a housing project until he was twelve. He never talks about the days he had to enter through the back door or walk a little further to use the colored bathrooms. He hides the fact that he was a helicopter door gunner in Vietnam, loading the dead and wounded on board in between firefights. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
What he would say, on a good day, is that his names Melvin, he likes jazz, he’s from the midwest and, his favorite food has always been fried catfish.”
Yours truly may or may not have been inspired to work out, try some bolder fashion statements, and even try growing a mustache in the coming months after soaking up all of the vintage inspiration from the Old School Dads page. At the time of writing, the account had 156k followers, up from 10.7k fans just over half a year ago.
It’s easy to see why the page is so popular. It taps into our sense of nostalgia, our love for our parents, and our desire to see weird hairstyles and fashion trends. It’s the mix of love, longing, and comedy, as well as the desire to share our own family pics, that really gets people hooked.
Meanwhile, the Old School Moms Instagram feed has gotten even more attention than the one about dads. Currently, OSM has a whopping 239k followers and counting! Classy moms are taking the prize for first place right now, but we know that the dads are bringing their A-game as well in this friendly competition.
My Godsend Of A Mother Nursing My 2 Month Old Brother While Making Me Green Eggs And Ham Because I Was Right In The Middle Of My Dr Suess Only Food Phase
Thought He Was Sitting Me Down To Say He Was A Dungeons And Dragons Fan. What A Relief!
Chase, the founder of Old School Dads and Old School Moms, told Bored Panda that he feels “a very genuine kind of way” about both pages, and he’s glad that this comes through in his work.
“While the photos feature dads and moms, I think the overwhelming shared experience of the people who tune in to the feeds and what the photos tap into is the experience of having had a mom, or having had a dad, or having been a kid in a certain time and place,” he said that it’s the shared nostalgia and relatability factor that really reels people in.
“It’s a universal experience, so I think it’s an easy one for a community of disparate souls to connect over. Plus, the captions under the photos are funny, and people like funny,” the founder explained the appeal of the old school pics. He added that he recently conducted a poll and a whopping 89% of followers found the captions he writes funny. Meanwhile, 11% said that they ‘hated’ them. “I guess you can’t please everyone.”
“I think nostalgia is a deep part of the human condition, it’s why our parents and grandparents tell us so many of the same stories,” Chase said that these stories take them back to a time and place that they remember being happy. We do the same—though we might not notice it.
“I think that’s the appeal of old school photography: it either teleports us back to a place we’ve been and miss, or it lets us travel to places our loved ones cherished.”
Here I Am With My Mom, Backstage At The Tropicana On The Las Vegas Strip [circa 1989]. What A Life!”
That Face When Child Protective Services Is Hot On Your Tail
According to Chase, what matters isn’t the tech that’s used to take photographs, but that what’s captured “is the power of a moment and the characters in it.” Analog or digital, it’s the emotions in the shot that truly speak to the photographer, the people in the frame, and anyone else flipping through the (physical or digital) album.
Bored Panda was curious to get Chase’s opinion on when everyone will begin considering moms and dads from 2022 to be old school. He said it really depends on how you look at it.
“I’m a 40-year-old father of a 3-year-old and, without a doubt, there’s a large contingent of 16–30-year-old crowd who sees a parent like me who doesn’t dress like them, talk like them, or think like them and already labels us as old school,” he shared his thoughts.
“On the other hand, based on the age range of photos I get, people tend to think their dad qualifies as old school when they’re looking back 20+ years. So, my message to parents is: hang in there if your kids don’t like you now because in 20 years they’ll be bragging about you on the internet.” Which is great news for anyone who enjoys being thought of as cool.
N This Family We Support We Do Not Judge. We Support We Do Not Judge. We Support We Do Not Judge
Quick Morning Team Meeting To Get An Update On The Sh*tuation
When it comes to parenting, Chase believes that we’re all going to look back on everything and realize that we got some things right, some stuff “wildly wrong,” while much of the stuff we worried about didn’t matter in the first place.
“I think the goal is to just be as present as we can be for our kids, to pull forward the lessons from our past, project what’s going to help them in the future, and have fun stewarding them to who they’re going to become.”
Chase had a final parting piece of wisdom to share with us and all of you Pandas, concerning loss.
“Loss is part of the human condition, and you grow less and less immune to it by the day. I have posted the photos of hundreds of people whose parents had already passed away, and posted the photos of many dozens more whose parents passed on sometime after they were featured on the page,” he said.
“In fact, my own dad, who was the inspiration behind the feeds passed away in a plane crash in April of 2020, a tragic event that, as you can imagine, my family and I were completely unprepared for. The fact of the matter is you never know how many days you or your loved ones have left, so cherish each other deeply, forgive and forget quickly, and don’t be afraid to remind each other how much you’d miss them if they were gone. You’ll make your parents proud if you do. Now go tell someone you love them.”
When You’re Responsible For So Much Life In The Universe That You Identify As The Big Bang
“One of the main changes is that your children want and need as much of your attention as possible, which means you have a lot less spare time to do things you want, including checking your phone. You are no longer a couple anymore. You are a couple and parents at the same time. It’s difficult to understand what it is like to be a parent without actually doing it,” he said.
For relationship expert Dan, being a dad is being responsible for others and taking care of them “before you even think of taking care of yourself.” That’s the main thing to get right in order to avoid a strained relationship with your family.
“Understandably, that might sound like too much responsibility for some guys. Yet, when you become a dad, you are happy to do it. It doesn’t feel like a chore. It feels natural to be that selfless and to take care of them,” he told Bored Panda.
“I personally went from not wanting kids at all, to gradually opening up to it. At some point, my gut instinct about having children changed and I decided that I’d like to have a family. So, I just went ahead with it. After a few years of trying, my wife and I eventually had twin girls when she was 26 and I was 41,” dating expert Dan shared his own story about journey towards becoming a parent.
“Yet, prior to that, I never wanted to have children. Trust your gut instinct, while knowing that what you feel about the idea of having children now, may be completely different 2, 5, or 10 years from now and that is okay. You are allowed to change what you want as you go through life. You don’t have to have everything decided right now and never change your mind about anything.”
“Pops, I Am Who I Am Today Because Of You. You’ve Always Made It Your Job To Be There For Me And Show Me How To Do Things The Right Way. I Hope I Can One Day Become Half The Man You Are. You’re A True Hero. I Love You Old Man.”
Clock In And Pass Out
The dating expert noted that it really depends on each individual man, how they perceive fatherhood. “Some men see it as a truly amazing thing to become a dad, some see it as just a normal part of life, and others hate it. It really is different for every man and depends on who he is, what he wants from life, the importance he places on family, and what he truly wants to focus on,” he said.
“For example: If a man was truly focused on achieving his biggest goals and ambitions in life prior to having children, he will usually continue to focus on that as being the most important thing to him, while also giving time to his children and wife, or girlfriend. If a man didn’t have big goals outside of the relationship prior to having children, his children will often become a huge part or the main part of what he sees as his purpose in life. In other cases, a man will suddenly become ambitious and want to achieve a lot more to ensure that he can provide for his children and give them a better life.”
Meanwhile, during a recent interview with Licensed Counselor Suzanne Degges-White, a professor from Northern Illinois University, Bored Panda learned more about nostalgia and gratitude. She explained to us that nostalgia is akin to a ‘superpower’ that helps us feel better in the present by connecting us to the past.
“Nostalgia can help us feel better about ourselves and more in control of current situations if we’re able to channel that positivity into concrete actions or a reframed mindset about the present. However, when we begin ‘living in the past,’ we may be inviting into our lives less than optimal mental wellness and potentially compromised physical wellbeing, too,” she said that it’s vital to moderate nostalgia.
“When we succumb to memories of how things ‘used to be’ and refuse to address the ‘what is,’ we may find ourselves overwhelmed by our current conditions and less able to manage current challenges,” Professor Degges-White said.
“It’s often memories of home and the people who surround us that keeps us able to deal with significantly concerning or dangerous conditions. For instance, letters from home can be a lifeline for those who are engaged in warfare far away from what they consider ‘home,'” she said.
“It’s when we become stuck in our memories of people who have died, places or times in our lives when things were ‘easier’ or ‘better’ that invites in the negative effects of nostalgia. When we are unable to make decisions about a current challenge or get stuck in memories of better times from the past, we can sink into a state in which we kind of ‘tune out’ of the present and ignore very real threats or opportunities in the now.”
Solar In The Streets, Boner In The Sheets
Reckon My English Better Than All Y’all Muther F*ckers In Here By A Long Sight
The secret to being more grateful for what we have in the present starts by ‘waking up’ and recognizing all of the things that you appreciate in life that surround you right here and now, the professor told Bored Panda.
“It’s also helpful to step outside yourself and see how others might see your life. Gratitude can start with the basics—enough food to eat each day, a job that pays you enough to keep a roof over your head, people in your life who care about you and to whom you matter. Recognizing that not everyone in life has been as fortunate as you have and acknowledging your accomplishments is the best way to begin. Making a ‘gratitude list’ really does help us see our lives in a whole new way if we are committed to acknowledging the way our lives have been touched by success.”
Someone Call A Toe-Truck For That Pileup Down Around The Junction
The Next Stimulus Package Is Just This
Note: this post originally had 131 images. It’s been shortened to the top 35 images based on user votes.