“Make Love, Not War” – Do We Love the Message or the Aesthetic?

WRITTEN BY Caoimhe Mahon

May 7, 2023

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“Make Love, Not War” – Do We Love the Message or the Aesthetic?

Caoimhe Mahon

7 May, 2023

Walking through the beloved ‘hippie’ quarter of San Francisco, USA, the history of times gone by cannot be ignored. The colour, music and artwork spill out of vintage shops and record stores on to the bustling street where the counterculture movement of the 1960s and 70s was born. Walking through Haight-Ashbury, into Golden Gate park and sitting on the grass on hippie hill I was well and truly living out a fantasy of mine. Close your eyes and you could practically hear Scott McKenzie singing in the background.

I can thank my parents for my great music taste as I have grown up listening to music from this era. However, in recent weeks more and more people are listening to 70s classics and dawning ‘hippie’ inspired attire as we experience somewhat of a 1970s revival thanks to the hit Amazon Prime show ‘Daisy Jones and The Six’, based on the 2019 Taylor Jenkins Reid novel (allegedly inspired by the iconic Fleetwood Mac romance between Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham).

Daisy Jones and The Six. Photo: Lacey Terrell/Prime Video

Inspired by the series, TikTok has been taken over by individuals all creating their own Daisy looks from Vinted and Depop finds to charity shop gems. This eco-conscious approach to fashion is certainly refreshing in a bid to create an authentic look that protects the planet at the same time. The streams of people choosing to shop in the vintage and charity shops along Haight-Ashbury was proof that shopping sustainably is becoming more fashionable amongst revived trends.


counting down the days til the 3rd of march #daisyjonesandthesix #daisyjones #booktok #70s #1970s #fleetwoodmac #taylorjenkinsreid #vintage

♬ Regret Me – Daisy Jones & The Six

Not only has the fashion been making a hard comeback but so too has the music. Listening to records of the day however, only aid in emphasising the importance of music, in the 1960s and 1970s, as vehicles for change in society, as often it acted as a mouthpiece across the movements of the day including anti-war and civil rights campaigns. The counterculture of the time spoke out against war, most notably the war in Vietnam, challenged societal norms and condemned commercialism. , this causes us to question said revival and its impact. Is fashion is as far as it goes, or in fact can go? Does the message, ‘Make Love Not War,’ most famously coined in 1960s California as an anti-warslogan, extend beyond musical lyrics or does it appear lost to another age only present today on gift shop T-shirts and sprayed on street walls in tourist hubs?

Credit: Lacey Terrell/Prime Video

Credit: Lacey Terrell/Prime Video

Hippie culture has its fair share of flaws, of course, however, its call for peace and equality was not one of them. The fight against the war in Vietnam was fuelled by a desire for morality after the first ‘TV’ war revealed the brutality and devastation of U.S involvement in Vietnam. Fast forward to 2023 and it appears little has been learned. Societal cravings for money and power propel commercialism further forward as class divides grow deeper and deeper. Whilst it is certainly refreshing to see maxi dresses, floral prints and flares punctuate the current standard fashion trend of the puffer jacket, the call for peace and love must extend beyond the confines of fashion.

Every time you turn on the news or scroll through Twitter you are engulfed by the violence that plagues our society. Mounting numbers of refugees, entire communities devastated by loss and infrastructure torn down in the name of war seems to be a sad reality for modern day society. ‘Make Love Not War’ appears to echo as an anthem of the past as ‘Make War and Money’ dominates our present.





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