Furry Germans, uncultured Brits

What do you remember about German music in the early 1980s?

I’ve tried this question on a number of Germans and Brits… and the answer which both groups have in common is usually Nena.

But what do people remember about Nena? Well… the Germans remember Nena as the beautiful singer of the 99 Luftballons who they all secretly had a crush on. Here’s the video in case you haven’t seen it – I’ve pasted the German version because it’s better than the English 99 Red Balloons.

When you ask the Brits what they remember Nena for, the answer is invariably: Hairy armpits.

Beautiful hair...

Beautiful hair...

No mention of the siren voice, the stage presence, the energy and dance routines…. no, just hairy armpits.

I wonder how I will go down in posterity? No… on second thoughts I’d rather not know.


Filed under Life in Germany

19 responses to “Furry Germans, uncultured Brits

  1. Daniela

    Yes, the British are obsessed about hairy armpits, but, of course, only hairy armpits belonging to women. I think it is, along with sauerkraut and an absence of sense of humour, something that the British associate with Germans.

  2. Were there other German 80s artists besides Nena? Seriously, I can’t think of one.

  3. Mairead

    I just read some of the first part of this to my husband and he said “hairy armpits”…….

  4. nk

    haha. if i could even be remembered just for hairy armpits it would be a start. poor nena.

  5. What about Modern Talking or at least Dieter Bohlen, i think they had few hits in the UK charts. And what about Scorpions?

  6. sastry.m

    Germans are nature loving people and hence their fertile minds and perfect achievements. If love is God and vice versa there no scope for personal likes and dislikes, wanted or unwanted choices and self centered love or hatred in God’s natural creation. If women are equipped with the same terminal type adult hairs in axillae and pubis as men do upon reaching teen age it is due to nature’s prime necessity of the arduous responsibility vested with women to conceive and sustain human species by maintaining their own bodies free from toxic matter by continuously updating ‘anagen’and ‘catagen’ stages of hair formatting programs. Secular democracy is harmoniously embedded in Natural Creation placing equal rights to males to bear the brunt of upholding human virtues in a true communion with nature and women supporting those righteous endeavors as representatives of mother earth. What environmental problems we are facing today due to pollutions from toxins of synthetic culture we may lose our own scope of taking birth on earth in future by abusing women infusing their minds with a sense of shame in keeping what nature has gracefully bestowed out of necessity replacing with the greed of false vanity and permanent with drawl of their natural rights making ever subservient to depraved fancies of men in search of promoting their synthetic sub-creation.

    • In short… you don’t think women should shave their armpits 🙂

      • sastry.m

        Choice is personal but creation is eternal. The awareness of Love is the Unity in all Creation and the consciousness of Sex is the Power of Unity among all gender procreative living creatures. It is because of ‘choice’ nature endowed to human mind as a special gift that simple and direct manifestations of natural creation get ‘mixed up’ into confusion and ‘sexed up’ into distortion because of squared magnitudes of opposite ( +/- ) polarities represented by parabolic graphic curvatures contribute equally to natural powers. Hence the positive views help promotion of love of creation and the negative ones bring about its mutilation. In spite of the precocious human genius contributing to all scientific and technological progress by virtue of rational and logical studies of creation the black secret pitted by mother nature remains the greatest folly against human wisdom to reconcile to the power of unity and to find out in short the choice of view to consider the beauty in vogue.

  7. Hairy armpits, hairy topic in my youth.
    Growing up in Northern Bavaria in the 70s, a well bred girl did not shave as we were told only dancers, striptease girls and the likes did that.
    Once when I shaved my armpits and legs at the age of 17, my mother was aghast! She thought I was on the road to hell…

    So I guess for Nena, her hairy armpits were just the sign of a “good girl” as the 80s were not much different in that respect from the 70s.

    Seeing this picture just gave me the shivers.

    • Steve S.

      I loved Nena then, and I still do now. When I was stationed in Germany in 89 and 90, German women who shaved were considered “Americanized” and therefore, no longer truly German. I loved Germany and her people! Once you took the time to really get to know them, and let them get to know you, they would give you the shirt off their backs if you asked for it. Wish I could go back!

  8. BigBob

    You all miss the point. It wasn’t that she had hairy armpits it was that she was a georgeous, sexy, interesting and wonderful rock star AND she had hairy armpits. Marvellous.

  9. Well ever since the 80s we’ve referred to armpits as “Nenas” as in @Hey girl, go shave your Nenas”. But I still love 99 Luftballons!!

  10. magichelmet

    Never had a problem with hair under the arms. It is where it is supposed to be. Bugger me if you love a woman because she shaves.

    • Steve S.

      A woman with hair in her pits doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is a woman that has a hairier chest than I do – and I’ve seen a few. That is just odd…

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