Who's To Blame: Melanie Griffith
In 1988, the film Working Girl starred Melanie Griffith in a succession of broad-shouldered suits, showing women the path to success was pretending to be someone else and boning Harrison Ford.
Harrison Ford lobbied hard to have "boning Harrison Ford" become the dominant women's fashion trend, but a nasty case of--well, legally we can't say, but it rhymes with "syphilis"--took him out of the running and the shoulder-pad became the ultimate symbol of late '80s go-getter women's empowerment.
Because clearly the best way to convince people to take you seriously is to dress like your suit barely contains the rippling muscles of your massive shoulders. Women dressing like linebackers eventually lost its pull, but lately the fashion world is buzzing about bringing them back. Meanwhile, we're still trying to figure out why the male version of this trend never caught on after Road Warrior.