Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Here's to being unkind and intervening

One of my new pretend internet friends, Lisa at Take 90 West, did a little post last week in which she posted pictures of herself from years gone by. It was inspiring and beautiful. I thought I'd attempt to do the same.

What I have come to realize is that I was actually a beautiful child, but lacked some serious guidance when it came to my teen years. Mine was the mother who felt it would be unkind to intervene and tell me that the baby blue eye shadow caked on like frosting did not work for me.

She should have been unkind and intervened.

But she didn't, and I spent some seriously ugly days thinking I was extremely hot. I give you the 70s and 80s as they should not have been:

But first, this is the only beautiful picture of me taken between 1973 and 2005. It must be included to show the marked decline which happened from this point on:



Unfortunately, I didn't stay that adorable. Here is my pathetic, frighteningly curly homage to Dorthy Hamill. Sleeping in the pink foamie curlers overnight with short hair will produce this cross between a poodle and Luke Skywalker. I like to think that people were too busy gaping at my extra large jack-o-lantern teeth to notice my polyester red and green floral dress.

That thing looks like a grocery bag that I poked my head through, and put a rubber band around the neck to keep it in place. For all I know, it could have been:

My hair eventually grew out, but my bangs did not. Please stop and admire the high lace collar and red gathered jumper, both of which were homemade by my mother. She had mad sewing skillz and used to make me things all the time. I think she might have thought twice about it if she knew that I was doing handstands with my friends on the chain link fence in those very dresses, shouting with glee every time a truck driver honked at us and our panties on display.

She should have sewn me pants instead.


Here is what I like to call my demure look. It rocked the 4th grade. As you can tell, I was still sleeping in the pink curlers, but I got to have my bangs parted down the center and feathered this year. I was wearing another homemade dress, this one covered in strawberries. I like the lopsided strawberry that is apparently growing out of one side of my head.

It is no wonder that this was the year I got chocolates from a boy on Valentines Day.

[Also no wonder that it was the only year that happened.]

This is the year that things started to go very wrong for me. I strutted my stuff - toting a large alligator-skinned tenor saxophone case around the halls of the junior high school, while wearing tapered aquamarine jeans and acid washed jackets. I spent my babysitting money buying Aquanet by the gallon. It took me an hour and a half every morning to cover any holes in my helmet-like hair. I believe I subconsciously did this to keep insects from finding a way in. I have no doubt this hair would have made for an excellent and cozy nest.


And you thought it couldn't get worse than the last one? Well, it does, my friends. This was the year that I decided to spike my bangs up in a cascading waterfall of tangles, held high by a sticky wad of hairspray. I worked hard to get them as high as possible on one side, with a gradual slope so precise that it could have kept any geometry class busy for hours. I was also a big fan of Sun-In (see, Lisa, you're not the only one!) and did not seem to mind that my hair was divided by an equator of blond frizz.

This was also one of the many painful years I spent in a cast as a result of needing many surgeries on my right arm. Here is a shot of me at the hospital just minutes before going under the knife. As you can see, one must be properly sprayed, moussed, and spritzed before undergoing surgery. You know, in case any cute boys happen to be in the operating room while I'm under anesthesia. That would be, like, totally embarrassing for them to see my hair flat.

High school was not much kinder to me when it came to matters of my hair. I was far too busy to do any homework because I was out getting a new perm every eight minutes or so during this period of time. What I did not know then was that I actually had naturally curly hair hiding under all those chemicals that only became fuzzier and more poodle-like with each round of treatments.


Here I am making the most of my manly button down shirt, while my bangs keep an eye out for any upcoming danger. I like to think that those bangs were like a lookout tower on top of my head. You know, in case I might have crashed into anything. Like a flat iron or de-perming solution.

And last, but not least, my senior year. Here I stand, on the cusp of adulthood, completely unaware that shoulder pads have no earthly place in a t-shirt, and eyebrows are for waxing.

Someone really ought to have told me.

63 comments:

Sally said...

These pictures are priceless! And I have the same exact photos myself, but with my face instead of yours. I loved my big hair and it was fun to re-create it for an 80's party a few years ago. I think you were way cute and had we been buddies in 6th grade, we could haved shared Piks for our perms.

DanandCindy said...

I said that you were a loser a long time ago... But it has nothing to do with how you looked...

Annie said...

I really do prefer pictures of kids in quirky outfits and short bangs. So cute! Mismatched poly separates (in my case)? Bring 'em on! Gathered neck floral dress (in yours)? Perfect!

And remember, you were *all that* back then. Our styles have just changed :).

But I promise to tell you if you make any faux pas in the future. As if.

Amanda said...

Such a fun post!
I had curly hair that I didn't know how to do so I just didn't. It was not good. I had this puff of stuff around my face. I am hanging my head in shame.

Thanks for sharing!

RobynandJoe said...

Growing up, YOU were the cool older cousin. You must have done something right to impress a little 7-year old! I LOVED the pictures...maybe your look inspired some of my beautiful elementary school styles!

Wendi said...

This was great...when I get the nerve up to share with the rest of the world my fashion faux-pas...I will follow your lead with a post. I promise my photos are much less kind.
As always...great read!

HILLARY said...

Wow! We must be long lost sisters - or our mothers were. Did you have the barrettes you would weave ribbon into? Those were my fave! I might have to try this. I gotta get pictures from my mom.

Chatter said...

You are hilarious! And you were the cutest baby EVER. I have to laugh at the whole bang thing but you could have pics with extra large glasses and slicked back ponytails. I have no desire to see my grade school photo's.

dcrmom said...

OMG, I'm laughing so hard. I don't know which is better, the pictures, or your commentary. HI-larious!

And by the way, I can TOTALLY relate to the scale neuroses. AGH.

The UnMighty said...

Beautiful.
I just can't think of anything else to say.

momy4him said...

i loved this post and i loved seeing you grow up. you were a cutie. you still are! muuah!

andrea said...

i am laughing so hard, my face hurts! this was one of the best posts i've ever read. why? because i can relate on every aspect. except the luke skywalker thing and the saxophone thing. but everything else... perfect. one of these days, i think i'll try a post like this. it will be hard to make it very different from yours though. and i know it won't be funnier, because this was HILARIOUS!

luke skywalker.

HA! i'm still laughing.

Kristin said...

I love it, you have motivated me to call my mom and send me mine so I can get a good laugh out of myself. Oh the joys of past hairstyles, what were we thinking.

Maren :) said...

Great hair... the bigger, the better, right?!? (Hillary - I had the ribbon barrettes, in every color... even rainbow!) :)

Do you know what kills me though? YOUR TEETH... they are perfect, and I never saw any braces. I am sorry... you were beautiful, you cannot fool me! (Of course, now you are just plain gorgeous... someday I want to be just like you!)

PS I am glad you are making the snow day work for you. (I promise we have NEVER had this many!)

Holly said...

You are brave. Very brave! Maybe I should do something similar. I graduated mid-eighties so preppy was really big for us.

gab said...

Great skin. Great hair. Killer smile. What's changed?

Melissa Walker said...

I like the one with your best friend "half" necklace! I had the exact same one--BFF!

Lindsey said...

WOW! Your mom made those dresses? Those were some SERIOUS WORK! Nowadays it costs WAY more to just buy something like that, than make it! Really, there need be no reason to be ashamed of those pictures. We ALL looked like that, and I think we should follow suit, and post our own pix. Hillarious!

Marty said...

You know those days that Hannah insists on choosing her own outfits, and doing her own hair? There will come a day when she wonders why YOU made her look that way. The mother intervention never works. Actually the mother is trying hard to be as cute and stylish as her teenage daughter!

katie said...

you always make me laugh... but yes, I did notice the polyester red and green floral dress. cute. hehe.

Other than that, Im pretty sure I have an identical picture to match every one of yours!

Marie - Mother of the Bird Nest said...

I remember perfecting my bangs into the cascading waterfall and thinking they looked just perfect that day! You are gorgeous!

Amz said...

These were awesome! And despite all your self-mockery you were (and are) adorable. If you think these are bad, I shudder to think of what you'd think of mine. I'll have to do some investigating to see if I can find some of mine...

Amz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diane said...

I remember all those phases, and I honestly....and I mean honestly...thought you were the cutest thing ever!! I think it's so great to be able to look back and laugh at ourselves. Those of us who lived through those hairstyles, that made our hair so stiff it could have been a lethal weapon, can laugh right along with you! This post made my day!

Emily said...

My favorite: you look so self assured and confident in every picture. Bring it on junior high, I am HOT!

cindy said...

I am crying from laughing so hard! You are too funny, I love the bangs. And I have the same baby picture under a blanket, too funny!

Lauren said...

WHAT A SUPERB POST!

Ohhhhhh, this took me back...I remember thinking that the worst thing that could happen was to be seen by a cute boy with FLAT hair??! Perish the thought!

Lisa-Marie said...

Beautiful THEN. Beautiful NOW!

I had bangs just like that. Here's how I did mine: Spray. Rat. Blow dry. Spray. Rat. Blow dry.

Bridget said...

Oh, I love it! Those bangs are fierce girlfriend! No one would have told you to do otherwise then because that was so hip and cool back in the day. I had the huge bangs too. I love your likening the bangs unto a lookout tower- keeping an eye out for danger. You crack me up.

Things that don't change- you have a beautiful face. That is timeless.

Hollyween said...

Great, great post. I may have to copy you one day when I get a frickin' scanner.

Oh, the hours I used to spend on my bangs. I remember freaking out over them. Did you?

You know what hasn't changed? You're gorgeous!!!! You were then and you are now. And I'm not just sayin' that either. I'd kill for your teeth. Kill.

Jessica said...

Honestly...there is SO much to say, that if I had your phone number I would call you RIGHT NOW to discuss. Consider yourself lucky.

Favorite: the ready-for-scamming-during-surgery look. So me.

Are You Serious! said...

♥ Great post! I love the hair it's all to familiar! I think your kids all have your smile!

Lisa @ Take90West said...

If we would have gone to high school together, I would have wanted your perfect hair! I could never get my wings so perfect like that. You are a true master. I think it was because my mom insisted on buying White Rain instead of Aquanet.
I loved seeing your pictures! Especially the shoulder pads...oh the shoulder pads. I'd forgotten about those!

Nimmy said...

I love this! Funny thing, at the time you were totally on target when it came to Utah fashions.

Ashlee said...

You may hate them now, but you were stylin back in the day! Everybody else was doing it..... :0)
I think your pictures are cute. Nice idea for a post!

Marie - Mother of the Bird Nest said...

This has nothing to do with this post, but you are so lucky living close to the temple. We're down by Springfield on the way to Branson. Willard 2nd ward....it's a small world.

Marie - Mother of the Bird Nest said...

This has nothing to do with this post, but you are so lucky living close to the temple. We're down by Springfield on the way to Branson. Willard 2nd ward....it's a small world.

Lori said...

You had the enviable "perfect wave bang". I would have been so jealous of your hair in high school.

Lindsey said...

Hey Stie! I put a link to your cute as ever cake post on your blog. I did a little craft project, and although I forgot to take pictures, I listed the supplies... so, I wanted everyone to see what a REALLY cute craft post looked like! :)

jason said...

hey, here is the site i was talking about where i made the extra cash, I was making about $900 extra a month...
check it out ..

Denae said...

STIE!!!!!!!! This is so funny. I will be copying your for sure. I am always baffled by mothers who allow their children to look so crazy awful. And your bangs are so good.... I was always jealous of girls who could get them so perfect looking!

gramakas said...

Forget the hair... you have really great teeth and I don't see any scary junior high photos with braces. You really got off easy if you skipped the braces stage! Your photos look exactly like my "80's" daughter!

Summers Camp said...

All I can say is "Oh man!" Also, "you're a hoot!" *B

Michelle said...

Those pictures are great! You really do look cute. I remember the 80"s with the big bangs and frizzy hair. I'm sure we all have pictures like that (well at least I do). Did you do the tight rolled jeans?? Man who came up with that fashion blunder??

Kimberly and Devon said...

I remember being in the fourth grade, staring, at myself, in the mirror, wondering how I could make my bangs as high as yours. I never quite accomplished it! I envied your look back then and thought YOU were sooo cool!

2happy+2 said...

What's funny is I remember your arm surgery. Was it really that long ago? I had to laugh because everytime my daughter or husband see my old pics they laugh. You were brave to post them. You are too funny!! Thanks for making my day brighter.

Lindsey said...

Stie, you could make one of those wreaths in a SNAP! I can tell by you caking abilities that you could do it! (I even gave you a supplies list) Anyway, I wish I would have done a step by step picture though... NEXT TIME.

Emy5 said...

Fascinating to watch you grow up "on screen". I would say that you were very stylish back in the day. You are as pretty as a picture!

Jenibelle said...

I have a few permed hair pictures in the 80's, but never could do the bangs. I wanted to, but didn't know how. I feel like some of my youth is missing or robbed by my lack of bang-ratting-spraying abilities.
Maybe that style will come back and I will get a second chance.

PS. You have great teeth, another reason to envy you. I'm keeping a list.

crystal said...

I seriously had a few of these exact same hairstyles, although the 9th grade Me would've envied the perfect slope you attained on the bangs.

Anonymous said...

"Is this the little girl I carried? Is this the little girl at play......I don't remember growing older when did she? When did she get to be a beauty, when did she grow to be so tall, I remember when she was small."

I could have told you, but with all the hair spray, I'm sure the ears would have been blocked.

Loved the walk through time......Mom

Mique said...

You mean Julia might be upset in twenty or so years when she sees herself in princess braids, messy buns or ponies? Wearing leggings and bright colored dresses? Maybe I should stop now. Hey at least shoulder pads haven't made a comeback.

Jen said...

I'm still giggling...this post was great! I too had some of those same hairdoos - that should have been hairdon'ts! WHAT WERE OUR MOMS THINKING?? I may get up the nerve to do a little recollection post just to make fun of myself. Imagine a red-head with bad hair and outfits to match. I seriously have one from 2nd grade where I look just like Pippi Longstolking! Thank goodness for neutral makeup & especially mascara - I can actually find my eyelashes now!

Purple CJ Diva Duckie said...

I loved yours and Take 90 West posts about your past in pictures!
I am sure most of us have these same lovely pictures just like the 2 of you!
BTW, Aquanet was much better then White Rain...my mom bought me White Rain too. No wonder I never could get my bangs to stay up!
Love your postings. I am here most every day!
Thanks for making me laugh.
Purple CJ Diva Duckie

Holly said...

We are truly hair and homemade clothes soul sisters. Except you looked cuter.

Why didn't anyone tell me that a perm, especially a spiral perm is not my friend?

I wish someone had stopped my mother during her applique phase.

Shoulder pads under t-shirts (I had the kind you bought separately and add as needed. Yes.) are the stuff of nightmares. Overly permed gelled out hair, skyscraper bangs, shoulder-padded nightmares.

Rochelleht said...

55 COMMENTS!! What could I possibly add other than I laughed seriously hard. I totally agree with Denae, though. Girls like you, with your cool blonde bangs were the envy of red-headed teens like me.

marta said...

oh my. stie, this is downright hilarious. i love that you are beautiful enough to have the guts to post these photos. you and 'the perm' really had a love hate relationship didn't you!? oh my, i would kill for volume and body like that in my hair. man, i have to find my photos. fast.

you've inspired all of us it seems to get the good, bad and the ugly out on the blogworld. way to be, stie!

ps. you're gorgeous and that strawberry dress, to die for!

Tip Junkie said...

That was so fun to see you grow up before my eyes! What a great post.

Martha said...

I just love your blog, but THAT was the best post EVAH!!!

Celia Fae said...

Dear Stie,
I'm skipping church while milking a illness that has clearly gone away. I am catching up on blogs. I was about to mark my reader all as read, but I'm so glad I didn't, because I have tears running down my face from laughing so hard. Good thing I skipped makeup. Can laughing be considered an abdominal workout?

Melain said...

You are too hard on yourself, pretty lady. You've not got one picture in here that qualifies as truly embarassing. You were completely In Vogue! The best 80's hair I've seen in a while! You want to see embarassing?! I'll get myself to a scanner and show you the ghosts of MY photos past.

Kristy said...

Ditto on all the votes for "hilarious!" I, too, did my part to create a hole in the ozone. My tool of destruction...V05 hairspray. So vital, that I had to have a purse big enough to fit the large spray can to carry to school. I've always referred to my big hair/bangs as the "tidal wave." Oh yeah, & here's to jelly shoes, neon clothes, acid washed jeans & jean jackets with the fringe. Oh, I was hot, I tell you. (Or at least I thought so:)LOL

jimaie.marie said...

oh my! you're blog is a barrel of fun! i'm so glad i found you somehow or someway through the smashing BLOG PARTY going on!
you are a HOOT! hilarious i tell ya! can't wait to read more :D