Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bless My Heart


One of my summer projects is to scan in the few old family photos that I have. There aren't many because often we couldn't afford a camera, film or developing. The few pictures we did have, we had a problem keeping track of. We weren't exactly the most organized family and we moved a bit more than average so things like pictures were often hard to keep track of. Still, we did manage to hold on to some pictures and I've been generously lent photos of us taken by other family members for the scanning project. Last night I came across this gem. This is one of only two known pictures in existence of the mullet. What's really sad is that this picture was taken a full year after the initial mullet disaster. THIS IS HOW IT LOOKED AFTER IT HAD A WHOLE YEAR TO GROW OUT! The mullet happened in the Fall of my seventh grade year and this is in fact my eighth grade school picture, taken in early October just before the Mets won the World Series. I was not a pretty girl. It is no wonder that boys didn't like me and the other children laughed at me. Bless my heart, I really wasn't cute at all. The sad thing is that haircut isn't the only awful looking thing about me. Note the big chin zit, the awkward, closed mouth smirk hiding a mouth of braces and rubberbands, the strawberry Swatch from the year before which already wasn't cool anymore that year and the oversized, light denim shirt. I was wearing that shirt over a prairie skirt - the kind with the light denim bottom and a dark denim top. Even worse is the large, pale blue satin bow barrette holding back half of the mullet. And the saddest thing about this picture is that I distinctly remember knowing that I looked ridiculous when the picture was being taken, knowing that I looked ugly and knowing that everyone else thought so too. But I can laugh about it now and I don't mind if you do either. I remember once running across a web site where people sent in dreadful old photographs of themselves or family members, most of the pictures were from the 70s and 80s and Olan Mills types of portraits. It was hilarious. Now I can't remember what it was called or where I found it or I would absolutely submit this picture, and no it wasn't Awkward Family Photos, although it was similar.

45 comments:

ElectricDaisy said...

WL, was it http://www.sexypeople-blog.com ?

Wide Lawns said...

YES YES YES!!!!! That was it Thank You! I am so sending this picture in.

jen said...

Was it here?
http://www.sexypeople-blog.com/


And trust me, you are not alone in the gawky growing-up looks department. I feel your pain. :)

FreshHell said...

Actually, I saw the photo before I read the post and thought, "Gosh, she's really pretty! Those dark eyes." I don't think we can blame ourselves for attempting to be fashionable within the time we were living in. I had one of those denim skirts you speak of. I have a particularly bad bershon photo of myself (on facebook) at about the same age. My mom had done something ridiculous to my hair. Horrible glasses, zits out the wazoo. Braces. Gah! I really don't think anyone should be forced to leave the house during 7th and 8th grade period!

mysterious_malady said...

i know that women in general have an issue about how they look at their photographs but if you were to tell me that you are not a pretty woman now i would totally call your bluff 'coz i can see that in this photograph. not sure if this makes sense but anyways ...

Adrien said...

Girl, that is crazy talk. First, nobody is gorgeous in eighth grade, but you are cute as a button in that photo. Beautiful eyes, perfect brows, wavy dark hair (post-mullet or no)and a little bit of a smirk that I think all of us had in every eighth grade photo. I declare thirteen-year-old Wide Lawns to be adorable.

Anonymous said...

I think you are too hard on yourself.
Donna

Yankee said...

I agree with Donna. You are being too hard on young WL.

Anonymous said...

When I first saw the photo, I thought, "What a pretty girl - such eyes!". I agree with the other comments - you're too hard on yourself.

~Lauren

Wide Lawns said...

You guys are incredibly nice. People, my hair is standing on end. But you know, I have a tendency to be hard on myself. Maybe I felt uglier than I was at the time because I was bullied and teased so much and believed it.

Aleta said...

Actually, I thought you looked pretty. You have beautiful eyes. There's a sweetness in the picture that I thought was endearing.

Rich said...

I must say, I have never disagreed with you more. You were an absolutely beautiful young girl. I don't see how anyone could see it any differently. Stunning.

B T said...

Kids are so nasty. It took me years to get over some of those vicious comments. Your hair just looks a little messy, it could easily be considered "artfully tousled."

Also, I would have put money on you being fair. Like a pretty butter-blonde. Huh.

REnee in Seattle said...

Wide lawns, I think you are right. I think we look at old photos of ourselves and judge how we looked based on how we felt at the time the photo was taken. I looked utterly hideous when I was pregnant, gaining 70 lbs and reaking out in horrible acne, etc. etc., but I can't help but smile when I look at the photos because it was such a happy time, believe it or not.

the hosta chronicler said...

I would have given my eye teeth to look as good as that in my 8th grade picture.

Braces: check, but I wasn't smart enough to smile with my mouth closed.

Big nose: check.

Ronald McDonald hair: oh you bet. Red and growing out of an awful perm.

Ridiculous kelly green polo shirt with the collar 'popped': heck yes.

I was the epitome of awkward and unattractive. Luckily, I think I grew into my looks. The 80's were not a kind decade, at least, not to me. I can sort of laugh at it now, but that insecure 13 year old still lives inside of me somewhere.

Albany Jane said...

I don't think you look ugly at all. When I look at your picture, I see a young girl, sure, who's insecure (but who wasn't at that age), but who just doesn't know how pretty she looks. Maybe it's the angles, but I just see lots of volume in the hair. I see absolutely no acne, and whoever made fun of you were a bunch of jerks. I'm surprised I didn't get made fun of more often if you think this is bad!

P.S. - I was one of the gawky kids who was so jealous of the girls who had pierced ears. I didn't get mine pierced until I was 17.

Amy said...

I actually thought you were lovely when I looked at the photo. We all go through bad fashion phases, but that doesn't cover up beauty, no matter how hard we try.

Mel said...

At this age, I absolutely do not think you are hideous.

However, you were clearly not one of the fake n'pretty ones either, so I can totally see how you would have been mercilessly teased.

My 8th grade photo can top that by a longshot however. Imagine: long permed hair that is more wavy than curly, an awful headband pushed too far forward, and humongous plastic glasses that I thought were pretty. I should find it and submit it.

MtnMama said...

I agree with your other commenters; I thought your young self lovely. Yeah, I can see what you mean about the hair, but it is HAIR - not a tattoo! I was such an awkward kid that I can see how you may have felt the way you did, but you are gorgeous, my dear.

Still, it would be fun to compare bad hair/bad fashions from our pasts. I certainly have my own contributions!

Ambitious Blonde said...

You're way too hard on yourself. I think you were a cute kid.

catherine said...

You have soulful eyes, and that mona lisa smile, How can you say you weren't cute? If boys weren't chasing you, its because 13 year old boys are dumb.

JDogg said...

You are too hard on yourself, just if you scan in the class picture, I might have something different to say about it.

LegalMist said...

When I first saw the photo, before reading the text, I thought, "wow, what a pretty young woman. Wonder if it's her, her sister, her cousin, or ...?" Turns out it's you and you don't even realize how cute you were!

Consultant Calamities said...

FINALLY! I get to see what you look like! :-) Although I think you showed a picture of yourself as a small child once, but this one is probably closer to what your face looks like as an adult.

Ditto what others have said; that is an awkward age for EVERYONE but you pulled it off! yes the outfit is dated, but ...*shrug*. Every girl had clothes like that then!

You are very pretty. and, that doesn't look like an out-grown mullet, it just looks like a very curly perm like what was fashionable at the time. (although I'd still KILL to see a picture of that mullet when you first got it!)
;-)

You should see MY 8th grade photo...mouth full of braces (yes I smiled with my mouth OPEN!), acne on my chin, Dorothy Hamill haircut (which I HATED!), and pink velour sweater. Yes, PINK. VELOUR. Sitting a director-type canvas chair, holding a single, PLASTIC, red rose.

Pure 1980s. *gag me with a spoon!*

:-D

KirstyS said...

You are way too harsh on yourself. Sure, you're going through that slightly awkward and insecure age where the hormones are surging and you can't make head or tail of anything....but ugly? No way! Shame on all those people for making you feel so bad about yourself.

Jenny said...

@FreshHell: I thought the same thing!

I also thought where did she get such an old pic of Anne Hathaway?

booda baby said...

I agree with all - you were a pretty girl

On the other hand, I also get how those oldey-worldey photographs (unlike the 70 billion megapixels we've got going on NOW) hide a multitude of teenage horrors. Really, your po' hair had a whole year to recover and that's where it was? Aye, aye, aye. You were doing some SERIOUS mulleting.

Sinclair said...

Shut up!!! When I saw the photo before reading anything I thought WOW if that's how she looked then I wonder how beautiful she is now.

UmmFarouq said...

What a cutie you were. I think I remember having a very similar shirt from Limited Express. You had the hair I always wanted; mine would be curled beyond belief at 7:20 a.m., but by the time I made it to school at 7:40, the humidity would already have flattened it like an iron. I SO wanted puffy hair.

Love this pic!

sha said...

When I was in the 8th grade (in the 80s) I thought it would be cool to put gold highlights in my hair. I went to the beauty store and got a thing of gold highlight stuff. I put the stuff in my hair and it had given my hair a green sheen. This was most evident in the sunlight and under the florescent lights in every classroom in my Jr. High. Not to mention I was new in the school and town. I wish I had just begged for a spiral perm rather than being called "Greenie" that entire year.
And btw. You look just fine in that photo. We all wore ugly crap back then. And remember what they wore in the 70s? It could be worse.

Anonymous said...

i think you look like a perfectly normal 8th grader.. i wish MY teen pictures looked that good!

Anonymous said...

Oh hogwash! You were a pretty girl then! We are our own worst enemies.
I'd send you a picture of me at ANYTIME past infancy, but that would give you nightmares for the rest of your life.

Kirsten said...

I'm going with everyone else here. You're darling in this picture. Hey, I'm a product of the 80s. I look at pictures of myself during that period and want to stab my eyes out. But the thing to remember is this, the 80s were ugly. You were not.

Moi said...

Uhm, Wide Lawns, the funny thing is you don't look ugly in this photo! Seriously. A lot of recent photos of me on Facebook are a lot worse!

kjl said...

Wow...the prairie skirt. I totally forgot about that fashion disaster! Thanks for the memories. :)

Steve said...

I was drawn to your hands in the photo... the hands I think show the insecurity (or annoyance) more than anything else, how they are clasped and how one thumb is digging into the other till it turns white.

The others are right, you are too hard on yourself...

teebopop said...

I agree with most of everyone else's posting.

I saw the photo and thought that you were just adorable. Very pretty.

I think (also like everyone else) that you are just way too hard on yourself.

You appear to be self-confident but a tad shy. You are pretty in that picture, and yes, I mean the hair as well.

Plus, you have a glint of deviousness in those beautiful eyes.

I don't comment often, but felt compelled to tell you that your interpretation of yourself is WAY off!

Anonymous said...

At first glance, I thought it was an early picture of Ann Hathaway.

jmm said...

I think you look adorable! OK a little awkward, but cute! It almost looks like it could be me at a young age. However almost all of my photos totally suck. I know I look better in real life than in most of my photos. Seriously I bet you are a knockout now.

Plain(s)feminist said...

I thought you looked lovely in this photo. I think you are seeing it through 7th-8th grade eyes - hard not to, since it's you in 7th-8th grade, but you were totally pretty.

kerry said...

Oh, the 80s. I remember the "fashions". Gah. I think you have a nice smile and while the hair looks a bit wild, I don't think it's nearly the disaster that you describe it as.

foxymoron said...

I think you look like a sweet little girl. Precious.

Anonymous said...

I've lost every ounce of pitty I've ever had for you. Holy Smokes. If you like that with a bad hair cut, you're "strangers buy your breakfast at the Waffle House" pretty now. Still think you're a cool chick.

staticwarp said...

you dont look ugly at all! the haircut is dreadful upon looking back, but didnt we all have bad cuts in middle school? remember the big puffy bangs that were in for a while? when i was in middle school i had an a-line bob cut that made me look more like a girl than i already did. and i definitely have some old olan mills portraits laying about in my mom's cabinets and such. you actually look just like someone i would have sat with at lunch and had a crush on because of your intelligence. i was an oddball too. i think most of your readers probably are in their own way. i thought olan mills was just a local eastern shore of maryland chain!

i personally think that you look completely precious in that shot. so there!

i've been absent from commenting for a while but i want you to know that whenever i get online yours is the first website i check for something to read. i really appreciate your stories. thank you so much for writing, and for being bold enough to post a somewhat embarrassing pic of yourself for our enjoyment. you rock!

Christi Lee said...

I think you looked rather pretty.

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