I watched a ton of television and movies during my childhood and teenage years. There didn't seem to be all of these rules back then about how many hours your kid should be in front of the magic glowing box. My mother always says I learned to read watching Sesame Street and The Electric Company.
School, who needed it?
Bert, Ernie, and Morgan Freeman dressed as Dracula taught me what I needed to know.
Looking back at old pictures, I think I learned to dress by watching Dance Party USA, John Hughes movies, and MTV:
Look #1 – The Jo Polinaczek.
I loved The Facts of Life. I’d take the good, take the bad, take it all...from a young Molly Ringwald in the early incarnation of the show, to the we-need-a-new-tough-chick-to-come-screaming-in-on-her-motorcycle-and-breathe-some-life-into-this-dorm Jo Polinaczek. I thought Nancy McKeon was awesome, she reminded me of my Aunt Barbara who kicked ass. This look worked best when I pulled my hair into a wimpy ponytail and let the ‘wings’ hang down on either side.
Look #2 – The Andie/ZZ Top tribute.
I loved and still love the movie Pretty in Pink with Molly Ringwald. I was smitten with Jon Cryer’s Duckie Dale, and would write his name all over my denim three-ring binder. What an idiot Andie was to choose Blane over Duckie. I remember this awful, elephant grey dress so well; I can still feel the polyester and see the sparks flying off of it. Nice touch with the ZZ Top ankle socks and very expensive looking white pumps. And to cap it all off, how about a little cap? No wait, how about a Fedora? CHECK.
Look #3 – The "Now I am “Punk Rock”.
When I first saw this picture again, my initial instinct was that this was from a Halloween party but honest to God I don’t think it was. I think it was just a Thursday evening. This look draws inspiration from several sources that should never have gone together. The movie Valley Girl (note neon green plastic glasses and hip plastic bracelets) Chachi Arcola from Happy Days (note bandana tied around leg) and Bozo the Clown (note wiglet of blue hair.)
Look #4 – The Young Professional.
I credit this look to the “high school is over” movies like St. Elmo’s Fire and Less Than Zero. I, of course, was still in high school trying my best to look like I was heading off to a very important business meeting. Good God, if I knew then what I know now I would have fought this look tooth and nail. Oh, and shoulder pads? Yeah, triple check on that one.
Today I am pretty happy just to look like me, on most days.
But you bet I still have an old makeup bag full of gummy bracelets, lace gloves, and crucifixes for when I want to look like a virgin.