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Monday, 18 November 2013

The Book of Me - What Do I Look Like

This  post was prompted by Julie at Anglers' Rest  and  her  series " Book of Me - Written by You", where she asks us to describe our looks.

Pigtails to Ponytails to Perms - Brown Eyes to Speccy Four Eyes - Plain Jane to Russian Spy to  the Dynasty Look - all phases of my  appearance over many years.  

"There was a little girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead",

Big bows were all the fashion for little girls - and there is still a bit of a kink in my hair (right)  then, but  that soon disappeared and my hair has always been resolutely naturally straight.

Pigtails characterised my look as a child, complete with kirby grips and ribbons.  

On village gala days and on special occasions, my hair was wound into rags overnight  to hopefully create ringlets - which soon fell out.  

By my early teens my hair was long.  It was washed with a final rinse of  vinegar and rain water - my mother's idea of a beauty treatment -  and it took ages to dry in front of the fire.  No hair dryer then. 

"Speccy four eyes" was a popular call at my primary school for those of us unfortunate enough to have to wear glasses.   I was a quiet,  shy child, but funnily enough I cannot recall being upset by the taunt - it was just part and parcel of playground culture. 

My mother was emphatic that I was not going to wear the hideous national health service wire glasses  with pale pink frames and was prepared to pay for a slightly more flattering pair. 

There is a pony tail hiding behind this Plain Jane look (right). What is it about moving from childhood to teenage years, as this is the only family photograph I could find.  No holiday snaps, no school photos - nothing. 
Around the age of 15,  Mum suggested I get my hair cut professionally   - great - except we were both clueless afterwards how to style it at home,  and here I am being brave in highlighting publicly  this dreadful passport photograph, taken when I was to go on a school trip to Germany. This was the 1960's era of the Cold War and  I look  like the archetypal Russian spy.   

After five years, you could get a passport photograph updated,  and I could not wait to do this -  only to be further mortified when, instead of replacing the photograph,  the new one was just stuck beneath - to more family hilarity and more quizzical looks from passport control. 

I never did get the hair knack of beehives, back-combing and flicks, however much I aimed for that style.

I became a librarian, so had to work hard at counteracting the traditional dowdy image.  So here (below)  is the young professional look for my first job - worn with a   mini length sweater dress  and long necklace  - all the rage then.  

By the late 1960's,    vanity prompted me to try contact lenses and they proved a great source of stories with friends as we recalled  tales of losing them.  I remember one occasion where I was scrambling around on the floor of a pew at church, (not praying) but  trying to find this miniscule lens.

At least I was minus my glasses on my wedding day. 
This was my husband's first car  (above) - a silver grey Ford Escort, bought just a few weeks before we first met in 1970. He was always proud of his cars and looked after them well.   This brings back memories of our engagement. It must have been love, that he actually suggested I sat on top of the car for this photograph - not something he has allowed since!  Note the miniskirt  and 1970's striped  coat! 

Pregnancy and being an "at home" Mum meant I lost the incentive to bother with inserting, cleaning, and removing contact lens - I had trouble getting used to them again and I reckoned I had better things to do with my time, so it was back to spectacles - though I kept to the mini skirt look.

By the late 1980's grey hairs were beginning to creep in.   I recall one New Year's Day when we were due to go out in the evening.  I used a home colour shampoo to disguise the grey - but left it on too long and the result was rather too much  red.  The shampoo packet said it would run out after 6 washes, so I washed it about 6 times that day - to very little effect.

 I moved on to perms for my fine, limp, locks.  We were now at the time  on TV of Dallas, Dynasty and Charlie's Angels,  with big hair and shoulder pads all the rage - hence this rare look for me taken for a work Annual Report.  Less glamorously, I was also likened to Deidre Barlow of "Coronation Street" soap opera fame.  The big specs did it!   This look involved too much like hard work.
 I am now pleased to see natural styles are back in vogue which suits my age and rural life style!
Fashion has come full circle and here I am below  wearing spectacles remarkably like those I wore in my teens. 

Adapted from an earlier post of January 2012.

Copyright © 2013 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a wonderful story of you! In my book you were all the rage in every year, especially as a mum! Your contact story sure reminded me of my cousin, and when she first got hers. Wow, what learning experience she went through, I was so happy I didn't need any!


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