March 4, 2010

By popular demand...

(Oh, my. I'm venturing into a new realm of sharing on this here blog. Be gentle, won't you, my bloggy friends?)

Once upon a time, I was 15 years old. It was 1992. Plaid was the height of fashion. I had just graduated from New Kids on the Block to Nirvana.

Like many teenage girls, I occasionally succumbed to peer pressure. Fortunately, I never got into any real trouble. I didn't drink, or smoke, or do drugs, or behave questionably (for the most part) with boys.

Unfortunately, I did allow myself to be talked into driving to the mall with my best friend and forking over $40 for the privilege of allowing a "stylist" (heavy on the quotation marks) to do questionable things to my hair and face and swaddle me in a purple feather boa.

Oh, and knowingly allowing someone to capture photographic evidence of these atrocities.

I'm trying to remember when it actually started, but at some point in the late '80s/early '90s, Glamour Shots became all the rage in our little corner of the world. Actual Glamour Shot stores popped up in our malls. Everyone was talking about it. They made you look like a MOVIE STAR. They did your hair and makeup, gave you cool clothes to wear, did a REAL photo shoot. It was just like being famous. You could look like anyone or anything you wanted.

For a 15-year-old me, this was like taking crack, wrapping it in promised coolness, dipping it in chocolate and telling me it came with Joey McIntyre's personal stamp of approval. (Oh, don't judge me. Try to pretend you didn't just sing a couple bars of "Please Don't Go, Girl" in your head. TRY IT.)

So my best friend, P, and I knew we had to do it. Forget the expense, forget the fact that we had absolutely no idea what we were going to do with the pictures once we got them. P had just gotten her license, and we were

How was the experience? Let's take this step by step, so as not to miss a moment of the humiliation, shall we?

The hair.
Like the majority of girls my age back in the mid-90s, I had longish hair that was all one length. I'd dutifully grown out my bangs (once the giant hairsprayed-to-within-an-inch-of-its-life poof had decidedly gone the way of the dodo) and my hair was loose and flat like a good little flannel-wearing grunge wannabe.

This obviously was unacceptable for the Purveyors of Glamour (and yes, it has to be capitalized) at the Belden Village Mall. After clucking her tongue and shaking her head at me, she spent a half-hour with hot rollers and the tri-county area's supply of Aqua Net and gave me the biggest, poofiest hair this side of Suzanne Sugarbaker. I couldn't get over how large it was. And how much it didn't move.

The makeup.
Aside from some misguided endeavors in second grade (a story for another time), I've never really worn much makeup. My eyes are my best feature, so I tend to play those up and leave the rest alone.

This approach, again, was completely unacceptable for what I was about to do. The "artists" at Glamour Shots looked at me pityingly and then troweled on enough orangey foundation to make the Jersey Shore cast say, "Wow, that's too tan, yo." And when she was done with my face, she proceeded to shovel it onto my neck, shoulders and chest, too.

It was around this time that I began to wonder if these people were really licensed in Glamour, or if this was just a giant scam to get money from easily-led, insecure high school girls.

The clothes.
At this point, I realized this was just a giant scam to get money from easily-led, insecure high school girls. The "costumes"? Were made up of feather boas, gigantic accessories and dickies. Nothing extended lower than the midpoint of my boobs. The reason for this was twofold: first, they only shot us from the neck up, so why bother spending money on clothes you'd never see? And second, everything had to either drape around our shoulders or clasp behind our necks, because OUR HAIR WAS SO VERY LARGE.

Everything was hideous. Ev.ery.thing. I ended up choosing what I thought were the lesser of the many, many evils, which apparently included white gloves, a feather boa and (in a picture I can't find anymore) a rhinestone-studded cowboy hat. Oh, I wish I were kidding. And because nothing came below our shoulders, we were given potato-sack-like black smocks to cover our bits and pieces.

Neck up: About to attend an event on the set of Dynasty. Neck down: Ready for a gynocologist appointment.

We looked insane.

The photo shoot.
I'm assuming most of you have used a point-and-click camera before, right? Before the advent of digital cameras? If so, congratulations! You are qualified to be a Glamour Shot photographer. I suppose it's possible that a few of them were actually professional photographers. I don't want to suggest that Glamour Shots just hired schmucks off the street, taught them how to say, "Now, look sexy for me!" in 100 different ways and sent them on their merry way. I'm just saying that's how it seemed.

In all fairness, it can't have been easy to try to coax sexiness out of most 15-year-olds. Especially ones wearing smocks and dickies, and enough Cover Girl to flood a football field.

However. The only direction consisted of the aforementioned plea for sexiness and "Turn your head. No, more. Like, a lot more. No, more than that. Your chin should be right next to your shoulder blade. I know it feels like your neck is going to snap, but trust me, this is going to look amazing. Show me sexy!"

When it was all over, and I was clothed in something not designed for life-size baby dolls, and my hair and face had been returned to their normal non-poofy and non-orange states, and I no longer looked like I belonged on an '80s-era soap opera, I was left with this to remember the experience by:

(Please note the dead-eyed stare, as if I have lost the will to live.)

Tell me that isn't the sexiest 15-year-old you've ever seen?

Actually, please, please don't.

(If you have your own Glamour Shots--and/or stories of getting them done--I think it's only right you should share them. Solidarity in fake sexiness, and all that.)

7 backtalk:

Iris Took said...

To quote Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek, "Simply Stunning!"

Amber said...

Very nice!

(I know the Belden Village Mall! I have family in North Canton and get back several times a year!)

Lacie Irish Oatmeal said...

I'll be honest, I'm not so brave as you.

Iris Took said...

I had to come back today and read this post again. SO FUNNY!

I never did get glamor shots done as an adolescent because it scared the crap out of me. I was a tomboy with enormous boobs and having hair and makeup done would have put me over the edge.

This story is amazing.

Ky (Two Pretzels) said...


The entire TIME I read this post I kept thinking, "Oh Lord. Please tell me there's a photo at the end of this post. Please, Lord. Please. I will donate to Haiti AND Chile if there's a photo at the end of this post."


That is ONE FINE PHOTO, my friend.

FINE photo.

The gloves, the boa - the dickey... I.AM.IMPRESSED.

I cannot TELL you how much I enjoyed reading this.

So much so, that I had to actually put down my american cheese and bologna sandwich to type this comment.



Ky (Two Pretzels) said...

(And, please tell me that your parents have that framed SOMEWHERE in their house.)

wrestling kitties said...

This is AWESOME!!! Love it!

this post cracked me up!!

I don't think I have a glamour shot as sweet as this one, but I will look through my pics and find something!!!

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