Describe your most atrocious yearbook photo

Inspired partly by the dumb fashion trend thread and partly by the beginning of the new school year. Ah, memories…

There’s no doubt that my most hideous yearbook picture was taken the year I was in ninth grade. Nineteen eighty four, that was. I wore a white Izod polo shirt with red and teal stripes. Even back then I wasn’t too crazy about that shirt, but I had a pair of earrings that matched it perfectly, and isn’t matching apparel what it’s all about? No. The earrings in question were crafted of a lovely teal plastic in a ball shape. They hung from my young lobes like bloated ticks.

The hair rates its own paragraph here. In eighth grade, I had the classic fem-mullet….only a few inches long on front and sides, with the long back hair in a frizzy perm. Over the summer, that perm had gotten frizzier and frizzier, until one day, on impulse, I put my hair into a ponytail and cut the ponytail off. Imagine how bad that must have looked, and then imagine harder. Mom tried her best to fix it, but the reality was that there was just nothing left to fix.

In spite of my utter repulsiveness, in this school photo I am grinning like a big ole goober.

What? No, I’m not going to let you see it!

Aww come on! You can post a thread like that and then withhold the corroborating photographic evidence!

The night before my eighth-grade yearbook picture, I’d gotten the bright idea to condition my hair with mayonnaise. It was supposed to make it shiny and bouncy. It didn’t. Enough said.

I didn’t leave any. Actually, there are a lot of yearbooks out there that contain this blight, but hopefully they are all forgotten and mildewing in the garages of people that graduated from…never mind.

I’ve threatened to burn all copies of my 5th grade picture, but really I keep one or two hidden to remind myself of how far I’ve come.
Let’s see. . . it was 1987. I had a super tight poodle perm that had plastered my hair to my head. (not my choice - for some reason the beautician failed to use the size of perm rods I’d requested, opting instead for ultra kinky) I had my very first pair of glasses - huge round thick glasses with mother of pearl plastic frames that took up about 33% of my face.
I’d begun the teenage rite of pimple passage years ahead of my peers and was in full on pizza mode. My mother had picked my clothes - a purple and green plaid blouse with scalloped collar under a mint green shaker knit v-necked sweater. Oh, and silver dangly earings with several pearly pastel hearts on the ends. (they matched the blouse)

No one here, or anywhere else for that matter, will ever see that picture.

I can’t remember what grade–8th or 9th…but I have three words.

Oozing cold sore.

I look like a total dork in my senior photo. It was taken over the summer, before I changed my hair and glasses. Really sad. Can’t believe my mom would let me go about looking that dorky.

But it pales compared to the “candid” shots of me in at least 3 of my yearbooks. I don’t know who it was, but apparently I pissed off someone on the yearbook staff, because each year they would include a terribly unflattering photo of me, usually associated with athletics. I wasn’t a star or anything, so there was no reason to highlight me. And I’d see the photos they took. In the vast majority of them I looked normal - or even good. But every year the book would contain a large shot of the most goofy looking shot taken of me. I’d be in the process of falling, looking like a spazz, etc.

No, I am not one of those folks who fondly reminisces about HS at the time of my life!

My sophomore year. My hair “feathered” back pretty well, but for some reason after combing it 14,000 times while waiting in line, it failed to feather on one side. So, strike #1.

Strike #2 was the poor lighting. I looked like death warmed over, with freckles. Third strike was that I was grinning like a maniac, and my eyes are all squinty. I was wearing no makeup, and at that point, I needed a bit. So the total effect was BLAH.

Here, however, I think I look moderately cute. I’m 13. Dig them aviator glasses!

I don’t have a truly horrid ones, but I have one or two that come down to exactly one thing–hair. Around this time I was an outcast and desperately trying to fit in, but with no sense of style yet so the consequences of my actions were not always stellar. There was a big deal at the time about short hair on girls, so I went with it and got my hair cut short.

It was a couple years before I looked in the mirror and realized that, as thick as my hair is, this was absolutely not a good look for me.

Sometime in junior high. Pink polyester shirt with a wide pointy collar that wouldn’t quite stay straight. No attempt at a hairstyle or make-up (I have naturally invisible eyebrows). And the worst thing–those old “photo-gray” lense in my glasses that wouldn’t ever go completely clear if there was any light in the room at all.

I have a picture of me, in my junior year yearbook, on the “underclassmen” page, asleep at my desk, in the middle of AP Bio. Complete with the drool string from my mouth.

It sucked going to class with the yearbook editor. Especially as the only underclassman taking AP Bio.

Sometime in mid-elementary school (probably 2nd or 3rd grade) I cut my own bangs about a week before schoolbook picture day.

My high school senior picture. I’d made it to the age of 16 without ever having worn a suit in my whole life. So I go put on the rented suit, in the middle of summer in Arkansas, and go get some gas, and make the drive out to the picture place. The photographer LOVES strange backgrounds, and weird poses. My hair is longer than I like it to be, and I’ve got too-big glasses on my face, and this ridiculous smarmy look.

I looked like a fat, sweaty Anne Robinson. But male. And pimply (until they digitally edited out the pimples!?)

I have very fair skin, but in preparation for my high school senior photo I used a liberal amount of tanning lotion. First-generation tanning lotion. I think the photo developers did a pretty good job of toning down the orange.

My sophmore class picture was taken about 15 minutes after smoking a doob with a couple of buddies. And it shows. Squinty eyes, shit eating grin.

Sophmore year, 1985. I had a curly femullet, a paisley button-down “big” shirt with the collar up and a long-ass strand of large fake-pearls that I tied in a knot in the middle. Oh yeah, and pink frosted lipstick.

Sixth grade, 1981. Even though I had naturally curly hair, I talked my mom into letting me get a perm. So I looked like I had a 'fro AND I brushed my bangs down and then curled up the ends (picture a ladle) AND I was wearing my girl scout uniform.

In the 1980’s, my mom had a big ol’ afro (she’s white) and her hairdresser would come to the house to refresh the perm every 4 to 6 weeks. Each time that lady showed up, she’d cut our hair, too (us kids). My Dorothy Hammill bob got shorter and shorter, and I, not quite “into myself” as a girl yet, didn’t really pay attention to what was going on.

Until I took a look at my freshman yearbook photo.

I looked like Michael J. Fox.

(I started growing my hair out the day I got that photo, and to this day, I have long hair)

The year was 1986. I was entering 6th grade, fresh grist for the mill of middle school. I had no idea how to be remotely stylish, and here’s what the yearbook photo captured:

  • Huge-ass, pink glasses frames (I got contacts the next year)

  • An awkward half-smile that I sincerely believed hid my crooked teeth (I got braces the next year)

  • Giant pink sweater with scoop neck over horizontally-striped white-and-teal turtleneck

  • Shiny skin

  • Super-flat hair with…

  • Super-tall “wave” bangs – you know, they kind that went straight up in a vertical wall of shellacked hair, with the very ends curled forward. The highest point was right at the center of my forehead, and even the lowest point was still a good inch from the hairline. The bulk of my morning routine was devoted to that wave. I didn’t even curl the rest of my hair at all. Just enormous wave bangs in front, and probably not even brushed in back. I got a perm in 8th grade, but in all honesty it didn’t improve things much.

Yeah, I was hot.

Grade 10, so I was 15. Anyway, photos were always taken in early September, when it was still hot; and this photo day, they were taken after lunch. I’d been playing football with my buddies at lunch, and we’d been playing hard. Then, we went for our photos. Mine shows me, with my sweaty hair combed as best I could with my fingers, wearing a t-shirt that is sticking in parts to me. I’ve also got a face that a mother would immediately take a Kleenex soaked in Mom-Spit to.

Some high school guy! I always looked younger than I really was, and this photo made me look like a grubby ten-year-old.

Swim team photo:Speedo, tie, smile.
Thats all.