Portrait of the Mir as a young twerp

By Mir
April 15, 2007

Well. It’s clear from that last post that you are all dying to see what a complete dork I was as a child. You’d think that the various and myriad demonstrations here of my dorkitude as an adult would be enough, but no. You people always want more.

And I always give it, because I care. And because it’s easier to sit down at the scanner and then resize pictures than it is to write an actual entry when all I have to report is “my house is still for sale and no one even came to look at it this weekend, possibly because it is snowing in the middle of April.”

I’d also like to point out that I have posted incriminating photos of myself before purely for your enjoyment. Just for the record.

(Click thumbnails below to biggify, if the horror isn’t plain enough in tiny size.)

I was thrilled to be starting “big kid school” in kindergarten, as evidenced by this lovely photo, here. Am I wearing a breastplate underneath my fashionable shirt? Did I cut my own hair? The world may never know. It was all part of my mysterious charm.

As was being tormented on the bus by a group of older girls who insisted I was a boy, much to my horror.

The teasing in kindergarten led to a full-throttle campaign to get my mother to let me grow my hair out. Here we can see that I’ve started, with a lovely bedheaded result. At least I’m wearing just one color (perhaps all of my psychedelic shirts were in the wash, alas).

You know how now when kids bring home the picture day stuff, it says “wear a solid color” in the rules? That’s because of me, I’m pretty sure.

This is the picture Chickadee identified as looking like her, and it does, strongly, in pose and mannerism. Thankfully the “cut everything from the crown forward short and call it bangs even though it’s half your head” hairstyle which was so popular in the 70s has gone out of fashion, along with that shirt.

Check out those teeth. It soon got worse…

… the next year. What was cute, before, was now undeniable buckteeth. My posture and lack of frizz control didn’t really help matters, either. Notice how I don’t seem quite so gleeful this picture, possibly because my collar is cutting off my circulation.

(But have you been noticing those weird little in-the-smile-line dimples? I still have those, and so does Chickadee.)

I think I look a little stoned in my 4th grade picture, but I suppose they just snapped it too close to me blinking. Again we have the stunning gorilla posture accentuated by the beauty of polyester, and—this time—an even better view of the Horrible Hair. It’s not even so much the short-in-front part that horrifies me as much as that I was clearly trying to brush my curls straight and then walking around like an overgrown brillo pad. Pretty!

I haven’t worn the color yellow on my body probably since this picture was taken in 1981. It makes me look like I’m dying of jaundice, and it hurts my eyes, besides. In this picture, however, it’s something of a welcome respite from the sadness which is my hair. I wore these little puppydog ponytails for about a year, while growing out the front, and thought I was pretty cool. Then again, I thought my banana-yellow turtleneck was pretty stylin’, too.

[You know, this progression of pictures may serve as explanation of why I pretty much have Chickadee keep her hair all one length at all times.]

And as an extra! special! bonus!, I made just one more picture to share. You may perhaps remember how last summer I ran into an old classmate at BlogHer, and I said then and continue to say that she looks exactly the same now as she did back when I’d last seen her 20-something years ago. Say what she might, Lady M cannot deny photographic evidence.

So, um, yeah. Now you understand why I hate having my picture taken; I was scarred by these photos, I tell you. Of course, I should LOVE having my picture taken, now, because at least I know my hair looks okay and I’m wearing natural fibers….


  1. Otto

    Whoa …

  2. Debbie H

    Loved all the pics. Reminds me of my own. For too many years I wore the ever so fashionable “cat eye” glasses, feeling very stylish…how could my mom let me out of the house like that? Thanks for sharing.

  3. meghann

    I started off cute, then around 2nd grade things started to go horribly wrong. You talk about your frizzy hair, well, mine is naturally straight as a board, so my mom got my hair permed. . .repeatedly. So I had frizzy hair forced on me with the assurance that I looked great! They were such liars. First about Santa, and then my hair!

  4. Kimberly

    Wow. I think I’m starting to forgive my mom for NEVER allowing me to choose the picture day outfit. Or my hairstyle. Here I thought she was being controlling and unreasonable. Turns out she was being cruel to be kind.

    Thanks for sharing Mir. I needed the giggle this weekend.

  5. chris

    Oh honey….

    At least you got that whole awkward stage out of the way early.

  6. jenn2

    Lord love a duck. I relate to you on a whole new level. Thank you for helping me see I’m not the only one who had an extended “awkward period.” I totally admire you for posting those.

  7. becky

    oh my! it’s worth clicking on the pics for the captions alone. have you forgiven your mother for those haircuts? ;)

  8. premenopaws

    I think I owned the exact same three out of those first four shirts. I was nothing if not stylish.

  9. Elizabeth K.

    Gosh – I think you were adorable, in all your awkwardness. You looked like a kid should! WTH is with kids needing to look anything other than – well, a kid. Your smile was contagious! (and I am sure still is –
    we have yet to meet :-))

  10. Crisanne

    You pictures are so funny and so true-just like your blog!

    I love Otto’s comment!

  11. Chewie

    OH MY WORD. I about peed myself. That is the most hysterical thing I’ve seen in a long while. I can’t imagine the glorious creature I know as Mir ever looking quite that…challenged…in the beauty department. Those pics are the most fun you can have at 10:30 Sunday night in my town.


  12. Krisco

    You look great. Mostly because you are bursting with happiness and totally unself-aware, and it looks infectious! May all our kids look so happy.

  13. littlepurplecow

    LOL! “stunning gorilla posture”… hysterical. This was so funny that I have to stop reading blogs now and just go to bed with a smile on my face.

  14. Girl con Queso

    This post made my day. Mainly because you are fun and great and possessed the most kick arse elementary school hairdos in all the land.

  15. Sueb0b

    It’s a good thing you grew up to be so dang hot.

  16. Lisa

    Love that yellow turtleneck! I think I had one just like it. ;)

  17. Heather

    If you can’t say something nice…(Thumper’s going through my head right now.)
    Your wedding picture is very pretty, and you look way hotter now ;-) Otto will get over the shock of seeing these, and you’ll be even more gorgeous this time around.

  18. Bridget

    okay, coming out of lurkdom for this one! i thought i was the ONLY perosn in the planet who’s mother thought it would be stylish to cut the entire crown of my head short and call it bangs, feathered back ala 80’s style, while the rest of my hair was down to my butt!!!! and to make it worse, she allowed her best friend to home perm my long hair, turning it into a frizzy horrid poofball, and then made me wear a poofy sleeved leopard print shirt to school pictures with my two front teeth missing and frizzy mullet hair (okay, i may have chosen the shirt, i dont know, but i KNOW i didnt choose the hair so i might as well blame the shirt on her too!) whenever i tell this story people die laughing as i ahve done with this posting and beg for the pic, but no one has ever admitted to the same style! thank you, i am no longer alone in the world!

  19. Lady M

    Hey, at least your hair has improved since then! Mine, not so much. Thanks for sharing the memories. I need to find my scrapbook.

  20. fairly odd mother

    My younger daughter’s hair is cut super short b/c it is a very weird texture—but, she has been called a boy before and now I’m thinking that I may need to let her grow it out before she is scanning photos of herself and complaining about me on her (future) blog!

    I think we shopped at the same stores. I have a shameful 4th grade photo of me wearing a multi-colored striped cowl neck with a little clip-on koala bear hanging from the neck. Ack!

  21. Sara

    My first grade picture is much like your kindergarten one. I have the boy haircut too. My mother tried to make it seem better than it was by calling it a “pixie” cut. All I know is, that ain’t no pixie staring back at me… This fact confirmed by 2 high school girls who saw my longhaired best friend and I walking by at a football game and said:”Awww. Look at the cute little couple!” I believe I went to the bleachers and sobbed on my mother’s shoulder. I might have also called her a big fat liar. I feel your pain.

  22. MomCat

    Priceless, Mir! And adorable. :D You do look very happy!

    (Meghann, our mothers probably plotted the whole perm thing on the phone, unbeknownst to our cute, straight-haired selves. I suffered with it, too.)

  23. dad

    Awkward! What awkward? You were adorable although prone to be surly.
    As to your wardrobe: You were in vogue for your time but admitedly hilarious. Some of those blouses, even at the minute size of these photos, cause severe eye ache. You’ve come a long way baby!

    Now I need to go burn those plaid polyester slacks with bell bottoms that are stored in the back of my closet. I do not think they will be coming back into style…mercifully.

  24. Bob

    Jeez, you make me feel old. 1981 – you in the 5th grade wearing an interesting yellow shirt; me a sophomore in college thinking dirty thoughts about female classmates wearing interesting yellow shirts.

  25. Heather

    If you saw MY childhood photo album, you’d proudly display those photos because “at least they’re MUCH COOLER than that Heather girl’s pictures!”

  26. meritt

    Oh wow. I bow to you for having the guts to post all those. LOL.


  27. steph

    hey mir…that short in the front, long in the back hair you were sportin? think that’s called a MULLET! I shouldn’t make fun though…my mom always decided to give me a home perm the night before picture day…SCARY! I think you’re adorable…then and now!

  28. Sheila

    I distinctly remember having the shirts displayed in your second and fourth grade pics, no doubt ordered directly from the JC Penney catalogue after hours of circling photos. I’m going to find some pictures and email them to you, just to share the awesomeness. If I’m feeling particularly generous, I’ll even send one of me from fifth grade, which is right about the time I got my first curling iron. And my first cowl-neck. (I guess there’s a reason they call it photoGRAPHIC evidence.)

  29. Aimee

    Aw, Mir! So cute! Your kindergarten shirt reminds me (horrifyingly) of a rayon shirt with multicolored airplanes that I wore for my (I think) fifth grade picture.

  30. Contrary

    You know, I never realized the upside to being the 4th of 5 kids, bu now I know what it is. Practically no pictures of me as a kid! Thank you Mir, for helping me to realize that having no record of my childhood can be a good thing!

  31. rachel

    yeah, I think we grew up in the same time frame. I (sadly) don’t have my elementary school pictures here to scan. *shudder*

    You really were cute, though! Of course, now you’re very pretty. :)

  32. Jenny

    I had to see who was trouncing me so badly in that Parenting Blog Award thingie as I suspected it was someone promising to post kinky nude photos of themselves if they won.

    It’s nice to know I’m being beaten fairly. (And frickin’ hilariously.)

  33. Cele

    I don’t know if I would have the guts to do a post like this. At least two of my pictures of the five between kindergarten and sixth were in Girl Scout uniforms complete with braces in the later pics. And if I did I would definately stop at sixth grade because it was in Junior high that the horror began.

    You were/are adorable. Now is Otto ready for his pictorial history?

  34. Pendullum

    YOu are a brave brave woman posting your ole pics on the internet…
    My ole childhood photos are a reminder of how much torture my mother put me through with going to the barber for hair cuts.. I have always cut my daughter’s hair as a result… No bad hair dos for her to use as fodder in how I tortured her as an impling…

  35. Mara

    I, too, had a Mom Who Permed. Why do they do this, why? It’s not as though I knew what to do with a perm either… I brushed it out, brillo-pad style as Mir said.

    And the bangs. I totally relate…

  36. Susan

    I think i just saw that VERY first shirt in Vogue magazine. Like THIS week.

    You’re a trendsetter, baby.

  37. Lucinda

    We are only months apart in age and so I groaned and laughed at the same time looking at your picturs. I too had the horrible hair, multi-colored shirts (except I had the double joy of my mom making them), horried glasses, etc. I’m glad I’m not the only one. Thanks for sharing.

  38. Amy Lou

    Sweet fancy pants—I have tears pouring down my cheeks!!! Your commentary for the pictures has me rolling. The 4th grade picture took me back. I recall a very similar “look” taking place just the other day. Thank God for hats. And wine…

  39. daring one

    You are TOO CUTE! I was called a boy during elementary school due to an unfortunate version of a “pixie” cut. And look how great I turned out. It builds character, I tell you. I think I’ll go shave Laylee’s head. Or maybe I should wait until junior high.

  40. Laura

    Those are some great pictures! Every elementary school picture of mine looks like my bangs were trimmed by blind chimps with jitters and a grudge… Oh, Mom. Someone should have taken thy scissors from thee. I also know for a fact I sported some plaid polyester shirts that made yours look understated. And ponchos. Lotsa ponchos.

    Good times.

    And yes, Aimee, they were airplanes. But stylin’ airplanes. Very fashion forward.

  41. BOSSY

    That is way too cute – although Bossy was a wee bit concerned that your hair was in danger of growing into your forehead.

  42. jen

    I’m speechless!

  43. Jen M

    Holy Princess Leah – is that a bun on the side of your head on the last pic? LOVE IT.

  44. B

    you’re featured in the april issue of parents magazine towards the end for favorite mommy blogs

  45. Melanie

    Your fashion sense was incredible in those days. I bow before the wonder of the beautifully patterned polyester.

  46. Shining

    Oh, my. That did bring back the days of the mullet…with the perm in my hair that frizzed to the point that I could have been mistaken for the little Orphan Annie. *lays head down on desk and cries in between laughing so hard*

  47. Jess

    Love the photos. I did a little version of this on my blog a few days ago. There is a photo of me with a perm that would give you nightmares. It is good that we can look back on what we looked liked back then and laugh or cry whichever the case maybe.

  48. Kristen

    That was SOME hair in that very yellow picture. If only you could do that to your hair for your wedding…

  49. Glennia

    I had that very same yellow turtleneck in 5th grade, only I wore it with a snazzy pleather vest…with fringes. I think that was 1972. I am officially an old broad.

  50. Kerry

    Awww, I think you looked cute. I love the dated shirts; you were so “with the times”. The yellow turtle neck, well, my eyes are burning and I have nothing nice to say.

    Thanks for sharing!

  51. Mary Tsao

    You were not shy of the patterned shirt. Oh no. Not a bit.

    My favorite one is the yellow turtleneck one!

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