Old school pictures

If I could go back in time to give younger me some advice, it would be something like this:

"It gets so much better. You'll get braces. And your hair will be awesome one day."

Followed by: "What are you thinking?"

I came across pictures in my mom's closet where I was looking for Christmas presents last week. It was sort of like opening pandora's box. Well, maybe not that bad, but almost.

I have mostly happy memories of my childhood, mixed with a very awkward stage that a lot of us went through. Those God-awful middle school years.

I'm convinced this had everything to do with bad hair, pre-waxed eyebrows, shoulder pads, and acid-washed, high-waisted jeans that were always too short.

And awful purple Bonne Bell lip gloss.

I was the queen of bad hair. Having naturally curly hair can be a blessing and a curse, depending on if you know what to do with it. I did not. Clearly, my parents didn't know how to deal with it, either, so when I was 9 years old, they thought it would be cool to cut all my hair off. This resulted in me having hair nightmares, because short hair on me? Is the biggest DON'T ever. Oh, but my hair grew back. Chi-chi-chi-chia... And once again, it was... well... big hair. And sort out of control.

My past is filled with memories of summers in Greece, where I'd play with Patapouf and Bibi-Bo, drink Nou-nou chocolate milk and orange Fanta, and eat Dracula Fingers chips while reading trashy romance novels.

The summer I was almost 13 was the summer of Debbie Gibson and Tiffany playing on repeat on my yellow Sony walkman on a beautiful island in Greece. I had a favourite white skirt and navy blue top with shoulder pads. Shoulder pads! I loved that outfit. Right down to the white penny loafers. (Really, Loukia?)

I posed a lot, back in the day. Like leaning up against a wall type posing. Not sure what look I was going for here. This was the summer I was 14, when I was in England. I had bad hair but good taste in books. I read Wuthering Heights that summer, thinking there was no better place to read it than the place it was written. And I wore really short shorts. God, I loved those shorts.

I was all about desert boots and duckies, Tretorns and push-down socks, Esprit and Benetton. I kept journals where I wrote bad poetry, that I still have today. Most of what I wrote is cringe-worthy, of course. A blog post in itself, if I'm ever looking for something to write about. I had Hilroy notebooks turned into scrapbooks filled with pictures of celebrities, and collections of BOP magazines. I tried hard to perfect the Alyssa Milano circa Who's The Boss? pouf. It never worked on me, but my best friends, blessed with straight hair, had the best pouf's ever.

I used to be a dancer, and took the obligatory recital pictures, year after year. This picture shows me in my least favourite costume, ever. Again, this picture is majorly cringe-worthy. I am the reason the term "jazz hands" exists today.

While in high school I finally figured out how to handle my unruly curls (hint: don't brush them!) and fell in love with fashion. I got rid of my braces and I won "best dressed" my graduating year which isn't something to be that proud of, but still. I had come a long way from just a few years before!

In university I was too busy studying to even remember what I wore, but college years were all about pleather tops that exposed way too much skin, and... why do I look like a bobble head? A few months after this picture was taken I landed my internship at CBS TV in D.C, and got my style sense back. When I wasn't at the TV station I was in Georgetown, shopping and maxing out my credit card. Some things never change, I guess.

I think pictures stopped being embarrassing after college.

Since then I've learned a thing or two: pleather is always a no, especially red pleather snakeskin pants, find a good hair stylist, and remember that confidence comes from within. It's not about the size of pants you wear or where your clothes are from. The pictures I get the most compliments on are the ones where I'm smiling my biggest, most sincere smiles. Usually it's when I'm thinking about my children.

So there you have it. My most embarrassing pictures, ever, exposed on my blog. It's totally a blogging rite of passage, isn't it?

Please tell me... do have pictures from back in the day that make you cringe? That make you shake your head and wonder what you were thinking? That make you laugh out loud? Or is it just me?

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OHmommy said...

I can't wait to go home for the holidays to prove that I have MUCH worst pictures of growing up LOL. You are too cute.

Mama Kat said...

This post made me infinitely happy. God I love looking at old school pics! You totally rocked the trends back then!

Anonymous said...

Sorry but this is hilarious! I think we all have that horrible box of pics!

In mine are some from when it was popular for girls to wear baggy boys clothes.....:::shutters::: and I wont DARE post them ...LOL

Kyla said...

I really want to play this game. But, I am not sure if I can do it.
Way to go BRAVE GIRL!

Marinka said...

are these available for purchase? In bulk?

Avitable said...

I'm crying because I'm laughing so hard at some of those. Jazz hands!

EarnestGirl said...

My daughter already says: why did you let me wear *that*? I tell her because it didn't matter. We wore those things because we loved them, or didn't care, or really, truly believed that the striped pants were a good idea. Fashions change, so do we. What I see when I look at your pictures Loukia? Grandparents, summers spent happy & free, dance classes, the stuff of childhood. How lovely that you came into your true beautiful self, enough to be generous and laugh - gently - about your fashion growing pains.

Nicole said...

We must be about the same age, because I had similar awkward pictures. Except - and here is a key difference - I SPIRAL PERMED my hair to look like yours.

Chantal said...

way to go Loukia! I love that you are confident enough to show us all these photos. I need to dig some of myself out some day :)

A Mommy in the City said...

I have some pretty bad ones growing up when my mom gave me a horrible bowl cut (yes to her own daughter.) These pictures made me laugh though! ;)

Abby said...

this is hilarious! you were adorable then, but you look like a different person now! Must be the awesome hair. If it makes you feel any better, I had a Madonna phase and a Debbie Gibson/Flashdance phase and an alternative phase that featured asymmetrical bleached hair. Yikes!

Ann Imig said...

Great pics, but I bet the poetry is even better.

You are so beautiful.

Issas Crazy World said...

What's funniest to me is that I made some of the EXACT same mistakes. ;)

The difference was the very large glasses because I'm too blind for contacts.

SamiJoe said...

We all for sure have these same moments and feelings from the past. All of it is part of us finding ourselves---

Love your smile and actually, I quite like you as a blonde.

Muskrat said...

Most of them are cute! Not so much the jazz hands one, however.

the mama bird diaries said...

You look fantastic as a blond.

tracy@sellabitmum said...

HILARIOUS! You were/are fabulous and I will never share middle school pictures.

alimartell said...


The jazz hands!
Best ever.

I always post old photos of myself, because, honestly, I look awesome at 33. And I want to remind myself how far I have come.

Also, laughing at yourself is a good thing!

Angella said...

I LOVE looking at friends' high school photos.

I think you were ADORABLE, bee tee dub. :)

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Oh - but those of us with straight(ish) hair yearned for your curls. We got PERMS!

We have lots of memories in common. And you remind me so much of my Greek friend. She and her sister often curse their pre-waxed eyebrows in pictures.


wratwrds said...

I love just the thought of red snakeskin pleather pants. : D

I was the only 10-year-old with a red afro in my small hometown. And freckles.
My mother and her friend gave me a Tony home perm. Then laughed... ; )

Nolie said...

I personally don't have them. They are all tucked away in some deep dark corner at my moms house. Well except all my school pictures that are still hanging on her wall and I refuse to acknowledge that wall when I am there.

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

Your pictures are quite similar to some of my pictures! Though I was never able to pull off a cropped top like you! You looked hawt. ;)

Krystyn said...

Oh, the hair...I can totally relate. My mom never showed me what to do with mine, either. And, now I don't know what to do with my daughters! (I know not to brush it, but she has no patience).

I think my favorite is the "jazz hands" picture.

Mine...I had jam pants. You remember those, don't you? Yeah, awesome.

Anna See said...

Loved these! You were adorable! I had OP courdoroy shorts and ample thighs-- a winning combo for sure. Way back on my blog I post some doozies-- like when I thought it would be a good idea to weaer a hat on 8th grade picture day. Sheesh.

Nenette AM said...

I think I have almost the same pic as your "penny loafer" one! :)

heatherty said...

lol - Love the photos. Especially the jazz hands. I believe I have some very similar looks in my old pics - yikes!

SassyModernMom said...

Oh sweetie...still think you looked adorable in every single picture! Oh and I mighte be a bit jealous of your summers in Greece and England!

Brenda A. said...

These are super pics and will ALWAYS bring about smiles to EVERYONE who sees them. Oh, and a lot of laughter! We all have pics like this and should embrace them! They helped shaped who we are today.

Multi-Testing Mommy said...

That was a fun post to read ;) Thanks so much for sharing!!!