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Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

I Was a Teenage Nerd

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett


And I am an adult nerd. So what else is new? And I'll prove it with this Weekend Assignment:

John Scalzi's challenge:

Reveal Your Teenage Fashion Disasters! Yes, whether it's big hair, Nehru jackets, acid-washed jeans or an ill-advised tattoo, let us know what about your style as a teenager you would change today.

Extra Credit: Are you kidding? Pictures, baby!

Oh, my.

I was a teenager in the 1970s. Need I say more? Thought not. Thanks for stopping in!

Oh, you want details. I was afraid of that.

There's no doubt about it: I wore horrid clothes. Most of my wardrobe consisted of wool skirts (in Texas!) that dragged below the knees. Pants? Fuggidabboutit. School rules prohibited girls from wearing pants except for bloomer-like shorts during PE class. When I was in the 9th grade the rules were relaxed ever-so-slightly. Girls were allowed to wear pants - if they also wore a tunic top or a vest that covered the buttockal area (as Jay Leno might say). Blue jeans were right out. That edict lasted for two years. Then the gods of the school board decided that boys wouldn't turn into serial rapists simply because they happened to see a girl wearing pants in school. I don't know why it was okay for them to see girls wearing pants and shorts outside of the classroom (this is Texas, after all), but there ya go. Of course, even then cheerleaders were allowed to wear their micro skirts on game days, a wonderful double-standard that persists to this day.

But I digress. I wasn't allowed cool clothes until my senior year when I was making a little money of my own. Then I went wild. I bought all the garish polyester I could afford. I went out of my way to find jeans with the widest possible bell bottoms (which were still in fashion at the time).

Until about the eighth grade I wore my hair in a pixie. Yes, a pixie: The most cringe-worthy haircut an adolescent girl could have. It should come as no surprise that when I was allowed to grow my hair, I went long.

So yes, I'm going to post a picture. I don't have any pictures from that era - at least any that I could easily lay my hands on, so this is my junior yearbook picture. A sort of transitional period. I'm wearing an incredibly dorky top my grandmother made (I forgot to mention the abundance of homemade and hand-me-down clothing I had to wear. It's no wonder I got rebellious).

Hmm. Perhaps I should have offered a beverage alert with that?

One thing I suppose I took from that turbulent era is my eclectic fashion sense - such as it is. My love of vintage clothing stretches back to college days. That's one reason I do the old-time radio thing: It gives me an excuse to wear the stuff.

So there you go. I hope the picture doesn't put you off your food!

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Filed under: Pictures   Weekend Assignment         
1/26/2007 9:03:48 AM
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