Posts Tagged ‘80’s hair’

[December, 1989] Beaches and Other Scary Movies

December 1, 2009 10 comments


(spoiler alert: one of them doesn't make it)


Dear Journal,

I just (well a few hours ago.) saw the movie “beaches” again and it was really sad at the end. It’s about this friendship that these two girls have and one of them dies at the end (that’s why it’s so sad). It got me thinking about friendship and how I would feel if one of my good (or even best!) friends died. I would be so depressed and miserable, I don’t know what I would do.

Well let’s move on to a happier subject. Like my date with Mitch (which is tomorrow by the way.) I hope it goes all right.

Also my birthday is coming up and my party is going to have a horror theme. We are going to see a horror movie then tell ghost stories, have some food then play with my Ouija board.

In case it’s still not clear, it’s sad because of the death in the movie. Of the friend. At the end.

Ah, Beaches. For those not up on their chick flicks, Bette Midler plays a bold and brassy gal (I know, so very unlike her other characters) who forges a lifelong friendship with a sensible and cautious gal (Barbara Hershey). What could they possibly have in common, you ask? Well, not a whole lot, but you know what they say about opposites (“they,” in the late 80’s, being Paula Abdul and a  cartoon cat). There’s fighting, singing, crying, dying, and more crying. All to the tune of a soundtrack sung by the Diving Miss M herself, who made us take stock and ask who the wind beneath our wings might be. Despite its somber conclusion, the film has moments of levity, plus plenty of shoulder pads, big hair, and a musical sequence about the invention of the bra (you owe it to yourself to hear “Otto Titsling” at least once in your life if you never have).

To me, Beaches is a scary movie because it shows the fragility of friendship and of life itself. However, others out there might consider it  to be a horror movie because of  its abundance of female emotion and sentimentality. Either way, it was not part of my impending birthday’s theme.

As I previously mentioned, my parents let me immerse myself in all kinds of media related to paranormal phenomena, but they didn’t let me watch scary movies. Nothing with Freddy or Jason or Michael Myers or anything of that ilk. Initially they forbade horror movies until I was 13, but decided to loosen up and end the moratorium a year early. Clearly, I decided to really run with the theme.

What better way to celebrate the anniversary of your birth than seeing a bunch of people die onscreen, tell stories about dead people, and then try to actually talk to dead people using a toy/instrument of the occult? Sounds like my idea of a good time!


[December, 1989] The Power of Good Hair

November 23, 2009 3 comments

much a 'do



Dear Journal,

Mitchell asked me out! I’m going to the movies with him on Saturday. I’m so happy. I know that I still like J.D. but I don’t think it will work out with him. Gotta go!

So much for J.D. and all of Anna’s “work.”

This is the same Mitch who, back in September I said, “got a new hairstyle and looks cool” and weeks later decided was full-on cute. Behold the power of a good hair. The right cut can make any preteen drop her schemes of making a far away older boy fall in love with her and decide to keep her heart local.

While personality and smarts were important, I’ll be honest: When I was young I was all about the pretty boys with “cool hair.” I particularly like spiked hair, heavily moussed/gelled hair, or bleached/dyed hair. (Exhibit A: Corey Haim) A few snips and a boy could go from being invisible to the top of my crush list or go from being my main heartthrob to mayor of WhatWasIThinkingVille. Superficial? You bet. But the heart wants what it wants and mine wanted a cute face with a hip coif.

While I would learn to look beyond the surface as the years went on, as a kid I had better things to do that wonder whether Mitchell had a good heart or if he was funny or kind. I was too busy planning an outfit for our date and figuring out what I was going to do with my hair (spoiler alert: it  involved lots of Aqua Net, mousse, and teasing my permed tresses into something birds could have lived in).

[October, 1989] Unsent Letters Part 1: Cursing in Russian

November 10, 2009 2 comments


Dear Journal,

I got my perm after all and I have a few letters that I want to write to fill you in on what has been happening to me lately…


some letters are better left unsent

Dear Tolya,

Remember the sleepover we had when we went to Alana’s party at the roller skating rink the next day? Well I just wanted to tell you that I think your friend Peter is a bad influence on you because whenever he’s around and even when he’s not around you act like a very imature person. All of the sudden you start cursing in Russian and acting like a fool.

Also I am grateful that you did so many nice things for me like helping me with my campain for president (really my flyers). But every time I don’t want to do something for you, you act as if you gave me a million dollars and I had to be your slave forever to pay you back. I don’t like it atall.

Although you helped me materialy I helped you too but non-materialy like listening to your problems and giving you advice.

I hope you change fast because the way you are acting if you don’t change soon, you will lose me as a friend.

Make the choice.

Either you change your attitude or you have one less friend.


…   …   …

Dear 11-year-old Damiella,

At least this time it wasn’t bad poetry.

Tolya was entering his teenage years, so cursing, acting like a fool, and having an attitude is not out of the ordinary. You should see the attitude you’ll be sporting in a couple of years.

P.S. That perm was a really bad idea.

[October, 1989] Big Hair…Too Much to Ask For?

November 6, 2009 5 comments


Dear Journal,

I was supposed to get a perm today but I’m not! Because some of the Beauty Salonists said I was to young and it was to dangerous and my dad didn’t want me to so I’m not getting it.

He was even willing to pay me but I don’t need his stupid money!

Now my mom is going to the salon (for a trim) and then we will stop by Kings Highway for me to get some tapes. (my Idea.)

Maybe that will cheer me up. I DOUBT IT.

Patrick_Nagel_big hair

In the 1980's no salon was complete without a Nagel poster

It’s been said before, but it bears repeating: the 1980’s were all about big hair. Being burdened with pin straight hair as a young girl, I did everything I could to get extra volume: crimping, curling, abusing mousse and hairspray, you name it.

My mother got regular perms and I was quite envious of the way her hair puffed out at the sides. When I look at photos from back then, I can now laugh at the pyramid-like shape the chin-length curls gave her head. But at the time I was desperate for a permanent solution to my flat hair dilemma (sorry, bad puns are one of my guilty pleasures).

Obtaining permission from Mom and Dad to get a perm took hours of pleading and coercing. When they finally said yes and I made it to the salon it was utterly heartbreaking to be told that the strong chemicals in the curling agents might hurt my young head of hair. I was furious and beyond disappointed. Stupid beauty salonists!

Over the course of the last ten years, my hair has mysteriously developed a natural wave. This is something that would have thrilled me as a little girl, but instead of embracing my hair’s new texture, these days I prefer to wear it straight and frequently use a flat iron to get it that way. Maybe it’s human nature to fight against what you were born with. Or maybe it’s just me.

[September, 1989] The Cool Group

November 2, 2009 5 comments


Dear Journal,

Second day of school, I got the Blob (Mrs. Feinstein). She’s o.k.

Nisa’s a BITCH!

She’s a f@#in’ $%HOLE. I saw her the first day of school and ignored her. Now she’s getting the hint and ignoring me. GOOD! I’m glad we are in separate classes. Rose is also in another class but it’s not that bad.

Since Elaine and me are in the same class we have to start the cool group.

I think Penny should be in it. Also Chen-chi. I’m not sure about Yanmei. (she should kinda clean up her act.)

Mitchell got a new hair-style and looks cool. Gotta go. —Bye—

being cool 1980s-fashion

Are you cool enough for our group?

I haven’t the foggiest idea what inspired such vitriol towards Nisa, the girl I considered my elementary school best friend.  Maybe it had something to do with her mother. The important thing is that I had enough strength and courage remaining to start “the cool group.”

If you have to ask what the qualifies one for being in the cool group, you probably aren’t cool enough to be in it. Also, I don’t remember the criteria Elaine and I set. Having big hair and awesome clothes probably had something to do with it.  Being smart was cool, but being a nerd was not. There were probably other guidelines, which evidently Yanmei was falling short of (poor Yanmei).

In case you’re wondering, no, I can’t recall what the fringe benefits of being in “the cool group” were. Probably just a sense of clueless superiority over the other sixth graders.

[July, 1989] First Date

October 27, 2009 6 comments


Dear Journal,

Francis asked me out!

One of his friends is coming but I don’t mind.

We are going to the movies and they will pick me up.

I’m going tomorrow. I can’t wait.

[Addendum, no date] The date was great

"It's not exactly a normal world, is it?"

"It's not exactly a normal world, is it?"

I was so thrilled to be asked out on a date by a boy I liked that I didn’t question the fact that he brought a friend along.

For some reason my parents did not find it dubious either, and let me see a Saturday matinee of Batman with these two.

I wore what I thought was a terribly cool outfit: a neon green t-shirt and matching short pants with a   pattern of abstract tribesmen across the hem and pant cuffs. Crimped hair and big plastic earrings were undoubtedly involved. Possibly some bangle bracelets, too.

I don’t remember anything about Francis’ friend or what the three of us talked about on the walk to the theater. At the movies, I was so nervous, I said yes to everything the boys asked. Did I want a soda? Popcorn? A hotdog? Yes, yes, and yes (it was the first and only time I ate a hotdog at the movies).

I was blown away by Tim Burton’s vision of Batman, and went to see it a second time with my parents. Later on I got a Batman t-shirt and listened to the soundtrack by Prince ad nauseam. A local video store had a Batman pinball machine and I spent many hours hunched over it that summer, playing badly.

As for the rest of the date, after the movie, the boys walked me home and I never saw either of them again. I always wondered if it was because I said yes to that hotdog.

[June, 1989] Blonde Ambition

October 12, 2009 5 comments


Dear Journal,

Yesterday I went shopping and got these cool bangles and earings, plus Sun In. It turns your hair lighter with the sun.

Art by DoA

Art by DoA

How I loved being a child of the 1980s. The music, the movies, the fashion, and of course, the hair.

The only thing I didn’t love was how young I was at the time, and therefore how limited I was in my hair experimentation. It took ages just to convince Mom to let me use hairspray, though once I got the green light I used enough Aqua Net to make my bangs virtually bulletproof. Crimping was also okay, but I had yet to convince her to allow me to get a perm. (My hair was pin-straight as a kid and I was desperate for it to be curly. Today, my hair has a natural wave to it and and I blow dry and flatiron it straight. Why are human beings so contrary???)

Bleaching or dying my hair was out of the question, but luckily Sun-In was allowed. Plain old lemon juice was never effective at lightening my hair in the summertime, but this stuff did the trick. Whenever we’d go to the beach, Mom would allow me to spray a moderate amount of this seemingly-magical concoction into my hair, and after a day of roasting outside, my naturally dirty blonde hair would have more golden highlights.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that every time Mom was distracted I’d sneak in a few extra sprays. I figured the blonder the better. I don’t know how it worked, but Sun-In did harness the sun’s power to lighten hair, at the cost of giving it a straw-like consistency, especially when sprayed in great quantities (what was the point of using only a little bit and getting a subtle effect?). Between the Sun-In, the crimping iron, and the hairspray, it was a wonder that I didn’t have a mane like Tina Turner or the Cowardly Lion, and that I didn’t fry  all the hair on my preteen head.

In retrospect, I think Mom was pretty cool to allow me to torture my hair within the boundaries she had set. While I was still eager for more extreme chemical transformation to my tresses, for the time being I was happier being a little bit blonder.