“Gibson girl” Evelyn Nesbit poses in 1955 with the 1902 portrait drawn of her by Charles Gibson, reflecting the standard of female attractiveness at the cusp of the 20th century. This included voluptuous curves and, as Judy Garland sang in The Trolley Song, “hair piled high upon my head.”
Nesbit had a storied past, including a love triangle much too complicated for this small blog. We can, however, share the beauty of youth that is timeless.
Three-year-old Joyce Bjerk towers high above the ground below in her father Oscar’s barber shop in Karlstad, Minnesota. Pop’s sign above the swanky Maytag washing machine declares a haircut and a shave for a fair price of just two quarters. Joyce seems to be getting the standard kids’ cut of 1934. At least she knows it’s on the house.
Cheryl gets a back-to-school perm in the early 50s, looking positively mortified by the tentacles of the electric permanent wave machine, which brings to mind an early prototype of R2D2. Twin sister Carol had hers done as well, and the results speak for themselves.
In my newer model sensible Camry, I have two inches clearance between my scalp and the roof. I doubt I could have comfortably driven this sedan with my higher volume 80s hair. But this? This is (quite lit’rally) above and beyond.
This hair style was MADE for buses. Buses offer plenty of room for trendy gals to nod and shake their heads. It’s a good thing no one went jogging back then, because these bouffants would have never fit beneath a ball cap.
Now check out this Sputnik style. How would you travel with this thing? By rocket ship?
You guys, I don’t usually share images as recent as only 30-something years old, which I’m guessing this is, but we need to talk about this.
Discounting the obvious crimes of hair and use of cigarettes (and LENGTH of cigarettes; you’ve come a long, long, LONG way, baby), and plaid vest that somehow makes her more street than lumberjack, or even simply the use of THIS as their Christmas card, what bothers me most is those blinds. I remember those blinds in my first years of apartment dwelling. The way they never moved in synchronicity like Venetian blinds or their superior window cousin, plantation shutters. Just try and pull them to the side. You can already hear the swishing and slamming of cheap plastic blind crashing into cheap plastic blind. Erratic! Random!
And oh, what fun to dust them! And even better, what their very existence oft implied, which was sliding glass doors. Who doesn’t love the sliding glass door? You know, the one that only slides seamlessly for a month before catching and stuttering. Or it does that diagonal thing, where it gets off its rollers. Yes, the very same sliding glass door that a criminal attempted to break into in my townhome in the early 90s, when everyone used that same broken broom handle to shove in between the doors as a perfect deterrent. It was only good fortune that my angry queen of a roommate drew said blinds back and showed his horrified face to the thief that saved us. Damn sliding door. Damn blinds. What did they think they would get? A glass coffee table full of Madonna magazines and a TV with an enormous antenna? Hmph.
With a West Texas State University sticker on the window, students Becky, Judy, and Nancy load up the convertible to enjoy the spring of ’69, cruising the beat sans seatbelts, keeping it under 20mph, for fear that the wind may untease their fancy coifs.