1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, College, Culture, Fashion, Hair, History, Humor, Nostalgia, Photography, Pics, Style, Vintage

Eye of the Beholder

I like how this yearbook just cuts to the chase: Pretty Girls. So there. It’s not open for discussion. And Sugie Smulcher signed her name for emphasis. Say that aloud. Sugie Smulcher. Rolls right off the tongue.


Other yearbooks try to be creative with their beauty queen section, like this classy illustration preceding the portraits.


Some editors refer to them as queens.

1952 Coyote
1952 Coyote

Others refer to them as “sweethearts.”

1957 Hornet
1957 Hornet

I doubt this girl’s destiny included being a farmer’s wife, but she took the title of FFA (Future Farmers of America) sweetheart.  If she’s not a vision in lace, I don’t know what is.


“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute.”–Albert Einstein

Now that’s science!

1960s, Celebrities, College, Culture, Fashion, History, Humor, Nostalgia, Photography, Pics, Style, Vintage

When Steve McQueen Says You’re Hot, People Listen


The 1964 yearbook staff at the University of Oklahoma had the juevos to ask Steve McQueen to participate as “Beauty Judge” for their beauty contest. He actually took the time to reply.


Ask and ye shall receive. After all, years of girl-gazing did qualify him to judge. And he chose Miss Barbie Listen. Yep, that’s her real name.


Can you blame him? Her hair is only perfect. Her dress and gloves are white as snow. And I think it was very diplomatic of him to name five girls in the tie for 4th place. Nobody wants to be the loser. But I imagine Barbie Listen comes from the school of Ricky Bobby:

you're last

Suck it, losers.

Celebrities, Culture, Humor, Pics

Face Plant

Keep frowning, Jen; you'll get there in time. www.huffingtonpost.com
Keep frowning, Jen; you’ll get there in time.

Every morning, I look in the mirror, and I see that little frown line that won’t go away, no matter how many hundreds of moisturizer bottles and creams and serums that I’ve used for twenty years.  They all promise reduction in wrinkles and improved skin appearance, and definite results within 8 weeks, but I’m here to tell you that not a one of them has ever worked.  Ever.  This is not an invitation for you to comment about how great your skin care regimen is, because I won’t believe you.

With my long blonde hair now, I look like a surfer Gordon Ramsay, or perhaps Gordon if he was ever a hippie/stoner/metalhead.  He actually had a professional come in and tweak his face, but seriously, he still looks old and wrinkly.  But he’s got a great head of hair and an expression like a chunky nine-month old Aryan baby, so that works for him.


Honestly, I look better than his “after” picture, but that doesn’t prevent me from wanting to get a sander and just smooth out those creases in the manner that I wield an iron against pleated chinos.  I mean, if Sharron Stone can do it, why can’t I?  Oh, yeah, she’s a millionaire.  And she still has smile lines that look like they could snap like a dried rubber band at any second.


Still, she looks better than most of post-surgery Hollywood.  Every time I consider Botox, I remind myself of Meg Ryan and Melanie Griffith and the “chin ladies,” Suzanne Somers and Priscilla Presley, who seem to have injected gravel into their chins, quite the opposite of smoothing:


We want our celebrities to be the beautiful people, eye candy, the standard-setters of beauty.  We need something to aspire to, right?  I have to admit that last month when I watched The Way Way Back (to see Steve Carell because all the world loves a Steve Carell), I was a bit offput by Toni Collette’s ability to move her facial muscles all across her face.  My first thought was, “Why is she letting herself be in a movie for all the free world to see–with a forehead as crinkly as all get-out?”  But then I decided that it matched the character of the everywoman, so it made sense, and why shouldn’t she be allowed to just look like an average human being, warts and all?  Perhaps she has already had something done, but at least she doesn’t look like a Halloween mask.   I’d rather watch her moving parts on the big screen than hear the chin ladies deny rumors of plastic surgery.


As for myself, I think it’s time to trade in my Oil of Olay for something more results-oriented:


1980s, Advertising, Celebrities, Humor

Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific But For The Love Of All That Is Holy, Stop Touching It

I watch a lot of late night television.  A lot.  At the time it actually comes on.  Late.  I don’t record it or DVR it or whatever else people do these days.  I simply know when shows come on, and then I sit in front of the television at that time and watch them.  If I were too busy to do that, I would have to reassess my life.  Many times, when Leno or Kimmel are on commercial, we turn the channel to Letterman, and my husband asks for the umpteenth time why he is still on the air.  My hub has no memory of Dave’s heydey decades ago; all he sees is the crochety beige shell of a host who lost his humor and his sass well before the Towers fell.  He’s like that cantankerous old ventriloquist dummy, Walter.  Sometimes we think, “This will be the night that the Top Ten is actually funny.”  But it never is.  Never.  I tell him I’m pretty sure they did a really funny list in 1993, but then I remember even Conan was funnier than Dave that year.  Crap, that was twenty years ago.  TWENTY.  One score.  Yeesh.

Nonetheless, Dave, Jay, Craig, Conan, and the two Jimmies have one thing in common: guests.  They share the same guests.  We see the same actors in different suits, night after night, promoting the same movie with the same clip and the same set-up that gets really old.  But even this pales in comparison to what really gets my goat.  And a week never goes by without it happening.  Sometimes it happens twice in one night.  And it’s never the actors, only the actresses.  And no, it’s not their ridiculously short dresses that they intermittently tug down, as though they had NO IDEA how it would register on camera, as though a stylist strapped them down in a chair and dressed them against their will, never explaining how fabric bends when one moves from standing to sitting, or worse–some madman appeared just before they went on stage and hacked six inches off their dress with a cleaver.  The nerve!

But that’s not it.  What chaps my hide is how often they touch their hair.  I don’t mean once or twice.  I mean every couple of seconds.  Inhale, touch hair, exhale, be normal.  Inhale, touch hair, exhale, sit still like a composed human being.  And they try to play it off as though they weren’t doing it.  Jay Leno will say a witty retort, and they will laugh nervously, and bang!  There goes the hand up to the face.  Half the time, their hair isn’t even IN their face to begin with.  They just want to touch it, like they’re Kelly LeBrock and they just started using Pantene, and they can’t believe how touchable it is.  It is so annoying.  Sometimes they will take the same strand of hair and attempt to pull it back behind their right ear, but it’s just a TOUCH too short, and so it immediately falls forward, and yet they spend the entire segment, fiddling with it, yanking and falling, yanking and falling.  Katie Holmes is the worst!  And no, it doesn’t make you look cute and sweet and humble, and aw, shucks.  It makes me wonder 1) why are you so damn insecure if you are a famous Hollywood actress millionaire or 2) you need to upgrade your Hold Control on your hairspray.  Can I suggest TRESemme (ooh la la) extreme hold?  That’s like five dollars at Walgreen’s, and that crap’s not moving.  Not in a tsunami.

I’m not talking about hair twirling.  It’s not just a casual, playful thing.  It’s moving it back, moving it out of the face, pushing it away, over and over and over and over again.  Mila Kunis.  Demi Moore.  It’s not sexy.  It’s distracting.  Don’t their publicists tell them to ix-nay the hair-touching after so many repeat offenses?  Look, if you simply cannot control yourself, perhaps you should do what Scarlett Johansson so often does.  Wear an updo with nary a tendril in sight.  Pulled completely off the face.  Then there’s nowhere to hide.  And isn’t that the point?  Aren’t talk shows for shameless self-promotion?  If you still can’t fight the fixation, then just grab the water mug and sip.  Some people do that a lot.  Just don’t take it to extremes.  Maybe you could tug on your earlobe like some hyperactive Carol Burnet.  Bring that one back into vogue.  Or rub that chin hair nub back and forth, the one you plucked three nights ago.   Or–and this is crazy–you could simply fold your hands in your lap and act like a lady–and I can’t believe I’m saying this–like Britney Spears did on Kimmel last September.  She kept her hands in her lap and off her face.  She did have the world’s shortest oufit on, though.  And she was all stiff, like maybe she needed to pee.  But her hair looked fabulous, all Barbarella and sexpot.  And she barely touched it at all.  Go, Britney!