Last night a long lost friend of mine messaged me an old picture of myself. I literally gasped upon viewing it. I barely recognized the girl staring back at me. “Wow, how time has changed me!” I wondered.
I would first like to thank this friend for sending me such a lovely reminder of who I used to be. This comment may sound sarcastic when reading it, but I assure you I’m very sincere. My friend captioned the image, “Another world, another time.” I can’t help but agree with his sentiment. I must state, while the high school girl in that photograph may be long gone, it sure was nice to see her again.
My brother always teases me that, “back in the day,” my friends and I looked like real dirtballs. Gazing at pictures from my youth, I’m inclined to agree with this statement. However, I stand by the argument that it was the 90’s for God sake! Everybody looked like a bum back then. High end fashion designers like Marc Jacobs were sending collections down the runway that appeared to have been salvaged from Goodwill. Likewise, popular musicians like Dave Pirner, Evan Dando, and Courtney Love were living proof that it was okay…wait, more than okay…it was mandatory to look like hell in order to receive, “street cred”…and receive, I did…oh yes….
…because I looked like crap! For example the, “back in the day,” Rayna was privy to wearing her father’s old clothes. She had an affinity for his old bell bottoms, which despite his skinny butt, were still too loose for her to properly wear. However, she often did with the help of one amazing 70’s three prong biker belt she stole from him as well. Interesting fact, I still wear this belt today. In addition to these items, 90’s Rayna also often wore about three of her dad’s old plaid cotton shirts at one time. Unfortunately, she had to buy her own flannel apparel since her dad’s librarian garb did not include this fabric. However, plaid cotton often got the job done and it ripped easier too. This added additional potential to my grunge look…a look that I constructed mostly out of over-sized band t-shirts, black on black converse high tops, and one enormous brown corduroy trench coat that young Rayna often conveniently used as a sleeping bag during her many high school shenanigans. I think it’s also notable to mention high school…and admittedly, early college Rayna…refused to wear any makeup…okay, and often didn't comb her hair. Again, I blame Dave Pirner.
I guess the reason I have my former self on my mind is due to the fact that I look at the above pictures and can’t believe the girl in my friend’s image is the same person. The woman in the images above is wearing a tediously coordinated outfit. Her hair is not only combed, but also straightened into a totally controlled bob. She is wearing full makeup, and do I even start with her nails?! Man, that third picture is almost spooky! No wonder the kids at my workplace are obsessed with touching them…not that I’m going to stop growing them long. I have a sick obsession with 80’s claws, but that’s a whole separate blog post.
I guess my overall point is while I’m pleased to see how my appearance has greatly improved in my older age, I can’t help but notice how much happier I appear in the images of my youth. Looking at the photograph that was sent to me last night, I see a girl wearing a haphazard peasant top paired with windblown chaotic hair. An awkward smile can be seen from a face bearing not a trace of makeup. This girl is sitting in a field…actually, I was at the first Lilith Fair at the time...man, the 90’s were awesome!...with many other similar individuals and an unseen person’s hand is thoughtfully touching her arm. While the girl in this image isn’t very special to look at, there’s something extremely alluring about the happiness she obviously feels. I can’t help but think I’ll never be able to experience this kind of honesty again with all of this make up covering me up.