July 22nd, 2009

Superstar - *AFP Hall Of Fame*

“This is one of my 1988 dance recital portraits from The Dancer’s Studio in Dearborn, MI. I wasn’t like the rest of the ballerinas who had been studying dance since birth; I started late so I was put in the “teen beginners” jazz class. I was easily the worst dancer in the school; if you watch the recital video you can see me spinning in the wrong direction and knocking into people. Our teacher, Miss Maryann, picked our costumes and we danced to the song “Hourglass” by Sweet.

I was twelve years old and obviously at that stage where I had no idea what to do with my body. Everything was out of proportion; my glasses were too big, my tights were too big and I could never get my bangs right. I remember a friend at summer camp made me that friendship bracelet and I never took it off so it was really grungy.

The photographer posed us and for me there was really no other option than the jazz hands. I find it kind of amazing that this photo is now one of the top 5 image results when you google “jazz hands.” Like my extreme dorkiness has become a cultural meme. There’s an authenticity to that, dorkiness. There’s no pretense to dorkiness.”

(submitted by Adriana)

241 Responses to “Superstar”

  1. Andrea says:

    oh geez… this is me like .. age 5 through… 14?

  2. glasstabletop says:

    will someone kindly tell me why, at one point during the late 70s/early 80s, giant face-covering lenses were somehow considered the trend in eyewear??

    I see that a lot in (relatively) old pictures and movies and I can’t help but wonder WHY???

    • I've been told... says:

      As a kid in the mid-90s I asked my optometrist the same question. He said that, during the late 70s and early 80s optometrists thought that larger lenses were better for vision.

  3. Ken says:

    “Fame! I’m gonna live forever!!”

  4. k says:

    i totally have some photos like this, only i had a smear of blue eyeshadow above each eye and way too much lipstick for an 8 year old. hilarious! thanks for the fun flashbacks…

  5. Shock & Awe says:

    She gets the Janet Jackson Wardrobe Malfunction Award for 2009. Poor kid. It’s awkward in so many ways — on so many levels. I hope she is a stunner today.

  6. CRU says:

    Sometimes Good old glasses just make the picture.

  7. poorshoes says:

    You are all mistaken. This is not a photograph, but a painting in the Julio-Claudian style (ca. 20–54) of Sequina, the Roman Goddess of Awkward Pubescence.

  8. jmMI says:

    the photographer owes this princess an apology. And, a free 8×10!

  9. Jenn says:

    “jazz hands”

  10. Michael says:

    My Technicolor Dreamcoat so Rocks!

  11. Ninja_Girl says:

    Oh dear! Oh my! (That’s all I can think of to say.) Oh wait, I just thought of something…I DO hope she grew up to become a beautiful swan! – Like Sarah Jessica Parker.

  12. badunkadunk says:

    aww, i love how kind everyone is on this board.

    and yes, that is an amazing photo! i especially love the glasses. my cute, girl-next-door-type friend has a pair of actual glasses (a bit smaller though) and pulls it off like the coolest indie queen ever. if only all of us had that gift….*sigh*

  13. Poetikat says:

    I’m lovin’ those jazz hands!

  14. Maya B says:

    This is awkward on too many levels to number…

  15. Susan says:

    It’s not a wardrobe malfunction, it’s a cotton gusset (sorry, TMI).
    Fosse, Fosse, Fosse!

  16. Sal says:

    I went to high school with this girl (redmond to be exact) how strange that I would see her on here.

    And she didn’t grow out of that akward phase when I last saw her. This might be a current pic

  17. mandy_Reeves says:

    oh how I wanted to be that type of girl when I was little! I was too klutzy for dance lessons…this pic reminds me of the dance troupes that would go on the philadelphia saturday morning kids shows…..Chief Halftown, Captain Noah and Al Alberts showcase!

  18. Oh Carolina says:

    it’s multidimensional awkwardness. I’m not sure what to look at.

  19. Jenner says:

    jazz hands!!

  20. kathy says:

    Oh,that poor girl! We’ve all been there, sweetie!

  21. sidekick says:

    Oh, those high kicks will mess up your pantyhose every time!

  22. Jeff says:

    SUPER STAR Mary Katherine Gallagher

  23. Patty says:

    I want her to marry pedestal/fan/parasol boy and make uber-awkward babies…

  24. Andrew says:

    Best Spirit Fingers Ever!!

  25. Michelle says:

    Flash dance hands+wardrobe malfunction.. BAD ONE BTW……+20 shades to dark nylons.. = perfect.!

  26. SamIam says:

    I bet she’s a major hottie now. You go, girl!!

  27. Megan says:

    She’s a doll but…total jazz hands fail!

  28. Jessica says:

    I have these bangs in a picture of me from 3rd grade, i want to post it but don’t want to hear about the bags under my eyes being a “black eye” HAHA!

  29. Chazlette says:

    “Let’s get physical, physical” – oh, how I used to work out to that Olivia Newton-John song and apparently she did too! Bless her heart for being brave enough to face the past.

  30. doggiekittymama says:

    I had those glasses too-maybe a tiny bit smaller-in 1979 or so and they were hot for the times.

  31. Cherry Blossom says:

    Oh, my is that her underwear poking out from under the suit?

  32. Jay says:

    I wish the people in the photos would post their “now” pictures…

  33. Karen says:

    This reminds me of an ad for American Apparel. Way ahead of her time apparently!

  34. Suz says:

    Jazz hands…

  35. Michelle says:

    I just can’t stop laughing. That is too good!

  36. Aoife says:

    Anyone remember the TV show “Square Pegs”? I’m getting a strong whiff of vintage Sarah Jessica Parker.

  37. prairiecactus says:

    Kids are so BRAVE!
    We have photos of my girls in the first glasses they ever picked out by themselves…there is a collective groan from all of them when the albums come out but their husbands think it is ADORABLE!
    Love the drama of the blue eyeshadow and magenta cheek color!
    I would have cheered for you sweetie!

  38. LT says:

    Best awkward pic EVER!!

  39. mark says:

    FAME!!! I want to live forever or die of embarrassment!!!

  40. Plano Mom says:

    Too bad about the wardrobe malfunction. It draws attention away from the awesome sparkly headband. I too had those glasses in the 80s, but I was in my 20s and they were dark red. Kudos to her though – her smile says “I’m hot!”

  41. Mel says:

    Those glasses are A-mazing!

    • boo says:

      Hey, I used to have glasses like that and much worse looking back at the photo’s!! I’m sure at the time I thought they looked cool, at least that’s what I tell myself now!!

  42. Colleen says:

    Where’s the “after” ?

  43. Jessica says:

    it ain’t snazzy without the purple matching eyeshadow and as much fuschia blush as you can get on the brush! work it girl!

  44. 1 says:

    How many of the people laughing at 80s fashion will be the subject of an identically awkward photo in 20 years? If people can look at you and know what year it is, you’re trying waaay too hard. 😉

  45. Darrin says:

    Everything that was so wrong about the 80’s. I’m sure this outfit would have matched my flourescent Wham ‘choose life’ t-shirt.

  46. caithiseach says:

    What an amazing photo. I’m sure the young lady is absolutely stunning now, and if she sent this in herself, she’s gained quite a measure of self-assurance. As for those of you who plan to burn your photos, please don’t! This is a wonderful visual lesson for girls who might be a bit awkward now!

  47. Scott says:

    This photo must have come back to haunt her a thousand times…

  48. julie says:

    This is a classic 80’s wardrobe malfunction!

  49. Lola says:

    Oh. Oh. Oh.

    You know, I am sure she grew up to be a beautiful woman.

    (Also count me as another person who thought that stocking crotch was something else sticking out…)

  50. Suze says:

    Yeah,looks about the same year(s) I was in dance.To further show my age,I get a Sarah Jessica/Square Pegs era vibe. It’s very possible she looks fabulous now ala SJP.

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