The Fresh Prince

August 5th, 2010

The Fresh Prince - Behind The Awkwardness

It is me, Little Lord Fauntleroy. I told my cousin (who posted this picture) I would respond if it passed 100 comments. True to my word I am here to set the record straight. Its pretty interesting to have a photo essay about oneself and I can honestly say it is a first for such a humbled person (no the family picture did not cause me to be socially introverted). Surprisingly some of you were very observant and your comments were spot on. The picture if you dont know the background would seem pretty “out there” and when you know the background story perhaps the picture (and all the wonderful comments) wont hold much interest.. Sorry to dissappoint.

As my cousin points out, the family is not British, Scottish or Egyptian.. Basically Italian American. My father was not a man of the cloth. Those of you that picked Nehru jacket, you nailed it. It was 1970 and as most of you point out this was considered fashion (a period I hope never comes back). The medallion is just that and not a religious relic. In fact my mother sewed all our clothes and this photo is no exception. My “costume” Dad’s formal wear and Mom’s – sister’s clothes were all designed and sewn by my mother. Mom’s hair… thats real folks.. it was the style.. Dad’s hair.. quite frankly this one had me confused as to your comments and I had to look closely and I does appear from this scan as a combover, but my father had all his hair. Again, that was the hair style.. yep.. 1970′s..
My sisters arms (and fingers) are unusually long.. she could snatch me up and hit me from way across the room as I was running away.. At least thats the way I remember it..

Me… Well you are correct. It was my halloween costume for that year.. sisters shoes are a left over remnant of her Pilgram outfit (Halloween was 1-2 weeks before this family shoot). My outfit is made from left over curtain material from our living room, which of course mom also made.. (this was before Carol Burnett did her famous Scarlet O’Hare skit with the curtain rod still attached)..

The setting is my grandparents 50th anniversary party. They had 8 children and all were asked to come and have family/group photo’s. Well mom thought I looked so adorable in my Halloween outfit that I was FORCED to wear it for the shoot.. Yes, I was both horrified and pissed as my cousins were giving me sh*t about having to wear my costume, but Mom.. she didnt care.. and when my mother made up her mind.. well as youngster (I am seven in this photo) you did what you were told. To add injury to insult, there is a photo of the entire extended family (grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins and grandkids) and yep, there I am looking like “Where’s Waldo” in the middle of the picture.. and yes.. with the Burger King Hat on this time..

This photo hung on our stairs going to the second floor for years and I had a constant reminder of the embarrassment I suffered that day. In fact not this last year I discussed with my mother my lingering agitation at having to suffer such humilitation.. she still smiles and says “but you were such an adorable prince”..

However seeing what joy, confusion, consternation, etc. it brought you all I can say.. it has helped me to laugh at this long gone horrific event.

P.S. The following year my dad helped make my custome and it was the most kick@ss pirate garb complete with wooden peg leg.. Sorry no family portraits with this costume.

I know you all were probably expecting something so totally off the wall and I was half tempted to humor you but figured since you had done so well… you deserved the truth.

OK, Ive made my peace.. I kind of like this picture now..


Your Humbled Lord,


(submitted by Amber)

136 Responses to “The Fresh Prince”

  1. Missy says:

    Beautiful family. Wish I knew what era they were from.

  2. Cari says:

    The outfits seem so random yet oddly cohesive.
    I’d pay for the back story on this one.

  3. Susanne says:

    Isnn’t he Billy Ray, son a preacher man?

  4. Binkymae says:

    This young missionary family let their zeal get out ahead of their ears. They heard that they were being sent to the palace to minister. With delusions of grandeur she prepared herself and her son for Buckingham. Dad got ready to go to the Taj Mahal. Their daughter snickered at them as she prepared for the move to Palace, Texas.

    • PugMom says:

      Had to read it the second time before I “‘got it”” then I nearly broke my monitor when I busted out laughing with a mouthful of 1/2 peanuts…and they hit the screen and nearly put out my eyes from the ricochet 😉
      [note dont read AFP laying on the couch with your laptop resting on your tummy]

      Yay Binkymae!

  5. Tree Smith says:

    I guess Mom made drapes and had some fabric left over.

  6. Jeff Boggs says:

    Washout color, a mix of 60s fashion with historical costuming and a questionable man of the cloth. OH NO! THIS IS AN ANDY MILLIGAN MOVIE! They will be cutting out their eyeballs with meat cleavers and setting each other on fire any moment. All that’s missing is a hunchback with a eyepatch.

  7. Kazz says:

    What…all young ironic hipsters in 1970 hang out in Victorian collars……nothing awkward here……

    What’s worse is that the cloak or whatever you want to call it looks like it was made from drapes. Most likely procured from the Von Trapp family’s attic. I haven’t seen a Nehru jacket in forever…thanks for bringing it back, AFP! And the hair-both my mom and MIL had variations of that style in the late 60’s and early 70’s. The Dad’s got a crazy two-toned thing going on there with the red smashed down banglike mass, and brown sides. This is an epic win on so many levels.

  8. CarrieM says:

    So many questions. Was this family on the cutting edge of 60’s fashion, or is the boy wearing a costume for something? Why is the kid’s cape flap pinned back — to show off the pantaloon things? Easier access to the fly? Those squares on the tops of the girl’s shoes — how did something so ugly become fashionable? Why was Dad’s hairstyle ever fashionable? What was he thinking? How many layers of poofiness can you cram into one set of curtains?

  9. Jennifer says:

    Is it just me or does the sister have FREAKISHLY long arms? I love Mom’s outfit; I would totally wear that today!

  10. Bea says:

    These are the most progressive parents ever! “Dad – I like wearing gold lame!” “Oh, ok son, if that is what you want, your Mom & I will certainly support you.”

    But my favorite spots of awkwardness are Dad’s bowl cut (mahvelous!) and Mom’s bouffant wig that looks like it is going to take off at any second.

  11. Dragonlady says:

    I think sister’s shoes would go better with brother’s outfit

  12. kristin says:

    yes- the little boy should have on the pilgrim shoes. I think the mom is actually lookin pretty stylely. but what’s up with the backdrop? did they arrive at some cultish gala and all the attendees are photographed upon entry?

  13. Cara says:

    Gotta hear the story behind this one! At first I thought Halloween, but only the men were dressed up? Come on Amber, give us the background. Dad’s hair rocks!

    • Amber says:

      I am loving all the comments! Okay, here’s what I know. The little boy pictured is my second cousin. I submitted the photo, so I am typing to you from a safe place where he can’t find me!

      Definitely late 60s/early 70s. No Brits here, just you’re average American/Italian family in good old Pennsylvania.

      This was one of about 5 family portraits taken that day, so I can assure you it’s not Halloween. I about fell out of my chair when I came across it, and I too am curious to hear what these outfits were all about. Hopefully when my cousin gets the link I sent him, he can help us all figure it out!

  14. Ginger says:

    To the owner of this Awkward Family Photo: Please, PLEASE can we have the backstory? PLEASE?????

  15. Lisa says:

    What the what is going on here? I don’t even know where to start. Thank you to those who pointed out the Nehru jacket – I immediate thought “priest,” and that just added confusion to what is already a baffling scene. Can’t….move…picture…too….confusing…

  16. LainTexas says:

    It’s Little Lord Fauntleroy. A classic children’s tale.

  17. LuLu says:

    I am hoping that little boy was about to perform in play of some sort, because that outfit would be awkward even on Halloween even circa late 60’s early 70’s.

  18. Whoa says:

    I think you’re shagedelic, baby! Yeah! Do I make you randy? Do I?

  19. Austin P. says:

    Yeahhhhhhhh bay-beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  20. LollyBlue says:

    I like the little girl’s pos-pilgrim era shoe buckles.

  21. Tallyho! says:

    Oh my. I think the only part about this picture that is remotely normal is that…they’re all people.

  22. Be3t says:

    I want to hear a story behind this one, too. I LOVE it.

  23. Peter says:

    I don’t know what the story is but if it were a movie, I’d go see it.

  24. Pat says:

    Sometimes, when I open this sight, I am in the act of swallowing and I almost choke myself. This is one of the ones that I touched death with!

  25. Joonie says:

    British Royalty.

  26. Brenda says:

    They each seem pleased with their individual looks. But as a group, the picture is really bizarre!

  27. Mary says:

    The Golden Child is amazing. The Nehru jacket is priceless. But the real star of this photo is the very impressive comb-over Dad is sporting! Now that is a beauty!! LOL

  28. Tiffany says:

    I am so confused.

  29. Harry says:

    “Berrys and Cream Berrys and Cream I am going to get me some Berrys and cream.” The early years were the hardest.

  30. Steve-O says:

    Margaret could handle Bob dressing as a priest on occassion, but now Timmy as Little Lord Fontleroy? This “role playing” had gone too far…

  31. Joe says:

    Holy Crap! At first I thought he was some kink of British ‘Mod” Minister or something that actually was allowed t marry. If not, that means he wore that jacket on PURPOSE, makes it all the more awkward.

  32. MCR says:

    Almost groovy.

  33. Josie says:

    No way is this British.

  34. Brad says:

    Where is the boy’s left hand?

  35. Sydney says:

    “Oh, I wish I could take the credit, but he gets his fashion sense from his father.”

  36. Cristina says:

    Fancy dress party?

  37. Sharon says:

    The boy was probably in a play and they took a family photo before leaving the house. You don’t get all dressed up like that and miss a chance for embarrassment the rest of your life.

  38. Kristina says:

    “Aw Mom, not the golden, raw silk pantaloons with the Elizabethan collar again!”

  39. Anna says:

    I’ll bet they’re British.

  40. dangermom says:

    Love it. What’s even more awkward that the little boy dressed as the White Rabbit or something? Dad’s hair!

  41. ann o. nymous says:

    This one cries out for a story.

  42. Lily says:

    OMG, what is with the medieval looking gold clown/jester costume? And the little girl’s pilgrim shoes? Not sure what kind of look they were all going for…and is that a priest with a medal around his neck? This is all very disconcerting – hilarious – but disconcerting.

  43. Jill says:

    Shortly after Maria finished making the Von Trapp children’s play clothes from her bedroom curtains, the eighth, lesser known child, Lars, ran away and was adopted by the local vicar and his family.

  44. Liana says:

    i feel like there are a lot of bizarre things going on in this photo…

  45. Joey says:

    I gotta know the story behind this photo.

  46. Karla says:

    Oh my! This is weird on sooo many levels! I remember the Nehru jackets. Dad has certainly topped his off w/ a huge chain. Okay, so Mom & Sis were stylish for the late 60’s early 70’s-BUT, what the heck is with the little boy?? Was he supposed to be a Prince? He doesn’t look upset or anything…go figure.

  47. John says:

    That’s a Nehru jacket, not a priest’s collar.

    • sarah says:

      he is a Lutheran Pastor, you can tell by the Pectoral Luther Rose, that and the way his wife has dresses the kids.

      • Lady Anne says:

        Sarah is correct – he is a Lutheran minister. They DO wear clerical collars and black suits. In the 70s, few Lutheran pastors wore pectoral crosses because they didn’t want to be confused with Episcopal priests, but doing without made them look Roman (Heaven forbid!) so the Rose was a valid compromise. (Beats me, but my mom was Lutheran and my dad was an Episcopal priest, so I do know that much.) However, it is much larger than most I’ve seen.

        That much business out of the way, I haven’t a clue what the deal is with the gold lame suit. One idea is that he was in a school play (the Lutheran church has a LOT of schools) so maybe he was showing off his costume. Everybody seems happy and proud, so maybe he was the star of the show.

        And, yeah, Dad’s combover is, um, um, impressive. That’s the word – impressive!

  48. JerseyPam says:

    I honestly can’t tell if this family is British, Egyptian, French, or Scottish.

  49. Missy says:

    Sooooooo, this is what the Burger King looked like as a child. Before he grew into the creepy plastic face. lol

  50. Alice says:

    Love the Nehru suit with chain. Guess the little guy was dressed like Little Boy Gold. Gotta remember this may have been during the Beatles revolution…

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