Fresh style insights, tips and commentary by Michelle Tea, Michael Braithwaite, Leo Plass, Page McBee and Carrie Leilam Love.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Of forces to come-

In the upper left corner of this tiny photograph you will find the December 1989 cover of Seventeen magazine which my parents dutifully slipped into my sickly hands while I, laying listless on the couch stricken with strep throat -again- officially lept, at age 10, from child to adult in one easy, slick, perfumed, prom-ready, L.A. Gear-buying, spiral perm combing, Chill Out spraying leap. (I can't remember exactly what Chill Out smelled like and certainly growing up in the Pittsburgh-area didn't merit an 'after-sun spray' but I'm sure I've never smelled anything I liked more.) You'll perhaps note the brunette's porcelain skin and how her poker-straight hair splays out like a ball gown mid-twirl. I'd never seen anything so magical as this issue of Seventeen magazine. Goodbye 3,2,1, CONTACT. Fuck you Highlights. I poured over every ad, read and re-read each article, laughed at the stupid cartoon on the last page. What would my prom dress look like? What style of jeans was right for my body? Winter? Summer? Was I a fall? This magazine made me pro-choice for gods sake. But first, I learned that I could consciously put on an outfit. I could look at my summer wardrobe, finally sprung from the K-Mart layaway, and deliberately choose a style rather than clothe what was naked, fleshy, and otherwise ghastly. What did it feel like?


  1. Wild Musk! I would go through 17 after I read it tearing out the pages advertising things I wanted + that seemed like I could actually have, like Bonne Bell and Sea Breeze and Love's Baby Soft. Smell you later!

  2. This post is just too fucking good. Encore.