Self-Deprecating Sunday (26)

I haven’t self-deprecated in a while. And with school starting, I thought I’d treat my people to a few more school photos! For those of you who may be new to Self-Deprecating Sunday, here’s the story: It’s pretty hilarious, and sometimes touching, to look back on the “flair” we writers for teens gave our own teen years, so that’s what these posts are all about.

My sister helped me dig these photos up and she said of the last one, “You’re like an ode to a John Hughes film.” Possibly that was the best compliment ever. My family and classmates often compared my looks to Molly Ringwald, well, when my hair was dyed red. Which it’s not in these photos, so maybe I shouldn’t have brought it up. Whatever.

So this is me in seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth grade. A couple of these are repeats, but I had to include them again so you could appreciate the progression–or lack thereof. Apparently, the whole collared-shirt-under-a-crew-neck-sweater was my thing. And my crazy awesome hair. Then the whole spray-puff-the-hell-out-of-your-perm fad began to fade, and my love of sweaters did too. (Bonus points for the girls who know which of the sweaters was a United Colors of Benetton brand.) By tenth grade, I was verging on normal. Couldn’t put down the hairspray though. That would wait until eleventh grade.

My oldest daughter starts seventh grade this year. I’ll try to encourage her to wear a sweater and a collar for picture day.

And remember, if you’re a YA Author and would like to appear here on Self-Deprecating Sunday, contact me at jody(dot)mugele(at)gmail(dot)com. You know you want to.

Published by jody sparks

Jody Sparks Mugele spent her first career in marketing writing and leading teams of writers and editors. After her son came out as transgender in 2015, she dedicated herself to advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. For two years, she led the Indianapolis regional chapter of PFLAG, a nationally renowned LGBTQ+ advocacy group. She has given many conference talks about parenting trans kids, healthcare in the trans community, and suicidality among LGBTQ+ youth. And with GenderNexus, an Indianapolis-based advocacy organization, she created programming and led support groups to work with parents to help their children through all aspects of gender transition. She recently moved to Northeast Georgia where she is excited to develop opportunities to continue to strongly and proudly advocate for LGBTQ+ members of our society. She also LOVES kitschy Christmas crafting!

12 thoughts on “Self-Deprecating Sunday (26)

  1. What a great post! You couldn’t have looked cuter. I was in personal spaz mode from 7th through 10th grade when i finally realized that there even was such a thing as style.
    thanks, ann

  2. Fun! What I’m struck by (in addition to trying to remember where I might have a pic of my own 8th grade purple-sweatshirt-with-yellow-collar-sticking-up picture…) is how much you really grew between 9th and 10th grades.

    I mean, there’s definitely growth between each year’s picture, but 10th grade you seems exponentially older and different than 9th grade you, compared to the earlier years. And that doesn’t surprise me, because teens change so much, so fast, during the high school years. But it’s why experienced YA writers (and readers) can read a few pages and say, “That character seems more 13 than 14 to me,” or “more 14 than 15,” etc.

    Sometimes in online critique settings someone inexpereinced in YA will say, “13? 14? 15? What’s the difference? Choose whichever.” And the experienced YA writers will have to come back in and say, “No, no. There’s a huge difference between 13 to 14 to 15. Huge!”

    I think that 9th grade year into the beginning of 10th grade, especially, is a time of huge identity and self-image changes, in addition to physical and emotional ones.

    Thanks for sharing your photos. Caused an interesting moment of analysis for me. 🙂


    1. I know what you mean, Emily! That’s so true. I just finished Shaun’s book, and I’ve been marveling at how much I’m missing in my boy characters. Never had sons or brothers, and I’m going through a series of “wows” and “Really?” as I realize the truth of who they are at age 15, 16, 17. Girls I think I get, but boys!? Oh dear god, I’m off the mark.

  3. Yes! That’s some awesome Hoosier hair there. As a Bloomington kid, I tried to rock the hairspray, too, but my hair was too heavy. Had the shirt/sweater combo, though, come to think of it. As always, thanks for sharing!

  4. wow. as much as those hairstyles make me gag, if i remember the fads correctly, you were actually pretty hip! i just want to know *why* anyone ever thought those styles were cool in the first place!

  5. I agree with Emily — the difference in you from 9th to 10th grade is just ginormous. These photos are simply child/child/child/woman! You are just adorable in all of them.

    You’re right — the age differences 13, 14, 15, 16 — HUGE. I hate reading a YA book that has it wrong. If you need assistance to clarify boy stuff, ask away. Actual YA boys have taken over my house for years now, lol.

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