An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Begging for commentary

“Bershon is pretty much how you feel when you’re 13 and your parents make you wear a Christmas sweatshirt and then pose for a family picture, and you could not possibly summon one more ounce of disgust, but you’re also way too cool to really even DEAL with it, so you just make this face like you smelled something bad and sort of roll your eyes and seethe in a put-out manner.” (quote from Sarah Brown, who can be seen feeling bershon here.)

Every photo of me from high school can be summed up in that one word, and I always have this look on my face that says I would so rather be studying for a test right now, and if I miss a question about the structure of a cell membrane and as a result don’t get that full scholarship to college, you’ll have to go to sleep every night knowing that you ruined my life with that stupid camera. Before you do that, though, let me move all 40 pounds of my hair around so that it’s sitting in front of my left shoulder because it will definitely look better that way.

And also? The Second Coming? How awesome will it be?

  • My hair was very similar when I was in school. Good thing we had enough attitude as teenagers to carry around all of that hair!

  • Even as much as I loathe having long hair, and rejoice whenever I hack it back to above my shoulders, I have to say your hair was fucking GORGEOUS.
    You had every right to show it off.
    But the pink frosted lipstick? Not so much. Even though I think I owned that exact shade myownself, I have burnt all photographic evidence.

  • For some reason we called that same feeling ‘brazilled’ You are hilarious. Love the soft pink blazer in the second pic!

  • The Bold Soul

    And your mother doesn’t look all that excited either. She looks like she’s basically holding onto you so you don’t escape.

    Great hair, though. Very 80’s.

  • traci

    I, among thousand of other had the same jesus praying statue. I dont know if ours was special but it wasnt glued to the base, and since Jesus is hollow it was a GREAT place to stash stuff because really, who is going to question Jesus for harboring dangerous goods?

    I’m probably going to hell for that.

  • We had all of those figurines too! I actually got to glaze my own Jesus, and did a sampler sampler saying “I Will Follow God’s Plan for Me.”

  • We had all of those figurines too! I actually got to glaze my own Jesus, and did a sampler saying, “I Will Follow God’s Plan for Me.”

  • Anu

    How can you complain about such lovely hair? Coming from a culture where your existence as a woman is in question if you don’t have long hair (atleast thats what my MIL says :-)) I would gladly give away my right hand for hair like that.

  • wrensuicide

    I can’t believe you went from so much hair to so little hair. YOU HAVE BEEN UNBURDENED.

    I have the best bershon picture in history. It is actually a sequence of pictures. In the first, I’m posing with my extended family. I am wearing a white sweater with green Christmas trees embroidered along the middle. I am rolling my eyes. In the second picture, everyone is looking down because I have collapsed in a heap on the floor, proving that I am WAY. TOO. COOL. for this nonsense. Yikes.

  • ortizzle

    Holy cow.

    *Locks of Love* ( would have loved those tresses as a donation!

  • Damn, that’s some fine hair. But the shoulder pads in #2 just make me hot and bothered.

  • Who didn’t wear that god awful pearly pink lipstick? And who didn’t love it!!!

  • That is a LOT of hair.

  • SurprisingWoman

    40 pounds of hair indeed. My lipstick was a bit whiter and had matching nail polish. I think it was called #32, I didn’t have an Avon World Sales Leader for a mom. 🙁

    Cute pictures. I can soooo relate.

  • DrKoob

    It is just scary how much you look like Nikki from Big Love in the second picture. Really scary!

  • first of all, are those shoulder pads in that jacket?? I think they are! very impressive!

    and i don’t know how your tiny body carried around all that hair. . .mind-boggling

  • first of all, are those shoulder pads in that jacket?? I think they are! very impressive!

    and i don’t know how your tiny body carried around all that hair. . .mind-boggling

  • Nice. At least you didn’t have the monster unibang!

  • Goodness gracious Heather!

    That was some amazing hair! I can see where Leta gets it!

    Tee hee.

  • I do apologize for the self-promotion inherent in directing you to a photo on my blog, but I don’t know where else to locate it for you, and you simply must see it. Although there are fourteen kids, no doubt Mormon, only one wears the mask of Bershon. He is the baby.

    What, by the way, is the origin of that word?

  • You don’t look like your mom at all.

    She looks like she just said to you – “Oh get over it Heather it’s just one picture, NOW SMILE!”

  • you look like Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman it’s truly amazing.

  • Mae

    Silver City Pink by Revlon? Or Pink Sportiff by L’Oreal? Or…was it one of those tiny Avon samplers in the white tube?

  • I swear I saw you on The Facts of Life. You guest starred as Blair’s best friend from boarding preschool, right? No? Then were you maybe the token white girl who hung out at the Huxtables house while studying with Denise for Hilliard?

    Surely I saw you somewhere… that hair, that hair is just so familiar! hhahahaa

    Just think of how much worse it is going to be for Leta. For every one photograph your mother took of you, you will have taken 1,000 of them of Leta. She cannot run, she cannot hide… make sure you take full advantage of the blackmail stage before she grows too old to care about it. I don’t think I had to rake leaves for a good 4 or 5 years while my kids were worried about me showing pictures to their boyfriends. Muhahahaha….

  • KookieDangerous

    I had this killer bob, pale pink frosted lips, matching pale nails, turquoise rayon blouse with the velcro shoulderpads, pleated patterned pegged pants, big bracelet, jazz flats, hoping and praying I looked like Ally Sheedy!

  • Heather, I didn’t know hair could grow that long. You could have clothed a village of small children with hair shirts.

  • No-Sister

    Wow, I am SO GLAD there is now a word for that. I have examples, sadly, from a few different years. And…well…with different motivations.

  • The straight up one-button pink blazer is almost as awesome as the hair. Ahh…I remember it well…the blazers with mock turtlenecks and stretch pants with my socks scrunched below. And then the “Australian scruncher” product with my “diffuser” and hours spent “scrunching my old perm” to create those hot waves. Ahh the memories….

  • thleen

    OK, I agree with Kate….that statue on the left end of the mantel is very Michael.
    And love the pink lips and pink blazer.
    Rockin’ in the USA!

  • Katy

    Delurking to say, with hair like that, it’s no wonder your Mom is the Avon World Sales Leader!

    And, nice shoulder pads!

  • tk

    Holy shit, that is some serious hair!!

    Oh yeah, I remember the big hair of my teenage years as well. Long and permed rocker-chick hair. So I’m definitely not mocking the serious hair thing you had going on…. I feel ya sistah…

    And I’m pretty sure there are a few photos of me with a similar expression….

    By the way, I missed out on commenting on your post about the hatemail. Hmmmmm, I guess those of us that enjoy your website are apparently kissing your ass so you’ll visit and/or comment on our blogs…. Well, I don’t have a blog and I live nowhere in your vicinity so that I need to fear you running me down with your car, so I have no reason to kiss your ass and I love your blog. You make me laugh and laugh and there’s nothing wrong with that. Keep it up. Those freak-show hatemailers can kiss my lily white ass…

  • kel

    Aww. I like your mom’s mom-mullet.

  • You went to prom with your mom? Cool! figures they allow that in Utah…

  • Is it possible that my boss is bershon every day? She bershonifies my office, really. Or can this only be applied to teen angst?

    Needless to say, but really, the hair. Andie McDowell takes a total backseat to you there. I say you grow it out and go mass market with that mop! Beatiful.

  • And so it does…look better, I mean. The hair!! I was talking about the hair!

  • You would have been disgusted with me in high school, I never paid attention in class or studied. But, since I was a pagan you might have wanted to save my eternal soul from the fires of hell, and that would have been awesome. I would have gone to church with you and worn my Def Leppard tshirt. Amen.

  • HeyMamma

    You just make me laugh & you really look stoned.

  • I grew my bangs out and made sure they were over my LEFT eye. Always! They had to be over to the side.
    My picture was of me in the 8th grade. My expression says it all.

  • Wow…you had you some awesome HAIR! The eyebrows were nice too 😉

  • The look of love and pride in your mom’s face is heartbreaking in a good way. And there you were, being all bershon, and she still was loving you.

    Sorry– fresh out of sarcasm in the face of mom’s love.

  • Skeezeroo

    The bangs so high they hit the headliner on the late 70’s model Cutlass Supreme on the way to high school were called Mall Bangs, or The Claw. Perfected with a big-barreled curling iron, teasing comb, and a fuckload of Aquanet.

    Heather, your little mini-pic directly below your masthead, you know, where the bottom part of your chin is cut out of the picture, up on the left, yep, that one. If you can be 30-something and bershon, that’s definitely you, caught in a moment of bershonitude. 🙂

  • I love “bershon”! I must go tell one of my friends about it right away, as she has 3 girls age 12, 13, and 14…definitely bershon!

    And I totally did the “butt length hair thrown over my shoulder” thing too. I felt so PRETTY.

  • Oops, I mean Tennessee. Even more acceptable there…

  • Say what you will about the shoulder pads but oh what I wouldn’t have done for hair like that!

  • fernicus

    Hot rollers or large barrel curling iron? My money is on hot rollers as they were my weapon of choice back in the day. The curling iron was only useful when sculpting one’s gravity defying bangs. Speaking of, were you ever the proud owner of a giant plume of bangs?

    I think I owned the same lip color. It was a frosted pink lip gloss that looked great after I fried myself in the sun. It was made by Avon.

  • diggin’ those shoulder pads–they were probably the kind that were sewed in (as opposed to velcro) because why would you ever want to take them out?

  • Michelle_K

    Oh lordy-lordy. I used to do that hair thing, too, back when I too had long, wavy, golden-brown hair. Now it is short, spiky, and red, so I mostly go around looking like I have an angry Rhode Island Red roosting on my noggin.

    I think everyone who has ever suffered the unbearable burden of being a schoolgirl before a camera has made that face before. You should see my highschool graduation photos…I look like an axe murderer in them. I was SO ready to be done.

  • All of your twenty-something readers are dying with jealousy that they did not get to attend high school during the Hair Age of the late eighties.

    I’m assuming you were working on about three feet of hair in those photos.

  • susieg53

    My former hair could beat your former hair. 🙂 I was older, though (17-20), and in an earlier era (1970-73). So I was parting mine down the middle and fighting my waves to try to get my masses of hair straight!

  • That hair rocks…no doi!

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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