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?

  • Anne L.

    Wow. no doi. That’s going back. How about this… when you saw someone who was all bershon, we would all say, “I peel”, or just “PEEL!!!” Or is that just my odd Catholic high school?
    Also, past tense is PELT. As in, “ohmygod, I SO PELT for you last night when your Mom made you come inside before 8:30”
    OK, my flashback is done…

  • Ha Ha. Those pictures are great. So very “I can’t believe you are taking my picture.” I love it.

  • Great eighties hair. It’s gorgeous, by the way, even paired with a shapeless, one-button pink jacket and a cool death-stare.

  • I’m with Kate on the blowjob statue…though I know the Avon World Sales Leader would never allow such.

    I find it strange that the Jesus statue appears to be close to one of those oriental dude statues…

    LOVE the hair! But I can’t find a single trace of a CTR ring, what gives?

  • I wish my hair would grow that long. I think your hair is pretty… your mom has nice hair but very 80s… we should have a now picture for comparison 🙂

  • Jason

    The hair isn’t so bad, as I tend to like long hair on women, but please girl, Smile!

  • Awww…what a sweet spirit!

    I had boy short hair as a teen in the early ’90s. A seminary teacher wondered out loud how I’d manage to get married if I did’t improve my countenance.

    I stared at him until it was apparent that my countenance was telling him to kiss my ass.

  • My high school pictures, although more recent, are certainly no better. Braces, blonde highlights in almost-black hair, tomboy-ish clothing, jelly bracelets, no make-up, shiny skin, blah blah blah.

    So bad. So very very bad.

  • SarahLou

    that hair is amazing!

    also, loving the bookends

  • So THAT’s where all the hair that I was supposed to get at birth went. I’m practically bald next to you. Gah.

  • Your hair…was amazing.

  • Those are TRESSES!

  • Kathy B.

    Just thought I’d let you know — I can no longer read you (or Blurbomat) at work — our IT department has determined that your sites are “in the category of adult content” and are blocked!

    You should be proud!!!!

  • beadbeauty

    Heather, I’m a first time poster. But I’ve read your site forever. You are hilarious. I’m a former Mormon and relate to so much that you have to say (oh my heck). My dad was born in Lehi, UT and I spent summers in Utah trying to get rid of my Texas accent. Now. Moving on to your hair- it’s gorgeous. BUT THE LOOK? The look of complete and utter Napolean Dynamite ugh? That is so Mia Maid. Your mom looks like my MIL- sweet spirit. And I like your shoulder pads. With the hateful look, you could take on the 49ers!!! Too funny.

  • i don’t want to kiss ass here, but honestly regardless of the 40 pounds of hair (which is kind of hot actually) you look so damned pretty. pretty and pissed.

    but you’re right. the look is SO there. how many of us know that feeling? personally my sister and i had that look on our faces during each forced holiday posed photo. in front of the tree? check. in front of the easter baskets? check. behind our birthday cakes? check and check.

  • Sillicita

    I doubt my mother would even deign to take a picture of me displaying my bershon (“For chrissake, Jennifer, would it kill you to smile already?”), I have no doubt it would have been while wearing my pleated light blue acid wash jeans tight rolled over my footless lace-edged leggings (’cause there’s no way a Jersey girl wasn’t tight rolling her jeans back in ’91), my polka dotted big shirt with the collar up, black patent leather loafers, and my bad ass spiral perm. God, I almost miss those days.

    And, yeah, your hair was effin’ righteous.

  • Holy mother…..that’s like Barbie hair, you know, when the hair is bigger than the girl?

  • bomnomore

    LMAO! Heather, you’re the girl at the church dance I always hated because all the guys wanted to dance to “Oh’L’Amour” with you. Damn you and your gorgeous hair!

  • I must agree with everybody else: your hair is/was incredible.

  • oh you look so happy. i look retarded when i smile. so i dont even try.

  • Gooseberried

    I didn’t fit into the bershon category because I was too busy smiling in hopes of distracting picture viewers from the acne all over my face. Really white teeth are much more noticable than a skin condition that looks like the plague exploded all over your face, right? Thank God for very expensive acne medication and for my mom’s money printing machine.

  • I was so completely disgusted with everything around me for at least 4 teenage years. I had no idea that what I really was was bershaun.

  • Btw, I love the look The Avon World Leader’s face. It’s like she’s saying, ‘Whatever, I know you hate me but shut up and smile. Or else.’

  • RealityChick

    What the hell? When I first glanced at the background of the second picture all I see is a man bending over another man and engaging in a most un-holy act! I keep looking at it and still can’t figure out what it is. Am I sick and twisted…or was all not as it seemed in that house Heather?

  • See now my hair used to be a bit like that. Thinner, maybe, but I had quite a lot of it. Now it’s shoulder length and the shorter I go the more I realise the top of my hair is completely weird. I have cowlicks and funny baby hair and once my parting’s got to the back it doesn’t know what to do so it goes up.

    Share your secrets! How did you go from big lion hair to short hair? Mine would revolt if cut short I am sure…


  • sarandipity


    For the first time in a while, I laughed so hard I had to run to the bathroom to pee.

    Thanks. I adore you.

  • 2nd picture…on shelf, left side…uh, looks like a big ‘ol BJ to me.

    LOVE your hair, by the way…beautiful, but surely high-maintenance!!

  • Taegan7879

    Oh honey….the eyebrows! Your mother, as the Avon World Sales Leader, should have at least had the decency to help you thin those things down. Poor girl! I still hold a grudge against my mother for not introducing me to tweezers until AFTER high school. The bitch.

    Nice hair though =)

  • Shoulder pad, shoulder pads,
    ya gotta love the shoulder pads.

  • Weetzie

    Well, I certainly hope you did something with all of that hair, such as: using it to knit sweaters, or giving it to birds for their nests.

  • Weetzie

    Well, I certainly hope you did something with all of that hair, such as: using it to knit sweaters, or giving it to birds for their nests.

  • Oh my, that’s hair all right. The first picture; I was struck my how much Leta looks like you. You’re not going to make her carry a hair critter on her head too though, are you?!

  • oh, wow,
    Thank you for sharing your bershon at the start of my day =)

  • I think I’ve got you beat although our facial expressions are definitely the same. I went to high school in the Deep South so my haircut was hair as long as yours with an undercut all the way up to my sidepart line then pulled back into a ponytail. Couple that with braces, acne, and gay club shirts (I don’t know what I was thinking either) and you have a fair representation of what I looked like. It’s a true testament to the uncontrollable hormones of teenagers that I got as much action as I did; that or I went to a school for the blind without realizing it.

  • Hets

    That lipstick! was a staple in 8th grade. It came in a tube and didn’t have a name. It was known simply (indicated by a sticker on the bottom of the tube) as “44”. I swear. We used to ask each other, “Does anybody have some ’44’ I can use?” Those were the days. Also, ten bucks says, in that first picture, that you are at a wedding reception in a cultural hall. HA! I. love. it.

  • megagayguru

    that hair is just amazing.

  • Wow. Huh. Um.

    Your hair is very shiny.

    And your mom (is that your mom? must be your mom) looks very regal.

  • GeekGirl

    OMG Heather, you had total pr0n star hair!


  • …The Avon World Sales Leader is workin’ it!

  • Holy shit that’s a lot of hair! And you are such a little slip of a girl! How did you keep from tipping over?

  • BlogThatMommy

    Your 40 pounds of hair looked much better than my bangs that were so tall it was impossible to capture them in the frame of one picture!

  • Jesus wishes he had your hair.

  • I think I have to take up use of this word, because it’s much better than “can’t be assed” or “fuck right offly.”

    So how long did it take to dry your hair?

  • Oh. *OH!* You’re a brave, brave woman to post those photos.

    I am so intrigued/obsessed by the whole idea of ‘bershon’ (which – does it even exist outside your country?) that I have been frantically trawling my own teenage album for an example. But none exist. Why? Because I survived the era by just plastering on the biggest, proudest, most desperate ‘former child performer’ smile OF ALL TIME across my face. It’s like, “Okay. So I have glasses. And braces. And my mum has forced me into wearing a paisley vest and a little round indian hat with mirrors but I’m just gonna go EYES AND TEETH EYES AND TEETH and *maybe* NO ONE WILL NOTICE!”

  • Nancy

    Oh, so YOU are the one responsible for all of that hair Leta has!

  • I’m sorry, I’m just completely overwhelmed by your Easter Egg pink oversized BLAZER WITH SHOULDER PADS to comment on the overtly sexual JESUS STATUES.

  • Rebecca

    That is awesome.

  • Melissa

    Heather, you’ve talked so much smack about your hair over the years, but I have to say, in these shots, ignoring the over-the-left-shoulder move, it’s really, really beautiful. Seriously.

  • Ktkat

    WOW! That hair is awesome! I heart your hair and covet it too. And you weren’t only totally bitchin, you were definitely BERSHON!

  • Dooce, we are about the same age. In the 80s I suspect we were a lot alike. I was also a smartass, with a heavier emphasis on the latter part of the word. I wore clothing from Chess King, played in the band, and at one point thought Dokken was actually good.

    Please circle the things I said above you found cool. I think I might have a crush on you. If you don’t circle anything, I don’t really have a crush on you. In fact, I think you are kind of a hoser.

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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