When They Were Young
Boy, Yearbook photos can yield some doozies, can't they? I'm not talking of famous people's high school or college photos, but our own!
Fortunately, I will never have that ignominious pleasure of
laughing looking at myself one day, because senior yearbook photos are an Americanism.
In my school, we had a "bulletin", which was handed to all six-formers -- but mostly concentrating on clubs, prizes, and group photographs, the latter of which Brits are obsessed. Go to any British club or pub, and you will see miles of group photos, sedately posed, captured for immortality. In my country, we don't leave anything to chance and giggles.
But I say, well done, Americans!
I love the Yearbook custom, because it allows us a peak at how people were before they became high and mighty -- usually with hilarious consequences.
Today, a blog called Veto Corleone has culled together a photo trove of politicians at their pimply worst. Here they are! (Click on link for more)
If I didn't know any better, I'd say this rather bouncy blonde girl was from California, headed to Berkeley to major in sun and fun.
My word, but doesn't Hillary look great here. It's like, what happened? When did the onset of feminazism overcome this poor creature?
Curiously, it makes me appreciate Bill Clinton less. I admired him for having the courage to marry a sour, scrubless, ugly feminist -- but with his fine perceptive eye for women, he knew this lovely was lurking underneath.
The last time a mayor's daughter was so carefully brought up and so much was expected of her, was Rose Fitzgerald in Boston. But Nancy Pelosi didn't want to just grow up to be a rich man's wife. She wanted power of her own.
This studio portrait of then Nancy D'Alessandro says it all:
Eyes on the prize, Nancy. Eyes on the freaking prize.
(I will refrain from mentioning that she killed at least two rainforests using Ultra Hold AquaNet)
Our female politician trifecta closes out with the absolutely scrumptious Sarah Palin. This girl has mom, apple pie and huskey bobsled written all over her.
She's just naughty enough to be popular (check out the frilly dark lace on her - prom? - dress), but her tomboy spirit is evident with the unfussy hairdo. You don't get the sense of that simmering ambition, nor her future wowsers in looks in this photo, at all.
Nope. Sarah Louise Heath is just everyone's little sweetheart. Go Warriors!
...now, if I were playing retrospective matchmaker, which contemporaneous politician would I hook her up with? I can think of two.
Rod Blagojevich actually looks like he could be Sarah Palin's younger, rascally Serbian brother, so that's out. No, it's clearly the good-looking chap with the leisure suit, semi-big-ass 'fro and dazzling pearly white smile. And then there's the game of hoops they could indulge in, after the photographic session.
(My money's on the chick)
And.What.IS.He.Wearing.On.His.Head? That is never his real hairdo, surely? Maybe it's a fried squirrel.
But speaking of unrecognisable future pols...
DON RUMSFELD (Not in Veto Corleone's line-up)
Dick! Rummy! Wow, were they über right-wing, Johnny Unitas flattop look-a-likes even when young. I just can't get over Dick Cheney, though. This was before his smile became all evil and apoplectic. He even has this odd resemblence to Heath Ledger, poor thing (Heath, not Dick).
Now Rumsfeld. Well, he just looks like a dick.
"Thank you. Thank you, very much. You're a beautiful audience, ladies and gentlemen."
"Well. Shoot. I can't believe I am in Harvard, my daddy's a Senator, and I still can't get laid."
This is the face of an all-American Irish working class kid from that butthole Scranton, PA. He tries hard to be liked, and it's working. Somehow. For now.
As my Cuban friends say, coño..............
Okay, so I can't make fun of that collarless poly-cling blouse, because I actually had a few in my day (that day was still around in the 90s). I'm obviously not going to call myself unfashionable and uh, dorky -- so let's concentrate on that hair instead.
What, pray, was Michelle Robinson going for with that look? She looks like a cross between Princess Leia and a wimple-wearing countess of the Flemish school.
This is not the girl you befriend at school. This is the girl who gives you the stinkeye as she passes you down the school corridor, clutching her non-ruled notebook tightly to her sweater...because you're something she'll never ever be and she knows it.
EXTRA EXTRA BONUS
BORIS JOHNSON (seated, right) DAVID CAMERON (second from left, standing)
Behold, the kind of group photo I mentioned up top. These two exemplars of the British ruling classes are David Cameron and Boris Johnson, the two most famous Conservative politicians in the UK at the moment.
Their poncy yet still rather dazzling dress refers to the fact that they are members of Oxford's most exclusive (dining) club, the Bullingdon. I tried to get in, but was prevented on account of my ovaries.
Not that I'm bitter or anything.
But I do believe both these men are retrospectively asking for a punch round their self-satisfied mushes, don't you?
Rummy, you around?
UPDATE: Veto Corleone actually linked to a great set of celebrity yearbook photos. PAULA ABDUL!
UPDATE #2: Commenter JAL asks if there is one out there of Condoleezza Rice. Why, yes there is!
You know, this is annoying. The woman hasn't aged one whit. I think I prefer the Family Guy version of young Condi in college (those of you who remember, knowwhattatalkinbout, wink).
When Googling for Condi's photo, I strangely also found one of Senator Lurch Kerry's Yale yearbook photo. Chickenlittle said we dodged a bullet in 2000. You know, I'm getting rather the same impression in 2004.
Just what the hell.
Now Reagan in 1928, showing off his varsity letter from Dixon High School, that's eerie. Is it JFK...
Handsome Irish beggars.
MORE: I just can't stop! Here are former First Ladies Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (very topical today on Sundries) in her senior high school picture, and Laura Bush, the same in Midland.
Both pert misses, although it's a bit curious culturally how Laura Bush is wearing Jacqueline Kennedy's bouffant hairdo of a later time. Meanwhile, the latter's generation is influenced by...Veronica Lake?? Paging Ron!
IF YOU ARE STILL READING THIS: One more. It's too good!
JOHN & ELIZABETH EDWARDS AT LAW SCHOOL
Elizabeth is insanely beautiful here, but John Edwards leaves me speechless...
He went from Gay Porn Star to Breck Girl.