Friday, May 18, 2012

The 80s: Decade of Unfortunate Hair. And So Much More!

(post copyright 2012, Dawn Weber. Image from epic

Nothing shouts "Possible Porn Star!" like a man’s mullet.

In fact, this hairstyle says many things, such as:

-"Dude. Where's my car?"
-"You ordered two large pizzas, ma'am?"
-"Hey, babe. I won you this bitchin' Motley Crue mirror over at the street fair."
-"How many kegs?"
-"Yeah, I'm here to clean your pool with my long . . . vacuum."
-"Aw, man! Give me a hit of that!"
-"So. What time will your mom be home?"
-"Don't tell my heart. My achy-breaky heart."

Yes, the mullet: Bad enough on a man.

A freak of nature on a woman.

That's right. If you think this hairstyle was just for guys, you didn't live through the Reagan administration. Case in point:

That's my mulleted senior picture up there, 25 years and 25 lbs. ago. I'd kill for that chin - although I have several chins now, so really, I'd kill for just one chin. But that hair? Was totally for sure business-in-the-front, party-in-the-back.

You youngsters out there, laughing at the mullet. "Ha Ha Ha!" say you.

Shut up. It was the 80s - everybody mullet. Pretty much a federal law. And some of us had more success than others. Just like, this, um, girl:
Trust me. This is a female.
Epic chick-mullet. I bet she's glad someone saved her mullet mug-shot. I sure am happy my mother saved mine. She really treasured it, too, I can tell because for the past couple of decades, she's had it stored on the top of a dusty open box in her garage.

Nice. I am feelin' the love, there, Mom.

She pulled it from the pile at Christmas, swept off most of the dirt, slapped on some gift-wrap and gave it to my husband. That's the general gift-giving procedure of a 68-year-old woman on Social Security: Dust something off, wrap it up.

And now this thing hangs in our house, where everyone can admire my mullet, and I have to see it all the damn time.

I don't look much like the mullet-girl in my senior picture anymore, but I remember her. She majored in flammable, piece-of-shit cars, classic rock and minor acts of spray-paint vandalism. She worked at McDonald's and lived for Saturday night. She was probably supposed to work AT McDonald's ON Saturday night. But if there was a party somewhere, that did not happen.

There are things I'd like to tell this girl, things she should know. Such as purple and blue work great in crayons, but eyeliner and mascara? Not so much. Also, the main food groups are dairy, meat, grains and fruits and vegetables. Not sugar, grease, salt and cheap beer.

That boy you like? The one who never calls or asks you out? Yeah - that's a sign! He isn't interested at all. But admiring him keeps you mostly out of trouble with the boys who do like you. So carry on with that. Additionally, you should know that red traffic lights are not just a suggestion, and rainy roads can be slicker than snot. Remember this in 1988. And 1989. Also shut up 1991.

Sit down and talk to your grandparents more often. Pretty soon, they'll be gone, and then you'll only see them in dreams.

Start your AP English senior term paper. Start it now. Do not wait until the day before it's due. It's 1987. Teachers can (and will) throw heavy objects at you.

You were warned.

Yes sir, judging by my poor choices, hairstyle and purple eyeliner, I was a teen of the 80s. Were you?

Here at Lighten Up!, we are all about the BS hard-hitting, investigative journalism, so let's find out:

You were a kid of the 80s if you remember:

-Growing concerned about your palm-sweat output during the Couples' Skate.
-Spending Saturday morning hunched in front of a boom-box for the countdown, fingers poised on 'record' and 'play.'
-"Oh, Mickey you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind! Hey, Mickey! Hey, Mickey!" (Kill me, please. Kill me now.)
-Wishing you had Jessie's Girl.
-Wishing you WERE Jessie's Girl.
-Furtively disassembling and reassembling your Rubik's cube, then showing your mom, because you "solved" it.
-"Look for the purple banana 'til they put us in the truck . . . " (Prince. WTF were you smoking?)
-Never watching the 'Very Special' episode of "Family Ties" or any of your other favorite sitcoms. 'Very Special' was code for pregnancy, drugs and/or alcohol. Parental discretion was advised.
-Singing along to "Rock Me, Amadeus." Smacking the shit out of yourself for doing so, but still - singing along.
-Stabbing a Stretch Armstrong to see what's inside.
-"I only wanted to see you bathing in the Purple Rain . . ." (Again, I say - Prince: What the purple f*ck were you smoking?)
-Rocking the middle-school fashion world in your sweet new "Members Only" jacket.
-"We don't have to take our clothes off . . . to have a good time" (No, but it sure helps.)
-Calling 867-5309, hoping Jenny would answer. She never did. Dammit.

Well, I hope I have provided some vital insight into your past. As you can see, I am full of bullshit valuable information.

Really. Who needs Google when you got me?

And with that, from the decade that brought you such important contributions as the single glove, the Tammy Faye Bakker, and the almighty mullet, I leave you with one epic, final, definitive thought:

"Oh, Mickey, you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind. Hey, Mickey! Hey, Mickey!"

You're welcome.


  1. Love the first picture. such a hottie!
    Teenager in the 80's? Sometimes I forget how young you are! I don't know about Jesse, but you can be RJ's girl!

  2. I had a perm and a mullet, because what good is a mullet if it isn't big? If I remember correctly, my hairstylist didn't call it a mullet, she called it a "shag". In hindsight, I'm not sure which is worse.

  3. Oh, Dawn what a pity
    you don't understand
    you take me by the heart
    when you write stuff like this...

    What?? It works!!

    I, too, had a mullet. Briefly.


    What can I say? I think it was required...


  4. The 70's baby. Willie, Willie, won't go, but you can't push Willie cause Willie won't go ...
    Don't worry, I was immature enough to fall for 80's fashion, but it was Brat who rocked the prison era eyeliner.

  5. This was the era when my kids were teenagers....God, I'm old!

  6. This was the era when my kids were teenagers....God, I'm old!

  7. So excited to see your post this morning! I actually look forward to your blog like I do my Friday morning coffee or crap, actually you are better than BOTH! Loved it!

  8. This was very funny. A little poignant but mostly funny. My daughter was a teen then but I remember a lot of what you mention. Achy Breaky and now his spawn is a big pain in the,I mean star. Never liked Prince and never wore a mullet.
    You did look sensational in that photo, I must say.

  9. ...and once again one of my bloggy friends makes me feel like I'm too young to be at the party.

    The first time I was aware of what year it was, it was New Year's 1990, and I was psyched to be up at midnight. I missed the 80s completely.

  10. Tried to leave a comment this morning, but my internet connection went flacid on me! I'm with Stacey--I look forward to your blogs. I was an 80s girl myself. Laughed out loud at the Prince comments.

  11. I've got a few years on you, Dawn, but I still wish that I was Jesse's girl. Once again, I laughed throughout this post. "Business in the front, party in the back" - etc. I'm still chuckling up a storm here. Honestly, though, and I'm not trying to be sweet or anything of the sort, you look adorable in that picture.

    I always tried for the Farrah Fawcett do, but nobody could tell; looked more like a misguided mullet.


  12. "...slicker than snot?" Girlfriend, I am older than snot. My hairdos could house weaponry. And now that pussy little handgun stuff either. I'm talking AK-47 time here. The rat tail comb was my instrument of choice and you wanna talk flammable? A gallon of Spray Net made me a walkin' Molotov cocktail. Think "Grease" on steroids. I bow to your courage for posting a photo of yourself. A posting of me in my era will be pried "out of my cold, dead hands."

    What a fun damn post. You've taken me down my own memory lane and even given me an acid flashback.

    Thanks for the laughs! :)

  13. I'm a child of the 70s.
    One word: disco.
    'nuff said.
    Oh, and as far as that first picture of Mullet Man...a question could be,
    "Hey, dude, who took my boobs?"

  14. I'm old enough to remember when Country singers ALL had Crew Cuts and Flat Tops and their fans would kick the hell out of anyone whose top of their ears they couldn't see.

    A few years ago I passed a kid on the street who had a spiky blue blue Mohawk. "It's been done," I mentioned to him as we passed.

  15. Funny! Never had a mullet, but I was a teen in the late '60's-early '70's, so I had Nehru shirts (couldn't find a jacket) and bell bottom jeans and corduroys.

    You may have been less of a fashion disaster.

  16. Is it a bad sign if the only thing you remember about the 80's was MJ and Prince?

    Don't answer that! It was rhetorical (sort of)

  17. My eyes! ears! My eyes AND my ears!!!

  18. It's sad that I'm too old to party like it's 1999.

  19. As a teen of the 60's I'm old enough to be your father. I'm not your father, am I? Where were you born? Just checking. Hair we had. Even a song and musical about it. Inane lyrics? "Crimson and clover over and over and over and over," etc. Disco finally did me in and by the early 80's I left civilization as we know it. Glad to see this happens every generation.

  20. RJ - Thanks, RJ. RJ's girl is rockin' the mullet, no?
    Dawn - I spent decades getting perms, also, trying to make my mullet big. They lasted all of 3 weeks on my thin, pathetic hair. Sigh.
    Pearl - It was ABSOLUTELY a requirement. I am sure you looked smashing, dah-ling.
    Diva - Have to admit that I prefer 70s music to 80s music, even though I was just a babe then. Good stuff. :) I bet you rocked some 70s hair.
    Eva - You're not old. You're retro! Retro is HOT!
    Nurse M - THANK YOU for the sweet comment. Made my day. Better than coffee?!!?? Wow.
    Anthony - You called me funny and said I looked sensational. Marry me. No pre-nup.
    NY - You're a musician, and musically speaking - as you can see from the lyric references here - you didn't miss much in the 80s.
    Heidi - I know, right? Prince. And his little purple banana. Saw the shadow of it at Superbowl halftime.
    Robyn - Oh, I spent a good decade trying for the Farrah do, too, as a young girl. That's another post.
    Jayne - an acid flashback?! Never tried it. Take me, take me! haha.
    Penwasser - Exactly. That dude, he is making love to the camera. Sweet, sweet mullet love.
    Robert - Ha! Love the mohawk comment. Love.
    HumorSmith - Have to say, some of those early 70s fashions hurt my eyeballs, especially the bell bottoms. Bunch o' hippies.
    Wanda - That's your brain, trying to block it out.
    Linda - It's all too much for the senses, isn't it? ;)
    Lisa - We may be old, but at least we have better hair!
    Jono - Good point - bad hair DOES happen every generation! "Crimson and clover, over and over..." *GAG* (kill me now, please.)

  21. Great, great post, my bdb. Laughed my non-mullet ass off. (I had a perm. So I have no room to be mocking yo mullet...) but I have to take issue with your food group comment....I beg to differ! Beer is too a food group!!! How do you not know that????? Don't be getting all uppity on me!!! :)

  22. MTM(BDB) - I'd never get uppity on you, my fellow-beer-drinkin' bridesmaid. -Yours in domestic beer in a can, Dawn

  23. The countdown was on Sundays at my house. It really sucked if Mom said you had to go to Sunday School and church cause you only could listen to the top 10.

  24. Oh Mickey - I have that and 867-5309 in my I-tunes library.
    I'm not from the 80's but we had 2 kids who became teens in the 80's. You can't but help to notice these odd fads and the music.

    I got it I got it I got your number on the wall - I got this song stuck in my head.

  25. Ruth - Ha! I'm afraid I would have been "not feeling well" a bunch on Sundays, then.
    Bill - "Mickey" and "Jenny" are stuck in your head now?
    My work here is done.

  26. That was hilarious! I had kids by the 80's (5 of them) because I was a child of 60's and started at 18. As for the hair I never had a mullet (my son did)but I had my share of bad dos. I went through phases. I had the French Curls done once a week at the local beauty school (I was hot shit then baby)then I got an artichoke cut that sent me home crying and wearing a bandana for 3 months. I once had an old boyfriend ask me if I was a hippie. He said that he knew I was as soon as he saw my long split ends waving in the breeze.....I could go on for days perms, ironing boards, etc.etc.etc

  27. As a fellow 80s girl, I am dismayed to admit that I never did rock a mullet! I did however, sport the Dorothy Hamill in 8th grade. The last year my hair was ever short because it was such a traumatic cut. Never go bob. Never go bob, and NEVER go mullet. There is no way those styles are ever coming back.

  28. Ahh, Tammy Faye.
    My friend Denise went to Palm Springs and came back with a t-shirt. It had 'makeup' smeared all over the front and said, "I ran into Tammy Faye at the mall."

    And I guess I'm in the minority, but I think your hair looks nice in the picture you posted.

    We won't talk about how many chins we all have, but if you get someone to photograph you from just a little taller than you are, it tilts your head up just a bit and gets rid of a few chins.

    You're welcome.

  29. Joanne - You are STILL hot shit, baby. ;)
    Jessica - That is correct. Growing the top of the mullet down to a normal length took YEARS. Where were you when I needed this information, Jessica?
    Ami - Love the Tammy Faye shirt. I would have totally, for sure worn that. You like my mullet up there? Really? Bless your 80s heart.

  30. The number 2 picture, very hawt.

  31. Ha! I wish I had the nerve to post my eighties hair.