This week I was asked to bring a 7th grade school photo to work for a youth group game. Well, believe it or not, pictures of myself from 7th grade do not make it to picture frame status in my house. So I called up my dear ol’ mama and asked her to text me a picture from that era…and, you guys, it was worse than I even remembered.
The whole look was just so incredibly middle school, which made me laugh and thank my lucky stars that my general aesthetic has improved in the years since. (I feel like I should note that middle schoolers are SO much cuter today than they were when I was that age. What changed? I’m blaming phones + selfies + the fact that kiddos have to be camera-ready at all times these days.)
Anyhow, this picture motivated me to take a walk down memory lane and check out some of the best and worst style choices I’ve made in my 27 years. And you know what I realized? It all came down to the hair. Good hair = generally decent overall look. Bad hair = bad overall look.
The pictures were too funny not to share, so without further ado, I present to you the evolution of Kat Williamson’s hair:
The beginnings. Not much hair to be accounted for. They say that what you looked like as an infant will be a version of what you will look like in your elder years…so behold my future (that apparently includes smocked dresses and chubby cheeks).
The hair finally arrived around the age of one. It was blonde-ish and shaggy, and I kind of wish my hair were like that today. We’ll call this the “pre-bowl” stage of life.
Oh, the bowl…a haircut that will always make me question my mother’s otherwise chic fashion sense (no offense, mom).
[Also, can we please all take a moment to applaud my brave toddler soul…I mean, look at the horns on that goat!]
When the bowl grew out, the short hair/side pony with a giant bow was all the rage. Apparently I stayed in this phase for a while, because 90% of my childhood pictures features the above hair style.
Also popular in my youth was the messy hair + headband (fishing pole optional).
Late elementary brought the slicked-back pony stage. I have a distinct memory of telling my mom “NO BUMPS” when she was doing my hair, and then spraying down that pony with about 10 coats of hairspray just in case any pesky flyaways thought about making an appearance. I honestly don’t know why I liked this look so much. Did I walk around with a constant headache? That just can’t be comfortable.
Club swimming was basically my life in middle school, thus I refer to this hair era as my “swim cap stage.” (Can you spot me in the sea of red swim caps? Far left, back row, no ears or hair in sight.)
The infamous 7th grade school photo. Hair: half-up, half-down, and still a little slicked-back. Makeup: high on the shimmery spectrum. Teeth: under construction. Wardrobe: ON POINT. I mean, a lace-up shirt in 2004? Do you even have to ask if I was cool?
When freshman year rolled around, I lost the braces and started experimenting with a middle-part (a look I still believe is only pulled off by the Kardashians and Madewell models).
I lost that no-good middle part by sophomore year of high school, but I did start straightening my hair on the reg…which was dumb, as I already had straight hair. Explain to me the logic behind that decision, sophomore Kat.
And then there’s junior year. Any good hair momentum I had gained since middle school was lost when I decided to cut my own bangs. This picture does not do those tiny, gross strands justice to how truly awful they were.
Thankfully, the hair situation pulled a 180 by senior year.
The wallet-sized senior pic—no doubt with a note on the back that said “You’re awesome. Don’t ever change.” (Are wallet-sized senior pics even a thing anymore?)
All I can say is praise the Lord for hair (and specifically, bangs) that grow quickly.
College brought a blonder stage of life for my hair. I loved it then, but it was hard to keep up. (Oh, and I had a brief stint as a black-haired gal. Not my best choice and no pictures to use as evidence.)
And then this happened. I graduated from college and cut off all my hair to be taken seriously in the workplace.
I honestly loved the short hair and have toyed with the idea of chopping it off again. But ultimately, short hair is surprisingly high maintenance and long hair just feels more me.
Which leads us to today’s hair:
- Usually air-dried
- Full of dry shampoo
- Kind of boring, but very me
So there you go. A life’s worth of hair trends in one blog post. My hair will probably stay the same until I start going grey—at that point, I’m going to take the plunge and try out the short blonde pixie I’ve always dreamed of.
So here’s to hair. And the history we ladies have with it. And the fact that we can’t restyle our 7th grade school photos, no matter how badly we’d like to.
Currently listening to “Angela” by The Lumineers