.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

...a sweatshop of moxie

Saturday, February 14, 2009

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.


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...

...or Ronnie?

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!


Elizabeth is insanely beautiful here, but John Edwards leaves me speechless...

He went from Gay Porn Star to Breck Girl.

Labels: , ,


  • I can see the start of the Cheney Penguin smile in that photo.

    Now Rumsfeld. Well, he just looks like a dick.

    "At lunch I'm gonna stuff that Gore kid in a locker. It'll be hilarious and the girls will think I'm cool!"

    By Anonymous Starless, at Sat Feb 14, 10:53:00 am GMT-5  

  • You know Joe Biden would laugh and holler encouragement at Rummy from the sidelines.

    He's thinkin', 'whew, that woulda been me'.


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Feb 14, 11:02:00 am GMT-5  

  • alGore: Boy, I sure hope that Rumsfeld jerk doesn't stuff me in a locker at lunch.

    Bill Clinton: Don't worry Al, I'll protect you. The whole debate team is with us.

    Joe Biden: Yeah, Al, we're with you all the way! [Aside to Blagojavich] Rumsfeld's gonna kick his ass.

    Blagojavich: [snickering] Hehe...yeah...kick his ass...what a dumbf***.

    Hillary: Stupid boys, always resorting to violence. It makes me so mad I could punch them.

    By Anonymous Starless, at Sat Feb 14, 11:39:00 am GMT-5  

  • Michelle: [sneering] Honkies!


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Feb 14, 11:42:00 am GMT-5  

  • Pelosi: [finger wagging] If you boys fight I'm gonna go tell the Principal!


    Cheney: You gonna get that Gore kid at lunch?

    Rumsfeld: Yeah, I think so. I'm right behind him when we go to lunch and we pass Ann Coulter outside of biology so I'm gonna do it then. It'll get her hot for me.

    Cheney: You know it. I brought a bag of doorknobs today, so if he gives you any trouble, I'll be right there with it.

    Rumsfeld: Cool. Hey...meet me in the parking lot before practice. I stole a bottle of my dad's vodka this morning.

    By Anonymous Starless, at Sat Feb 14, 11:51:00 am GMT-5  

  • That's a nappy little 'fro on Huckabee, imus say!

    I wore a powder blue suit just like Barry in my senior photo--we're contemporaries in that way.

    Cheney's rather handsome in that photo. I'll bet he was quite a ladykiller in his day.

    Vlogabich obviously took that photo to his wigmaker and said "make me immortal". My how he's aged.

    WJC looks like an affable Biff.

    By Blogger chickenlittle, at Sat Feb 14, 12:10:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Most entertaining, as always. Thank you very much!

    By Blogger Caroline, at Sat Feb 14, 02:57:00 pm GMT-5  

  • At least Michelle has learned how to smile!

    What did they tell her as they set up the picture. "Whatever you do, don't smile?"

    Where's Condi Rice's picture?

    And Victoria -- I don't know where you are finding these, but you have waaaay too much time on your hands....

    By Blogger JAL, at Sat Feb 14, 03:46:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I know it's kinda creepy, but Rummy reminds me of very young Erich Honecker in that photo. I think it's the lipline.

    Recognize that caption Victoria?

    By Blogger chickenlittle, at Sat Feb 14, 04:04:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I was just throwing a bone out there to the folks who like tortured comparisons.

    On closer inspection, it's young Al Gore whose lips more closely resemble young Erich Honecker's.

    I still say we dodged a bullet in 2000.

    By Blogger chickenlittle, at Sat Feb 14, 04:50:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Where's Condi Rice's picture?

    Your wish is my command, JAL!

    See update on blogpost.

    And Victoria -- I don't know where you are finding these, but you have waaaay too much time on your hands....

    You mean, you didn't click on the blogpost by Veto Corleone? They're the ones who rustled these here pics up. ;)


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Feb 14, 05:12:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Not political, but you guys have got to check this out.

    Anderson Cooper's HS Yearbook photo

    That's right, little Mary.


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Feb 14, 06:53:00 pm GMT-5  

  • That's right, little Mary.

    For some reason that photo made me immediately think of Cabin Boy.

    Old Salt (David Letterman): You're one of those little fancy lads, aren't ya? [Chuckling] Boy, you're cute. Gosh, what a sweet little outfit. Is it your little spring outfit? [Chuckles] You couldn't be cuter. You're so adorable. Oh, my. You know, you remind me of my niece Sally. Lovely girl. She's a dietitian. Hey.

    By Anonymous Starless, at Sat Feb 14, 07:16:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Just what the hell.

    That's the last face you see before he hits you over the head with a blackjack and fireman-carries you to his mad scientist boss's underground laboratory (pronounced "luh-bore-uh-tory").

    By Anonymous Starless, at Sat Feb 14, 07:31:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Hey Nancy was a hot piece of tuna back in the day. It's a shame that her husband couldn't keep her happy and she had to go into politics. Hee, hee.

    By Blogger Trooper York, at Sat Feb 14, 08:27:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I think that both Rumsfield and Cheney are ultra-hunky in those pictures.

    They CAN'T be high school, though... must be later.

    By Blogger Synova, at Sat Feb 14, 09:23:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Maybe I don't think Rummy looks like a dick because I went to a very small school and the couple of ultimate jocks in my class were actually exceptionally nice guys.

    (Yes, we had cliques, and I and my best friend collected the outcasts that couldn't even get along with the stoners so... I think I'm objective about Kevin and Lance. LOL.)

    By Blogger Synova, at Sat Feb 14, 09:34:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Chickenlittle: WJC looks like an affable Biff.

    Buhwwahahaha! Yes!

    Bill was probably the smart goober who hung around the vapid rich set, picking off bored debs.

    I love Gore's Michael Corleone pose and hair style.

    JLo was already working the lens.

    By Blogger BJM, at Sun Feb 15, 12:08:00 am GMT-5  

  • They CAN'T be high school, though... must be later.

    Ahh, Synova, I didn't clarify too well, but I wrote "senior yearbook photos". That includes College ones. :)

    That's true of Rumsfeld's, e.g. which is from the time he was a wrestler at Princeton.

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sun Feb 15, 12:09:00 am GMT-5  

  • You mean, you didn't click on the blogpost by Veto Corleone? They're the ones who rustled these here pics up. ;)

    Didn't have time ;-)

    By Blogger JAL, at Sun Feb 15, 12:53:00 am GMT-5  

  • Why Veronica Lake? No peek-a-boo going on here! More Doris Day!

    What, didn't think I'd comment on this thread, sweet Sundries? Hearts-and-flowers to you, even post V-Day!

    By Blogger Ron, at Sun Feb 15, 06:40:00 am GMT-5  

  • Ahh, Synova, I didn't clarify too well, but I wrote "senior yearbook photos". That includes College ones. :)

    And I characterized it as high school because it's funnier that way. (More zits, more hormones, more awkwardness.)

    By Anonymous Starless, at Sun Feb 15, 08:46:00 am GMT-5  

  • Michelle's picture reminds of a salsa song by NG la Banda from the early 90's that said "tú eres una bruja, una bruja sin sentimientos, tú eres una bruja..."

    As my grandma would say "Thank God she's smart..."

    Pelosi: cold beauty to which she wants to return by abusing Botox. One of these days the needle will go too deep and...she'll still survive it. Evil never dies.

    Hillary: she had that muted beauty that is just waiting to come out at some point. Too bad she developed a penchant for horrible eyeglasses frames in the 70s and 80s and a worse habit of debatable pantsuits later on.

    Condi: she improved a lot, still I am sure she got more dates than Michelle back then.

    Rod, Dick, Ron (get your minds out of the gutter), even Bill, Al and even Crazy Uncle Joe were handsome men.

    Huckabee looks like a geeky jokester. These days, he'd be cool. Back then, I am not sure...

    The Edwards were pretty goodlooking.

    Kerry...I am not sure how he's managed to get anywhere. He ain't pretty, and he makes Al Gore sound like Jerry Lewis...

    Boris Johnson has not changed. I must confess that I did find a ressemblance in his wikijacked picture...

    By Blogger ElcubanitoKC, at Sun Feb 15, 07:43:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Did you look at the earlier "death masks" post on Veto Corleone? I think they're cool. I had never seen some of those: Geo. Washing, Ben Frankilin. Robt. E. Lee looks more gaunt than history remembers him.

    By Blogger chickenlittle, at Sun Feb 15, 10:23:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Hi Victoria -

    What a fun post....you certainly have given Classmates.com a run for their money...and a much needed "fun" thing to do.

    It brings back memories for me of when I entered Ripon College as a freshman in the fall of 1976. The nation had just celebrated its Bicentennial and we were all out to be on our own.

    Ripon insisted that we submit a high school graduation photo or something similar. Of course, I did...as did most of us.

    The college put together this booklet called "The Green List." Contained in that book were all our photos....and locations of where we were located on campus. Ripon is/was a residential campus and most people live there.

    Needless to say, this list earned other names: The Meet Sheet or the Meat Sheet. As a class agent and reunion coordinator, some of the Green Lists that have surfaced are far from pristine in appearance. They have number scores applied to some guy or gal, as well as devil horns, smileys or an x through the photo. Of but we loved the Green List.

    Oh...sometimes I wish dating was that easy again....

    I can hear Kenny Chesney's song, "Young" playing in the background....

    Looking back now, well it makes me laugh
    We were growin our hair, we were cuttin' class
    Knew it all already, there was nothing to learn
    We were strikin' matches just to watch 'em burn

    Listen to our music just a little too loud
    We were hangin' in there with the outcast crowd
    Headin' to the rapids with some discount beer
    It was a long train tussle but we had no fear.

    Man I don't know, where the time goes
    But It sure goes fast, just like that
    We were wanna be rebels who didn't have a clue
    With our Rock n' roll T-shirts, and our typically bad attitudes
    Had no excuses for the things that we'd done
    We were brave, we were crazy, we were mostly

    Peggy :)

    By Blogger Peggy Gero DaValt, at Mon Feb 16, 11:36:00 am GMT-5  

  • Nancy Pelosi was a real hotty. I also think she gets too much slack for her looks now. She's a woman in her 60s for god's sake. What do people expect her to look like?

    By Anonymous Marvin Music, at Thu Mar 05, 07:49:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I can't believe how much the young Don Rumsfeld looks Chris Evans (Johny Storm from the Fantastic Four)

    By Blogger Jaysula, at Wed Feb 24, 02:09:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Sarah Palin (nee Heath): she's wearing a wrap that portrait photographers (at least those in Alaska in the early '80s) put on almost all the girls for their yearbooks. Most were solid, but some had the lace at the top. It's definitely not a dress. (I graduated the same year about thirty miles away from her in Anchorage.)

    Michelle Obama: So evidently she didn't *learn* to look mean, it was baked in from the beginning.

    Bullingdons: Are you sure that's not Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet before they got famous?

    By Blogger Bryan Lovely, at Tue Apr 20, 06:02:00 pm GMT-4  

  • have you seen Mark Foley's yearbook photo? .....well here it is

    By Blogger s55536, at Tue Apr 20, 09:16:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Ha great pix, Michelle O hasn't changed a bit still that angry b woman look. Don't blame her though I'd get tired of the slept on a Velcro pillow jokes too. Bill "Howdy Doody" Clinton, classic. And Cameron and Johnsons' pic looks like a waiters smoke break round back of "Le Bernardin".

    By Blogger Gary, at Wed Apr 21, 11:51:00 am GMT-4  

  • Thanks a lot man i was doing a project on how al gore looked like after he graduated harvard dont worry i cited this info. I can say that he has changed a lot in appearance Thanks again!!!

    By Blogger Andy Tung, at Thu Jan 19, 11:28:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Holy crap, Joe Biden was HOT!

    By Blogger Laura, at Mon Jan 30, 09:27:00 am GMT-5  

  • Biden was the best looking man. Bill Clinton looked like a dork and still does. Pelosi was pretty but Elizabeth Edwards was beautiful.

    By Blogger Susan Mckinney, at Mon Aug 20, 04:48:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Thanks for the comments. I often forget to check the pending section!

    ...and yes, Elizabeth Edwards was a total babe. RIP.


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Aug 20, 06:27:00 pm GMT-4  

Post a Comment

<< Home


Advertise on blogs
British Expat Blog Directory.