Diaries Magazine

Blonde Ambition.

Posted on the 10 April 2013 by Ellacoquine @ellacoquine
blonde ambition. Unless you're Madonna, Gwen or Gaga... Italian girls should never go platinum. Me. 1995.
Yesterday, my former college roommate sent me a link to a Tumblr blog that she thought I'd appreciate. Even though the two of us haven't seen each other since 1999, she was spot on with her unveiling of an incredibly entertaining Tumblr blog devoted toSassy Magazine. Digging through the archives offered a little relief from my wedding preparations, life in Paris, and got me thinking about the gilded 90s (as if I need a reason to think about the decade that brought us Kids, the Madonna and Courtney Love VMAs showdown, and Miu Miu) But then it dawned on me: for a decade I love so much, the truth is that I didn't really fit in. Like at all.
So as we all know, at the moment, exotic is in. Thanks to the likes of Sofia Vergara, Mindy Kaling, and don't hate me for mentioning them, The Kardashians, the idea that size double zero is sexy, has fallen to the wayside – hopefully this time for good. If there was ever a time to have dark hair and curves; it's now and I say hallelujah. We’re finally having our moment! But growing up in the 90s, when ‘the look’ was fair, bleach-blonde, washed-out, and boyish-figure-skinny, there was no room for a wide-hipped, Italian girl with a mound of curly hair and bushy eyebrows, who just wanted to look, well, less ethnic.
For your average naturally thin, blonde, these looks were a dream; attainable and easy to mimic. For an Italian chick, my homemade rendition of these trends came out totally heinous. To this day, I still apologize to my poor mother who had to introduce this rag-doll mess to her friends and co-workers as her “beautiful daughter”.
I was not beautiful. I was fucking scary.

On top of having stacks of unruly hair, being stubborn is another one of our traits, and being Italian wasn't going to stop me from looking like a golden goddess in an X-Girl t-shirt - or at least from trying. I decided that despite my genetic make-up, I too could look willowy and ethereal, and off I went to Genovese to buy a box of Blonde Sugar #3 to bleach out my heritage. A homemade dye job of Blonde Sugar #3 on an Italian girl, with no coloring skills and who couldn’t see the back of her own head, looked less sugary and more like burnt fried macaroni and cheese, yellow #1. The bleach, that I left in an extra fifteen minutes, dried my locks, forcing the box to forgo its promises of silky hydrated hair, and offered me something more reminiscent of a hayride in a pumpkin patch. In a failed attempt to control the frizz, I piled on globs of gooey hair serum, which only managed to make my tresses look both greasy and dry. If that was even possible.
To complete the look, I strategically placed a bright red plastic baby barrette with a poodle on it in this mop, squeezed into a pair of maroon vintage corduroys (that gave me more of a mom jeans/pear-butt shape than the laid back, low-slung look I had hoped for), put on powder blue eye shadow, and truly thought that I looked cool. It's no wonder that people from high school look at me in amazement when they see me now; that despite my failed interpretation of style, I turned out somewhat normal. Dawn Weiner had nothing on me. I proudly take the crown for being the misguided freak of the 90s.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t only the students of my high school, my mom and my poor teachers who must have been traumatized by my homemade dye job. Current friends and a few 90s icons, were subjected this science project as well
Let's take a look at the victims....

blonde ambition. Me and Brett circa 1997. His expression says it all.
blonde ambition. Not even a thumbs up from pal Adam Green was going to justify this.
Although the vintage cat eyes are pretty cute.
blonde ambition. Damon Albarm from Blur looks absolutely terrorized here 
as I smuggle in like a creep for a photo op as if I'm at all cool.
blonde ambition. Poor Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth. I recently watched a rerun of Gossip Girl where he performed with the band at Rufus and Lily's wedding and I immediately thought of this photo.
Why couldn't I just look like Serena?!
Because she was crafted by golden gods, that's why.
blonde ambition. And why not?
Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails
...or as the kids today know him as the guy who wrote 
The Social Network soundtrack.
What a mess. Really, what was I thinking? How did my mother let me conduct myself socially looking like this? These years did teach me though, the invaluable fashion lesson of not forcing yourself into trends that clearly don't work. Thankfully nowadays I embrace my thick waves and have grown into my figure, and follow styles that are more compatible with my Italian girl shape. I also know for a fact that brunettes have just as much fun...maybe even more because we feel we need to make up for being labeled the boring color strand.
During these dreadful teenage years that by default awkward, I wish we had the choices and the communication that we have now. I would’ve had a plethora of style icons to admire, and would certainly have made for cuter photos. But hey, at least I can laugh now about it in my 30s. 
Okay, now back to 2013: teaching French children, wedding planning, cold spring in Paris, organizing, being an adult...
Thank you for letting me indulge in a little blast from my past!

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