Good News:  The April issue of a national magazine is out and I’m in it! 

Bad News:  It’s not Vogue.  It’s not Redbook.  It’s not O.  It’s this magazine.

Good:  There’s a little article about how I made big bucks on eBay.

Bad:  There’s no mention of my eBay name which is HOLLYHOCKFARM even though I clearly told the reporter and editor that this had to be included.

G:  The magazine sent a sweet young stylist to do my hair and make-up.  That was a treat. 

B:  She was under instructions to fluff up my hair and she followed those orders.  Let’s not even discuss the arms - that shirt was my own fault. 

Here’s the result.

When I forewarned my brother Jim that I was going to have ”Rodeo Hair” in this photo, Jim replied “You really should have learned from that time the Philadelphia Inquirer did a story on your necrotic spider bite and made you appear to be a drunken suburban loon.”  (It was a SCIENCE page story – I had no clue they were going to go all satirical and snarky on me!)

Jim was SO right.  I was burned by the Inquirer in 2007 with this insane blurry photo, meant to illustrate what an unreliable narrator I was (this story was badly botched by the Inquirer, which ended up doing an internal investigation and issuing an apology), and now I’ve been burned by First for Women.   I could and should have demanded a mirror, and then insisted on a more rational blow-out.  But nooooo, I played along nicely.  My feeling was, hey, even if I look hideous, this isn’t costing me a thing, it’ll promote my eBay store which is HOLLYHOCKFARM and besides, it’s all blog fodder.

Well.  Now I feel much more sympathy for celebrities who say they’re always mis-quoted or badly portrayed in the press.  Ian looked at the photo and said “If I just happened to see this picture, I would think that sort of looks like my mom.  They probably didn’t understand that the fine hair in our family does not curl well.”  Hugh said “I hope you’re not putting this on your blog the way girls put up photos on Facebook and said ‘Oh, I look so ugly here’ and then all their friends comment ‘No, you look so beautiful!’”  Then I showed him the magazine and said “OK, you’re not doing that Facebook thing.”  12-year-old Malcolm:  ”Mom, they made you look like trailer trash!” 

Have you seen Bedazzled?  My brother Tom turned us onto this movie over New Year’s.  Perennial loser Brendan Fraser sells his soul to Elizabeth Hurley, aka Satan, in exchange for 7 wishes.  First, he wishes to be fabulously rich with a gorgeous wife.  He wakes up as a South American drug lord with a beautiful spouse…who cuckolds him flagrantly.  Just as a rival drug cartel is about to violently murder him, Brendan/Elliot escapes back to his old life. 

There, he wishes to be a sensitive artist.  But he’s so overly sappy and lovey-dovey that women reject him and choose macho, aggressive dudes instead.  So next, he wishes to be a macho, aggressive professional basketball player, which Elizabeth grants – but she foils him by making him gush hideous buckets of perspiration.  Plus he has a tiny set of gonads.  And so it goes, with wish after wish becoming a nightmare.  Which all goes back to St. Teresa of Avila, “More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.”  I am just completely jinxed when it comes to my own personal publicity.

The kicker?  I am a professional PR person.  You’d think I could control my own image better.  Why is it that when I’m my own client, I turn into Brendan Fraser in Bedazzled?  Maybe it all gets back to another adage, “The shoemaker’s children go barefoot.”

Just to make sure you know I don’t really look like this First for Women picture, here’s a better shot of me.  From those wonderful camera artists at the DMV.  Seriously, and perhaps sadly, this is one of my favorite photos.

Only my mother may have loved my Rodeo Hair.  She started nagging me in high school, “Jennifer, it’s time to cut your hair short and get a perm!”  This was the ritual she and her friends followed in their teens, after all.  They all got the “Mom Hairdo” as teenagers and kept it all their lives.  Short, permed, curled.  That’s what they did in the 1940s and 1950s.  So at the very least, we now know what I would’ve looked like had I never rebelled against my mom.

Final note:  what is with First For Women’s obsession with fans of money?  The next two photos are from the article I was in.  The last one is from the previous issue.  And hmmm, THEIR hair looks cute. 


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