The Party Line # 4 – Rosie’s popularity Plan – 80’s Make-over heaven!


“I’ve never seen anyone put on makeup so quickly,” said Voula, not sure she meant it as a compliment. Speed makeup application wasn’t exactly an Olympic event.
“I’ve been practising. Hey , I don’t want to get here too early. I like to sleep , you know. Anyway, what do you think?” Stephanie turned around for Voula to see. “It’s my new image.”
“What was wrong with the old image?
“Voula. Really!”
* from – Stephanie Kaye : a degrassi junior high book – ken Roberts –

“I think she put on some eyeliner in the bathroom ,”I reported.
“You’re kidding!” Kate peered hard at Jenny. “You’re right!” She hissed. “There’s a wiggly line on her right eyelid!”
* from – Sleepover Friends #4 Patti’s new look – Susan Saunders – 1988.

“Oh, mama, look! Everybody wears Yardley makeup. Can I have a lipstick and maybe a little eyeshadow? Please, please, please?”
My mother squinted disapprovingly at the poster. “Absolutely not. That stuff is much too old for you. Look at that girls eyelids- she must have laid that goop on with a trowel. And her mouth- whoever heard of blue lipstick! Kobie, I think your generation has lost it’s mind , wanting to look like that.”
* from – Thirteen ( a Kobie book ) – Candice F. Ransom – Apple – 1986.

Make-overs, they were everywhere! In magazines in talk shows , even t.v. characters were made over ( remember Vanessa’s ever changing, funky , geometric hairstyles in the Cosby Show? ) it’s only natural the subject would seep into teen serial paperbacks for better or worse. The subject was a fun plot device full of descriptions involving hair styles , make-up and clothes. Unfortunately most writers only took one side or the other concerning make-overs , while some warned a make-over could cloud your identity , on the flipside a make-over could vault you to instant popularity! To an avid reader this kind of mixed messaging was confusing. I get the point now – don’t loose sight of who you are but to a child of eleven most just wanted the badge of fitting in , being popular no matter the cost.

One of my favorite make-over plots is The Party Line – #4 Rosie’s Popularity Plan. A new girl named Jennifer Peterson moves to town and has such a bummer of a day she makes the mistake of blurting out first thing – we moved from Minnesota and I hate it here! Making instant enemies of most of the kids in class. The wariness spreads to the girls who run the Party Line – Allie , Becky , Julie when they are hired to throw Jennifer a birthday party and only Rosie is optimistic that they can pull it off after all didn’t they throw a party for major creep Casey Wyatt? But at least he had friends Becky can’t help but sneer. Fortunately Rosie is partnered with her for an English project and gets to see Jennifer in a new light and also sympathize with Jennifer and share a laugh when Jennifer admits the agony of the awkward faux pas of showing up for school with a bookbag when all the kids use backpacks. They have to admit it sounds absurd to worry about it.

She learns that Jennifer of course is a nice misunderstood girl who suffers only from lack of style. Case in point – just before the girls greet Jennifer walking her dog late at night – they comment on her sweater – ‘I bet it glows in the dark!’ But Rosie appraises the hand knit red sweater covered with bright blue and green bows and sees the fashion potential lurking in a better pairing then Jennifer’s dull brown cords. Thinking popularity might loom after Jennifer feels more comfortable and fits in , at least style wise , Rosie offers her a make over and some lessons in style – how to pair up her wardrobe for some sizzling outfits – who wouldn’t take up such an offer! Rosie we are told always looks good and perhaps maybe her glitz will sprinkle off on Jennifer. Or at least she’ll make her own. On page 61 we get some lessons on applying make-up from avoiding too bronze blush – it made Jennifer look like an orange-skinned alien – Think Mac and Me ( or wait he looked more like silly-putty ) think Mitzi Gaynor under one of the awful jells during South Pacific. That blue eyeshadow competes too much with the blue of Jennifer’s eyes and finally she selected a deep violet eyeshadow , avoided too much gluey mascara by faintly brushing it on and finished it off with a side french braid – I love those – my absolute favorite side french braid ever is at the end of Grease 2 – Michelle Pfeiffer is wearing this awesome crinkly silver dress , and a skinny side braid adorned with flowers.

Jennifer among having a great wardrobe also has an amazing drawer full of hair accessories – ribbons , scrunchy elastics , headbands everything. I hoarded all kinds including those dated , fat yarn ribbons – remember those? – they go back to the Waltons t.v. era , and those hair baubles ( an infinity loop with two plastic marbles in each end – they were murder on your fingers when they snapped into place ) , Goody barrettes , a handful of my mothers ink black bobby pins , and my favorite 80’s accessory ever were those plastic hair clips that snap like fish jaws , I always swooped them up to one side of my head. It was very punk and in , especially if you teased your hair up so that it looked like an amateur had put your head in a cotton candy machine. The spun look. One of my most bizarre accessories was a rarely used plastic cone that looked like it was a genie ponytail holder ( I’m not sure how the genie look snuck in but it did for a milisecond.) Mainly the outfits Rosie picks out are the ‘in’ outfits – a great stand by I remember well – the big sloppy sweater – colorful was best over top a pair of skinny pants or leggings ( stir ups aren’t mentioned but this was a great pairing as well ) if you don’t believe me that this was a style watch Outrageous Fortune with Bette Midler and Shelley Long – not only is it a terrific movie – Bette Midler is wearing that style – big sweater over tight leggings.

The side story to the Popularity Plan is Julie’s upcoming surprise party and because it’s Julie’s Bat mitzvah the girls want to go all out and make it special a really grown up night with a special dinner , and symbolic presents. Things of course get touchy-feely with Rosie spending so much time with Jennifer and even with her smashing new look – Julie’s not so quick to accept Jennifer. But alls-well that ends well as Jennifer makes the ill-timed move of tracking down Rosie at Julie’s surprise party to help her with Press-on nails for her party the next day – embarrassed by her rotten timing she is still invited to join. And Jennifer’s party the next day is a smashing success with a theme called welcome to Canfield ( their hometown ) with games to help Jennifer get to know her classmates and catch up on old gossip. Love the description on Jennifer’s birthday outfit – ‘a ‘rainbow’ sweater ( not really a rainbow but the hand knit sweater includes all of the colors of the rainbow ) , a jean skirt , and red cowboy boots.’ I love those early 90’s cowboy boots.
If you want to find out what the gifts were to Julie’s birthday check out my other article in Cliquey Pizza 2 – ‘IT’ stores , the lure of outrageous junk – The Party Line’s Wishbones and
Point Horror’s The Perfume – Coming soon.
P.S. love this creepy cover the girls are huddled at the card rack and eerily point out at the reader snickering!

Other great Make-over plots – Sweet Valley Twins – Jessica’s Bad Idea , Camp Sunnyside Friends -the new improved Sarah , Sweet Valley High – Jessica’s New Look. And for a male make-over try Seniors – Presenting Superhunk.

The 80’s had some terrific make-up books – I’ve included some photos from some of the books in my articles –
The complete Book of Make-up by Sarah Collins with terrific vivid color photos by Peter Barry the models are outrageously done up showing some of the great fantasy elements of 80’s makeup.

Morgan Fairchild’s Superlooks – I love her photos – she is one of the most gorgeous faces of the 80’s with her mass of tousled blonde hair , sultry eyes and perfect nose , she dissects everything from hair care to applying make-up 80’s style – 4 kinds of eye shadow! Two kinds of blushes! In a easy-going manner full of personal stories to keep things fun.

Mary Quant’s Color by Quant – bursting with vivid photos and her out-there style the prose is sprightly and the ideas are mind-boggling do people – besides models in magazines and books like these actually dress this way – put on make-up like this who knows? But it’s fun to think of that maybe they did!

Color Me Beautiful – Carole Jackson – offers a scientific way of bringing out your best with colors.

Cosmetic Make-up and Manicure – by A Eaton & F. Openshaw 1988 – looks promising with an artsy photo of a silver lidded model with a funky short hairdo

Make-up made Easy – Barbara Daly – 1984

and so on and so on…

Celebrities by the dozens had books on make- up and grooming- Sophia Loren , Lindsay Wagner , Joan Collins , Linda Evans , sometimes even combined. Even Boy George put out a make-up book! entitled Boy George Fashion & Makeup book , Check out High Valley Books where a copy is up for sale!

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This entry was posted in 80's Hair, 80's Make-up, All Series, The Party Line and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Party Line # 4 – Rosie’s popularity Plan – 80’s Make-over heaven!

  1. Sarah says:

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  2. MadMaz says:

    I was an 80’s teen and loved that time…the mad hair, make-up, clothes, music – crazy days! Nice post 🙂

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