Walk With Me Down Puberty Lane: A 90s Yearbook Celebration

Over the years, I have tried my best to completely avoid any situation in which I’d have to pull out my old yearbooks. Let’s be honest. Does any man really want to be reminded of his less than awesome pubescent years? Last I checked, it’s pretty much a time we’d all like to forget.

Well, I have to face my demons someday. Might as well be today. I present to you:

Walk With Me Down Puberty Lane:
A 90s Yearbook Celebration

1993. Welcome to seventh grade. I think it’s pretty easy to see why when I envision hell, I envision being stuck in a place just like this. I’m sure you’d like to see what I looked like in seventh grade. Hey, I’d like to see what I looked like in seventh grade. Obviously I didn’t think too highly of myself back then because I made sure that no future generation would ever be able to make out little Tony Pearce (come on, they couldn’t even get my name right?) or his fat little face.

Honorable mentions go to Jamie Peacock for helping take some of the attention off of me by living up to her last name. Lisa Pectol also helped me out by side-whistling during her photo. In my seventh grade yearbook, I put a star next to all of my best friends pictures. I’m guessing from this image you can guess which table I sat at come lunchtime.

1994. Welcome to eighth grade. As you can see, my self esteem is improving somewhat due to my photo not being scribbled out and the circling of my own name to emphasize how cool I was. And how could my self esteem not improve with beautiful swoopy bangs like that!? The striped collars were really in fashion (check out Mark Passey, he’ll back me up), and this year the yearbook committee was kind enough to get my name right.

Honorable mentions go to Jamie Peacock again, who made sure to keep those bangs bigger and even more beautiful just for my sake. Guys still parted their hair that year, and that part really stuck when putting more than two pounds of gel in one’s hair every morning. I bet the hair gel companies really miss 1994.

1995. Welcome to ninth grade. Oh, yeah. We were the big dogs on the Junior High campus as evidenced by the color photos in the yearbook this year. Besides my rapidly increasing popularity, which can be demonstrated by the number of friends highlighted in pink (congrats to Nick Peay who had no star in seventh grade but is solidly highlighted now), this year brought much goodness. The bowl cut with the center-line part put me at the top of the fashion click and my half-cocked grin really invited the female fans to go gaga. Hair gel was still extremely popular in large amounts as well as collared shirts in general.

Honorable mentions go to Justin Pehrson who was always successful at never having a single hair fall out of place. Sam Pehrson who was a pioneer in the plaid long sleeve lumberjack fashion, and Greg Pierce was still one of my number one friends at the awesome-table.

1996. Welcome to tenth grade. High school. The greatest place on Earth if you love wanting to die. As you can see, the hair part was finally starting to go out of style. At this point it was short, fuzzy, ugly that brought the girls to the table, and apparently I was the only one who got the memo. This year I decided to sport the ultra-high-fashion green and white striped button-down, which I found wadded up in the corner of a barn. For some reason they put sophomores and juniors together this year, and so, how embarrassingly awesome, I got to be right next to my older sister in the yearbook.

Honorable mention goes to Jeffrey Pead who amazingly does not look awkward or weird. Eliza Payne kept the ever so popular round rimmed glasses looking good, and Tomi Pearce, my amazing sister, had the crimp job and bangs of the century. Oh, and Tomi, top button wasn’t in until the next year. Nice try though.

1997. Eleventh Grade. I look amazingly not fat in this photo, and if I didn’t know better I may have started losing my super-nerd status. I think this was during the era of Phen-Fen and boy did it work awesome on overly fat adolescents. Who cares if my heart valves are all rotten from the inside out. As seen above, I loved to sport my shark tooth necklace and while less fuzzy, the ugly fuzz look of 1996 carried through another year.

Honorable mentions go to Erik Pearson who had some sort of awesome front tuft going on with his hair. Nick Peay took plaid a little too far with his crew neck style choices, but made up for it with his futuristic insight that the top button should never remained buttoned. Me, I was riding that fad to the next station in a hurry.

1998. Senior Year. A time when I really did know everything and nobody could tell me differently. Well, I knew everything except that the priest-collared shirt fad would only last about five days. Everybody wore them during those five days, but I was the only lucky one who got senior portraits taken late and therefore immortalized the fashion. Back at the top of the schoolyard pack, we got color photos again, which was awesome because it really accentuated my beautiful acne. Gel was back in full force, but we just used it to plaster our hair flat against our heads, no actual styling necessary.

Honorable mentions go to Jonathan Passey, who had a perfectly gelled bowl cut perm, even three years after everybody else stopped wearing them. Dan Patterson was able to crush tin cans with his neck. And Katie Partidge looked like a freakin’ 30 year old movie star. Eliza Wren Payne turned out to be the only one from my entire high school to ever be famous.

2010. Twice divorced. Single. Broke. Hair gel has come back in style with a vengeance. The cockatoo hairdo (as my dad would call it) is ever present, and dressing up for a good time involves ties with polo shirts and flood pants. I still struggle with many of the “adolescent” horriblenesses. Acne. B.O. General female anxiety. Fashion crises. Weight gain. No friends at lunch. And the list could easily go on and on and on and on… just like junior high and high school did. I don’t even have Greg Pierce to hang with anymore.

Honorable mention goes to me for my non-trimmed eyebrows and mis-tied necktie. My attempt at a GQ pose caused passer-bys to snicker at my noviceness, which still hurts. And the only style I’ve ever truly perfected has been the straight up nerd style as can be evidenced by, well, everything you see here.

Haha, what are your worst memories of those years of your life?

And… Do you have the guts to post and roast at least one year in your yearbook. If you do, snap a quick picture of the absolute worst year of your yearbooks. Share it over in the Facebook comments. Then, roast yourself and your classmates!

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

Previous articleThe Ten Rules of the Divorce Club
Next articleThe hot girl search. Episode One
Dan Pearce is an American born writer, photographer, and artist. His books include "The All-Important, Well-Fed, Giant White Man" and "The Real Dad Rules." He is best known for his blog (and supporting Facebook page) "Single Dad Laughing," with 2 million followers as of 2018.