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Being a Girl in 1981

Being a Girl in 1981 by Solitaire Miles

Being a Girl in 1981 by Solitaire M.

This post features an excerpt from a post on Flickr by the popular Chicago-based jazz singer and artist Solitaire Miles (her real name). I was so taken by this photo she posted of herself at age 14, and what she wrote about it, I wrote and asked her if I could publish it on this site. She obliged.

I think she looks so beautiful, and she embodies so much of what it meant to be a girl in 1981. It’s iconic, really, and I’m glad I can share it with all of you.

What were you like in 1981? What did you wear and where did you go? Who did you love and what did you want to become?

From Solitaire :

“I found this old pic of me from 1981 dressed in my Linda Ronstadt rollerskating wanna-be outfit, right before I went skating with my friends. I was 14 in this pic, and I wasn’t allowed to wear or own a tube top, but I did wear it to skating with a satin baseball jacket over the top, like Linda Ronstadt, and my Mother never knew. The top was loaned to me by my 17 year old baby sitter, who was the scandal of our neighborhood because her mother put her on the pill.

“When I was 14, the kind of things I looked forward to were roller skating with my girlfriends, reading copies of Tiger Beat magazine, and sneaking into the theater to see films that my Mom wouldn’t allow me to watch, like The Blue Lagoon with Brook Shields and  Little Darlings with Tatum O’Neal and Kristy McNichol. Both of these films dealt with issues of teenage girl sexuality, and they were VERBOTEN in my Roman Catholic home, but I found a way to see them, none the less…”

Click here to connect with Miles on Facebook.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. jenx67

    I agree – we are all the same. Except Boomers aren’t as mean I don’t think. Maybe our rough edges are filed off with age. Xers can be so sarcastic and snarky. =(

  2. Rose Byrd

    Wow, in 1981, I moved to Macon, GA with my husband, daughter (entering third grade), and son, entering first grade, for new work at Mercer University and with the  lawyers in the federal court system there.  I was jogging and swimming lots of laps and COULD get away with wearing tube tops for casual outdoor activities in warm weather.  No longer!  I was amused to read of Miles sneeking into verboten movies, just as we did back in the late 50s and early 60s once or twice during the summer when visiting city cousins!  Boomer or GenXer, we are pretty much the same underneath, I have found!

  3. jenx67

    I agree! She was so gorgeous! Still is! Sourcing vintage content for this site is one my favorite things to do. I only wish I could find more.

  4. Andi Fisher

    I pretty much looked like the photo above!  I love Teen Beat, the Hardy Boys, and The Outsiders!

  5. ToB

    I meant identify – yeesh. The photo is beautiful. It brings it all back. The music that really takes me back is not Linda Ronstadt but Asia’s ‘Only Time will Tell’ with the video with all the television sets. I think that was a bit later, but it still had that late 70s stadium rock sound combined with early 80s wistful romanticism. It was a perfect blend, and you only hear it in those really early 80s pieces; it was before the 80s were the ’80s,’ so to speak.

  6. ToB

    Really fantastic post. Boy, do I indentify…

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