Although long gone are our careless teenage years, with the oldest millennials turning 40 this year (you gotta be kiddin’ me, right?!), the blunder years still come back to haunt us. Usually they come in the form of school pics stacked somewhere in our parents’ houses.
But the tendency about those pics is clear, they reemerge out of nowhere during the least expected moments, like a family reunion, or during dinner meant to introduce your love interest to your parents. Most importantly, our skin has toughened quite a bit, but the blunder pics still make us blush like it was yesterday.
So today we’re diving into the hilariously brilliant r/BlunderYears community where people share one thing we all have in common: the old pictures of ourselves that prove going through major ups and downs, twists, and loop-de-loops when it comes to our identities is only human! Sit back, relax and get ready to chuckle for this relatable selection below, and be sure to check out our previous posts with pics from blunder years here, here and here.
My Poor Parents... Being Nice To Me Back In 1987 During My Billy Idol Skateboarding Phase
Late 70's. No Idea What I Was Thinking. Made The Suit Myself
We’ve all been teenagers at some point, although the memories of the blunder years are fading away with every grey hair strand we find. That carelessness and craving for independence is something most of us have experienced in many shapes or form, some by protesting against our parents and dressing as goths, others by finding shelter in a geek circle.
My Girlfriend's Childhood Family Picture. She Was Really Excited About Being A Rat In The Nutcracker
I Was Evidently The Reference Model For The Kid From Up! Circa 1985
Previously, we spoke with Lenore Skenazy, the president of Let Grow, the nonprofit promoting childhood independence, about blunder years and how unique they really were when you look at them from our current perspective.
According to Lenore, the urge to be independent is something we've all carried since the dawn of time. “Think of what used to happen during the teen years throughout most of human history. Those young people weren’t going to high school. They weren’t making TikTok videos. They weren’t eating candy bars and playing Call of Duty. They were foraging for food, trying not to become some other species’ food, and they were having babies."
Matronly 40-Year Old Korean Librarian? Nope! Just Me, A 12-Year Old Boy
Moreover, according to her, teenagers' desire to create a fresh, new, unique persona might also arise from the disconnect "between being ready for adulthood and being grounded because of your C- in algebra." What if the search for identity during the blunder years is really a wish to detach oneself from a culture that keeps treating teenagers as kids?
Hence, “they sometimes adopt a new look, one they probably hope makes them look much older and more sophisticated or sexy—that is, adult. Need a real-world example? See a timeline of Miley Cyrus," Lenore told us.
Mall Rat Days
4 Going On 40 With This 90s Glamour Shot
I Had Embraced My Nerdy Outcast Status And Went To School Like This, Sadly The Trench Coat Was Soon Banned After '99
Lenore continued about how our desire for independence comes after we become accepted by others: "At the same time, that longing comes from a desire to connect: 'Don’t write me off—get to know me!' As humans, we are acutely attuned to what others think of us—and particularly attuned to any put-downs or humiliation. So we may adopt some styles that we hope will keep the scorn at bay. People are wearing a certain shoe? So will I. Everyone’s growing their hair long? I’ll grow mine, too. We want to be accepted, so we look at what others are doing/wearing/saying and adopt some of these things. But once accepted, we also want to be seen for the real person we are, not just a 'type.'"