Growing Up Before Your Eyes

SPOILER ALERT: I’m about to show you something reeeeally trippy!

Okay, I actually didn’t spoil it because I haven’t shown you anything yet. But just you wait. I’m making you read first.

Soo… right before all the chaos struck about my afro, I was a regular ol’ blogger, with a bunch of ol’ blog posts in the works. I’d sit down and blog about my Vogue internship and the theories of improv till the wee hours of the morning, with a few upcoming posts in my drafts about things like self-photography for your mental health, the ten most titillating pizza slices in NYC, and how to become the Anna Wintour of your college in 214 easy steps. Maaaan, it seems like a lifetime ago!

I had never felt short of blog topics and content, because my life already had a ton of content. That is… until you showed me a whole new world of content that I’d fall to become very passionate about. All things outside of my upbringing and my element. A subject matter that tugs on my heart strings and makes me want to explore, learn, and write my feelings on with frequency. And now, my WordPress drafts look a bit different, with topics like fair housing, guilt growing up, and my infantile feelings on microaggressions.

Entirely new thoughts began catapulting through my cranium until 5 AM. A shiny new collection of realizations and passions now keeps me up reading, writing and riveted until the sun peeks out. It’s quite incredible, actually!

And yet, I haven’t lost my original headspace – I’ve only added to it. So now, how to balance it all? Is it possible? Can I still blog about the the ::magic:: of massage and what it’s like to be in THE greatest movie of all time (verified), while venturing on and sharing a very serious journey to learn about undoing structural racism by personal research and formal PISAB training? Can I switch topic weight on a whim? Can I address all your important comments over the course of time, while still having some fun? Psshhhht, this is MY blog… I can do whatever I want!

There are no personal congratulatory break-dances happening on my end, by the way. This has all just begun. I blog for me, and I progress for me. I don’t “want a cookie” for sharing my thoughts. Although I do want cookies in general. Perfectly crispy-melty chocolate chip cookies, thank you for asking. That, I get from my daddy.

Speaking of my daddy, I’ve been working with him pretty much full time now, gearing up for a very Beatles holiday! I LOVE being able to focus on the family business… it’s so special and real to me.

No matter where I go in life, I can never hide where I’m from. Literally, I CANNOT. My upbringing has been clearly documented for hundreds of thousands of people to see, for I am one of the two star models in The Fest For Beatles Fans catalogues and brochures. I’ve been modeling Beatles t-shirts and accessories since BIRTH, my friends! Striking poses on a white backdrop with my family on the sidelines, every year of my life. “Hey, you’re that girl in the catalogue!” I hear from guests in vintage Fest t-shirts from the eighties and nineties. “Michelle, I know you probably hear this all the time, but I remember when you were this big!” I do hear it all the time, from fans and Beatles authors and musicians who have known me forever, and it makes me happy every time. An incredibly humbling number people have watched me blossom since my mom’s first baby bump, and you can’t imagine what a delicious feeling that is. They’ve been there through my awkward phases, my educational milestones, my skinny times, my fatter times, my various boyfriends, my various blogs. These people care about me. These people are my Beatles family!!

This is where the trippy part comes in: I do not know ANY other way of growing up. Yup, THAT IS IT. This is my sole experience as a human being. Out of seven billion people on this earth, there are only two of them who had this happen, guaranteed. I am the blonde sister in the Beatles catalogue, Jessica is the brunette.

And here’s the real trippy part for YOU: My mom (@BEST_MOM_EVER) dug up all the old catalogues and brochures dating back to my birth, and I have uploaded them here! You’ve watched me begin to grow here on this blog, but in case you missed everything prior……. ready?

My life, the only way I know it:

And now… the catalogue that just went out in the mail last week. If you’d like to get one, it’s free and you can get on the list here!


My whole life, flashing before your eyes!

You know what would have been a great ending, though? The latest incarnation of me… the photo that got cut from the 2012 Holiday Catalogue at the last minute.

Just before the catalogue went to print, the great afro “internet firestorm” began. Oh no! My own family, who had always supported my fro, was now too afraid of offending people. I was so sad, it was my favorite picture of the entire 2012 shoot! But, I too, did not want to risk the chance of offending our customers for any reason, so this was the decision that needed to be made.

A small bump in the grand scheme of things. What do you think? Should the afro picture have been left in? In my opinion, as long as we all keep growing, we’re on the right track. Just like the shirt says, famously quoting George Harrison in Yellow Submarine, “It’s all in the mind, y’know!”

8 thoughts on “Growing Up Before Your Eyes

  1. The cutest post ever. I adore your fam! The Lapidos family knows how to raise a kid. Those who read the catalogue would have appreciated the fro since they are such open minded free-loving Beatles fans. At least we can enjoy the picture here🙂 xo

  2. I can’t imagine why the picture of you in the afro style would offend anyone. Black people have their hair straightened, and/or wear hair extensions all the time which makes their hair look more like typical caucasian style hair and no one complains.
    All cutlures borrow style looks from one another. I don’t think japanese people are upset about all the frizzy haired caucasians who get japanese hair straightening.

    Your family has spent decades building a successful business and I can understand their reluctance to do anything that they think would offend their customers. However I think it’s horribly sad statement of our society today that things are so “politically correct” that an adorable pic of you rockin’ an afro wig, which clearly is a fun fashion shot, creates a concern about offending someone. Some people need to just get a life!

    BTW, tell your mom she looks cooler, younger and sexier today than she did 20 years ago!

    • Molly, this made @BEST_MOM_EVER so happy!!! She says thank you! I do agree it is a sad state of affairs, and I wish things could be different. Hopefully one day they will be. “What society says” needs one helluva new script.

      • Michelle, A proper response to show how much you have indeed learnt from the conversations people have been having with you here, is to tell this person why black people straightening their hair or wearing extensions is not the same as you wearing an afro.

        Otherwise you are just fanning the flames of ignorance.

  3. your parents are so cute. yes i think it was best to cut the afro picture. for the same reason i mentioned in joni dreams of drag, from this point on everytime you have it on your head it says a big fuck you to black women. but again i agree it’s a cute picture🙂. the commenters here are beginning to make me so sad. no matter how many times false equivelency is explained, there’s always someone in the comments who refuses to see the explaination and argues you and afro is the same as black girls and weaves/relaxers/color. it’s not the same thing, because they come from unequal places. the afro was you wearing a fro for fun, just for the hell of it. the other is a example of assimilation, it’s a survival mechinism. it’s one of the ways black women conform to the larger population so that they can live peaceful, happy lives in america. every group of minorites assimilate in america eventually, because they have to. so it’s weird to me and sad that people (mostly people from the group everyone is trying to assimilate to) would try to find fault in them for doing so. and for the record i don’t like to see black girls in butt length platinum blonde weaves. i think 9 times out of 10 it looks ridiculous anyway, but i understand why it’s done. my only wish is that beyonce would wear her natural hair out more, it’s curly (like keri russell’s) very long and naturally dirty blonde. (yes black women have actual hair colors, too. dark brown/black is most common, but shades of brown, red and dark blonde aren’t exactly uncommon.)

    i love the catalog pictures, you and your sister were adorable. and lots of beatles stuff, lol.i wasn’t really raised on beatles music. when i heard about the beatles as a kid and heard they were from that generation i asked my mom about it. she said “oh that’s white people’s music, we didn’t really listen to that in my house, we were all about motown. but beatle’s music is everywhere, you’ve heard beatles songs and just didn’t know what you were hearing.” then youtube came along and i low and behold she was right! i knew and liked few songs already. did you see across the universe? i actually like a few more better in the movie than the beatles versions.

    and i think it’s fine for you to blog about other topics, afterall this wasn’t suppose to be a race blog, it just ended up there, lol. i’ll continue to pay attention🙂

    • Hi doll. I realize it’s not so simple, but isn’t it kind of nice that so many people see the hair issue equal going both ways? Isn’t that what it would be like in an ideal world?
      And yes, I’ve seen Across The Universe, amazing movie! We actually had some of the stars come perform at The Fest right when the movie came out… check out Dana Fuchs (Sadie) in this video!

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