Submitter: One of our student workers [in a university library] found this gem while shelf reading and brought it to us to enjoy. It’s horribly out of date and it looks like it was only checked out once (in 1986). The illustrator is fond of only filling in features for half of the face, which is a little creepy looking, and the illustrations don’t really tell the reader what the style is supposed to look like. They frequently suggest using “magic tape” to determine where to cut, and if you don’t have the magic tape they recommend masking tape or something similar. This sounds like a recipe for disaster. I think our students could probably find some decent YouTube videos to help them cut or style their hair.
Holly: Ooooh, I love hair books from the 80s! And I have to say, I never considered masking tape for cutting my own bangs, but that’s kind of genius. (In a painful-when-you-peel-it-off kind of way…maybe that’s what is magical about the magic tape? It doesn’t pull your remaining hair out by the roots when you pull it off?) This is a weeding double-whammy with its spiral binding.
If you were alive and paying attention in the 1980s, you might recognize Cristina as the 3rd wife of John DeLorean, designer of the Back to the Future car/time machine , Currently, Cristine can be seen on the Hallmark Channel’s show Home & Family and authoring cookbooks. This book is essentially the 80s in a nutshell. We have big hair, leg warmers, shiny fashions, Golden Door Spa diets, and of course a husband on trial (and aquitted) for cocaine trafficking.
Aside from the micro 80s experience, I can’t see a reason for a public library to hang on to this. To the public library holding this: What are you waiting for?
I will be in the back looking for my Jane Fonda exercise tapes if anyone needs me.
PS: I also found this somewhat recent pop culture reference on the show the Goldbergs and DeLorean’s daughter being not too enthusiastic over at Jalopnik.
Submitter: I submit to you this truly awful library book I found in our small public library here in New Hampshire. As we were shifting the books on our non-fiction shelves, I noticed this thing stuck out like a sore thumb — or a bad haircut. It was sideways-oversized paperback, with a ring binding. Based on the Farrah-esque feathery cuts on cover, this book screamed 70s.
Open this informative guide to hair cutting and you find it is printed on what can only be described as off-white construction paper. The hilarious table of contents begins with the existential in Chapter 1: “What is Hair?” (If you don’t know what hair is, methinks you’ve got bigger problems than this book can solve.) And Chapter 2 poses a deep philosophical question: “What Should Hair Do?” (As Napoleon Dynamite would say: “Whatever it wants, GOSH!”) I’m actually sorry I tossed this without reading these chapters, because now I’m pretty curious about the answers!
But it’s in the depictions of the various hair cutting techniques that the real gold in this book lies. The illustrations are “credited” to a Jack Bozzi. We can only hope for his sake that this is not his real name. On page 28, the would-be hairstylist is introduced to the concept of the “Electrified Image,” i.e., imagine the hair standing straight out and it is supposedly easier to cut. Bozzi’s depiction of this concept looks like something out of Star Trek or Hellraiser, depending on the angle. On page 60, he depicts a young woman cutting her own hair the way I can only assume all women do — topless!
I had to resist the impulse to save this book from weeding for its kitsch value alone. Because of the poor paper quality, I put it in in the recycling bin!
Holly: This book was actually posted three years ago. I am sorry to report that it still exists in library land, for all the reasons Submitter has listed.