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Let’s Read American Girl, July 1967!

The official magazine of the Girl Scouts of America was founded in 1917 as The Rally and changed to The American Girl in 1920. Maybe they didn’t want their magazine associated with political grandstanding or something – the 1920s were not really the best time to be at a rally, unless maybe you were part of the Klan. Anyway, American Girl ran monthly until 1979. While every issue included news and articles related to scouting, it was a pretty standard teen girl magazine, with features on fashion, fiction, dating, advice, and teen-centric culture. Interestingly, in contrast to the official Boy Scout magazine Boy’s Life, the magazine Girl’s Life is not at all related to the Girl Scouts – and the American Girl magazine that ran from the 90s until just a few months ago was inspired by the Pleasant Company doll line.

This issue appears to have belonged to someone named “Franny Loechlin”, or someone else who felt like scrawling her name on the cover. There’s a great gallery of American Girl covers here, many featuring presidential first daughters like Tricia Nixon and Julie Eisenhower because who was better at being an American Girl than the first daughter?

Speaking of which, I feel that it’s my patriotic duty as a wholesome American teen to share this clip of Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) to get you all in the mood for the beach party:

Eesh, poor Buster Keaton.

So I’m not totally sure what Tippi Hedren’s hotness level with The Youth was in the summer of love, but I’m getting a “mom’s still got it!” look here. Boyfriends beware. It’s amazing how that bubble bouffant can either make you look like a bombshell or Alice from The Brady Bunch, depending on the context.

Apparently A Countess From Hong Kong was absolutely terrible.

Even the trailer is just “hey, all these magazines did cover pieces on this movie!”

After a few years of life on the experimental cooperative nature commune, Lucy learned to accept her natural smells and odors as a special perfume gifted to her by Gaia. She kept a few cans of Secret around, for huffing purposes.

Was it legally mandated that every American household needed to send out at least a box’s worth of Christmas cards every single year? Why would you buy Christmas cards in July? I’m just imagining a tidy 60s suburban street being terrorized by roving bands of teenage girls all knocking on your doors and asking sweetly if you would like to buy a box of Christmas cards in the dead heat of the summer, LOOK MISTER THIS ONE HAS MONKEYS!

Well that’s a 1967 problem – motorcycle helmets won’t be required for another 50ish years, and even if you had to wear one you still wouldn’t because it would mash down your carefully tortured beehive hairdo. And the ironed-flat hair wasn’t quite happening yet. I myself would suggest some kind of protective scarf wrapped around your head, like women resorted to wearing when driving around in cars with the top down, but Toni’s got products to move here so instead you get vague advice to buy something without an actual answer. However, that “bikini brush” tutorial makes up for it. I’m half tempted to try that and see if it gets me to do the swim, in my new disco-do.

Note in the summer reading suggestions a book that sounds a lot like a fictional account of the Little Rock Nine. But now with MORE VENGEANCE!

In which people tremble inward, tremble outward, bouquets positively vibrate, a girl seems weirdly in love with her brother, a man daringly studies Asian Languages, Mr. Hubbard heartily approves of good business practices, and a glamorous widow introduces herself as “a cousin, of sorts.”

Betty Cavanna wrote a bunch of frothy teen romances, and this was published in 1968 as a full book under the same title. I couldn’t get a full copy of it to share, but if you must know what happens next here’s a very good summary and review from the blog Leaves and Pages.

I like that neither The Beach Boys nor the Beatles looked anything like that in 1967 (Sgt. Pepper had been released in the US a month earlier), and The Rolling Stones are nowhere to be found. I wonder if this ad is specifically targeted as music meant for “good girls” who liked crooners as old as their parents.

Careful with those newfound swinging powers, they appear to have some kind of effect where everyone hunkers down over their knees around you, as if they’ve been sprinting and are out of breath. Maybe the couple getting their picture taken are just really soft spoken and everyone’s bending down to hear them better.

Jean and Dreamy Rick Thomas’s steamy summer came to an abrupt end when Jason Voorhees hacked them to pieces during a tryst in a barn. Should have been watching those freshmen, Jeannie girl…

It takes a LOT of confidence to wear a one-piece pantaloon-bloomer-romper and look that cute. I would feel like a chicken. At least I can laugh at the inevitable tan line horror show that’s waiting for the girl in the mesh dress.

…damn, that story is amazing. Imagine having to home school because your school couldn’t physically accommodate you, learning everything through a PA system, and then getting a police escort to your eighth grade graduation so that you could get your diploma with everyone else. She should have been the cover story!

Aww kitty.

Some more excellently terrible teenage poetry to dazzle them with on open mic night.

I bet Sheila Kirby never let anyone forget that she came up with the concept of Band-Aid long before it was actually a thing.

Let the beach party begin! The Girl Scouts of America would like to state for the record that they do not condone kicking sand into your friend’s face. That is not the Girl Scout Way and Rhonda was promptly removed from the troop for her behavior. And then immediately reinstated because she blackmailed the troop leader with some compromising photos from Girl Scout camp 1966. At least, that’s what I heard from Amy’s cousin Sammy who heard it from her friend Barbara…

Good lord, I know this is the Girl Scouts but wow is this some corny square Mickey Mouse Club shit. Give these kids some reefers! Spin the bottle! Spike the punch! Neck in the dunes! SOMETHING! My favorite party game is the shoe one, because it means everyone’s going home (or hopefully off to find a much cooler party).

“Gather round, Girl Scouts, wherever you roam/ and admit your bikini top sizes have grown–”
“–STEEEVE!”

“Wow, Donna made so much awesome food! Too bad she’s spent literally every second of this trip in front of the fire pit, cooking enough food to feed our entire class.”
”I keep asking her if she wants us to help, but she keeps saying that it’s fine, she just loves mixing sauces in coffee cans all day.”
“Look at her, stabbing all those potatoes.”
”It’s because she secretly hates us but she just really wanted to have a beach party and not invite Debbie.”
”We’re never gonna hear the end of this on the ride home, are we?”
”I like my Seashell Hamburger Bake with a side of martyr complex.”

Admittedly, I’d try the spicy oranges. I bet they would taste amazing when squeezed into some rum or mulled wine. Guess I’m a bad influence here.

”Steve, I heard you were a vegetarian so I made you this garden vegetable burger! It has…uh…beef…and pork and beans…but there’s carrots on it!”

”COME ON GUYS, I STAYED UP ALL NIGHT GLUEING CANDY TO EMPTY CLAMSHELLS!!”

I picked mostly b’s on that quiz because I’m a square. I actually find most of this etiquette to be solid, as none of it involves the old staple of “never show a boy how smart you are, lest he be threatened.” I appreciated the delicate language of question 11, ie “you’re on the rag and no goddamn way are you going in the water today.”

1967: here’s some hairstyles to avoid those sea-salt curls!

2019:  B E A C H Y.   W A V E S.   A E S T H E T I C.  C U L T.

I wonder if girls of this period would feel scandalized at how simple and relatively low-effort these hairstyles were. It looks like the surfing craze was making bathing caps uncool (one big wipeout and the cap is ripped right off your head), but – GASP – what if your hair gets wet?! The horror! But I get it. If I spent approximately six hours in the beauty parlor every other Sunday getting my hair fried and set and teased and traumatized into a proper bouffant, I’d be touchy about it too. I’m  fan of the center “sea-nymph” look. Note, too, that they still teased up the hair to hell and back at the crown.

You may commence giggling at this innocent but decidedly poor choice of photography.

As for pHisoHex, active ingredient hexachlorophene, in 1972 it was pulled off American shelves because “15 deaths in the United States and 39 deaths in France were reported following brain damage”. Yikes.

The mosaic is cute, I’ll admit it.

”This is to remember the beach party that I threw over the summer and had so much fun and didn’t invite Debbie to because Debbie sucks. This is part of the label of a can of beans because I did all the cooking for the party by myself and nobody helped me.”

“Pursettes, the tampon that’s right even for single girls”

…what the hell does THAT mean?

You had me at “red and gold houndstooth pants”. It is a real shame that this wasn’t in color.

Adding epaulets to the shoulders both confuses and delights me. I guess they add just an extra touch of snazz.

Sounds to me like Linda’s mom is going through some shit, but at least the advice is “just be nice to her”.

I don’t think this “Who” group is going anywhere…they have such a dumb name! Ha ha! The Who!

I appreciate that their surfing tips are all straightforward and don’t mention gender at all.

Also, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of The Gnome Mobile??

Mary Poppins, come get the Banks children right now before they start tripping on acid in the redwoods! Oh dear, too late.

It’s really cute that Anissa Jones had her real-life Brownie troop on the show with her. Too bad that it sounds like she had a pretty crappy childhood, not to mention a very short life. Hopefully she found a little happiness and normalcy with the kids in her Brownie troop.

“And here you’ll see lots of numbers pertaining to math, and money, which as the lady of the household you’ll be tasked with managing and keeping on top of while being heavily discouraged by society to make any for yourself; we can also give you some information on entry-level bank teller jobs that you may be interested in, if you’re planning to put off marriage until you’re thirty.”

I would really love to know what Karen Crain said in the last issue, because it sounds like she put some bees in bonnets over white lipstick and plastic earrings. SORRY YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND FASHION, KAREN. Can Kandie Williams tell us more about her guitar pick earrings?

It’s a wedding! It’s a cult! It’s a pad! Watch her vanish into a cloud of flower-colored smoke like a menstruating ninja!

I refuse to believe that anyone except Coca-Cola executives thought this band was cool.

Maybe it’s my personal vendetta against jaunty whistling.

WAIT, THEY WON A GRAMMY IN 1967?!

 

Thanks for reading this week! Next time we’ll be skipping ahead just a month to August 1967, to see what those randy royals are up to with Chatelaine!