26 August 2006

Can we talk about Bershon?

The other day the inimitable Dooce sprang the idea of Bershon on the world, an idea that SHE got from Sarah Brown of Que Sera Sera.
"Bershon is pretty much how you feel when you're 13 and your parents make you wear a Christmas sweatshirt and then pose for a family picture, and you could not possibly summon one more ounce of disgust, but you're also way too cool to really even DEAL with it, so you just make this face like you smelled something bad and sort of roll your eyes and seethe in a put-out manner." (quote from Sarah Brown)
Dooce posted some hilarious photos of herself looking quite Bershon.

Now there is a Bershon Flickr tag and an I'm So Bershon Flickr group, and there have been some hilarious and very, very Bershon images posted.

But let's talk about Bershon, because there have been some so NOT Bershon photos posted that I think we need clearer definition. Actually, Sarah Brown's quote above is all you need to know about what IS Bershon.

I think we need to talk about what is NOT Bershon. Here is my list so far. Why do I get to decide? Because I'm the Decider. And because I thought of it first. So nyah.

1. Babies with cranky faces are not Bershon. Bershon implies a certain self-conscious world-hating attitude that only develops with time and hormones. Little kids may appear to be Bershon, but we are projecting.
2. Photos of someone who is kind of uncomfortable but who is about to crack up are not Bershon.
3. People who are just bored are not Bershon.
4. People who are stoic are not Berson.
5. Old people, in general, are not Bershon, though there may be exceptions.
6. Animals are not Bershon. Animal are animals.

And, in case you need one perfect example, THIS is the face of Bershon. Seethe, Bershon Girl, seethe! It's going to be a long, hard adolescence, because it is tough being cooler than everyone else in the world. I know. I've been there.

18 comments:

super des said...

My sister was the queen of Bershon. I didn't do it that often. I usually stuck my tongue out. Ans still do.

mothergoosemouse said...

I'm liking this Bershon business. Mostly because I was never allowed to be Bershon. We had to suck it up and smile, dammit. At all times.

Nothing will top that pic you linked, but still I will search the photo archives for a possible Bershon example of myself.

Be Still said...

I actually don't think I have a single picture of myself at 13 that isn't Bershon.

Mocha said...

Oh goodness... I'm quite afraid of all the Bershon pics I can put my fingers on at this time... scary.

jonniker said...

That is precisely Bershon. God, I had about a frillion Bershon moments growing up of course, but hell if I can find a photo of the Bershon-ness.

Trasi said...

All of my bershonitude was captured on polaroid film and is stuck in a decrepit, definitely not acid-free, not lignen-free (whatever the F lignen is!), super cheezy, faux-leather photo albums. And I haven't got a scanner to share. Or a Flickr account. But trust me, I was sssooooo beyond awesome. I could have told you back then. If I deigned to speak to you.

NursePam said...

LOL! I was the Mistress of Bershon in my house when I was that age.

*mem'ries*

Lisa said...

LOVE that photo. Yup. That's It!

Mom101 said...

Oh my God these are awesome. I'm afraid I looked like this more often than I intended too-not because I was truly pouting but with the braces, I never wanted to smile.

(and that decider link: genius!)

SUEB0B said...

Mom-101 - thanks, because I was just driving around, thinking "I bet no one clicked on that really cool 'I'm the decider' link." You have restored my faith.

gandhi rules said...

I love this post so much and I love the pics. God I remember many a bershon moment.
Yes I totally agree with you being the Decider. You guidelines are perfect.

wordgirl said...

I wonder exactly when I became Bershon. Or...was I just born that way. Maybe it was when my mother trimmed my bangs with her sewing scissors until they looked like a brushy moustache over my eyebrows. I'm still recovering.

Heather B. said...

As always a great description of Bershon or at least a great description of what I had defined as Bershon based on Sarah Brown's original description.

so, any bershon pics of you with a red stapler?

Izzy said...

hah! I have tons of those kinds of pics from adolescence.

Nancy said...

I am sure I have some Bershon pics. I will have to go see if I can unearth them in my vast collection of bad photos.

Margie said...

After browsing the Bershon pool, I see that there is a need for a Decider, definitely! Another example that doesn't seem to apply is the "serious" yearbook or senior photo. That's where the kid looks like that because the photographer said they should, not because they can't summon a smile...I'll bet the photos on either side of that one in the proofs show a perfectly cheerful face.

Anonymous said...

I read somewhere that Kelly Taylor is the patron saint of Bershon. I disagree. Molly Ringwald at the height of her Brat Pack days. See any photo from The Breakfast Club and TRY to disagree with me.

Redneck Mommy said...

I am almost positive that every picture I was ever in from aged 13 to 17 would be in the Bershon era.

No wonder my parents were always so thrilled with me.

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