The Dionne Quintuplets — Five of a Kind, 1938
Before everyone had cameras, the baby picture was the purview of Mom and Dad. Among so many other things, we have them to thank for remembering to capture us as we once were: smaller, rounder, goofier, balder. (Although, in some cases, less bald.)
"Diaper backward spells repaid," the distinguished social critic Marshall McLuhan once observed. And who are we to argue with that?
Today, in honor of Mother's Day, we've gathered some of our favorite images from an earlier era — before apps and tags, when pools had nothing to do with Flickr. Some came to us with the scalloped edges redolent of the early Sixties, while others arrived indelibly tinged with the citrus hues from the earth-tone-Seventies. People from all over the world sent in school snapshots, dog-eared wallet photos, and faded Polaroids, all offering solid evidence of the degree to which we all made atrocious wardrobe choices. (Come to think of it, maybe that was Mom and Dad's purview, too.) Throughout the images that follow are striking similarities between then and now — a preserved jawline, an enduring smirk — and just as many surprising differences. (See "balder," above.)
Every last one of us began as a tinier version of what we are now, and if ever there was a moment to stop and consider that fact, today is it: the day we remember our dear Mothers, who sacrificed their sleep and their waistlines and so much more.
Thank you, mothers of design people. And Happy Mother's Day to all.
Elaine Lustig Cohen
Nancy Sharon Collins
Denise Gonzales Crisp
Tina Roth Eisenberg
Jason Santa Maria
Matt Soar — Photo credit: David Ward, Studio Six and a Half
Todd St. John