Remember the Brady Bunch episode “My Fair Opponent,” in which Marcia takes pity on a plain girl in her class named Molly Webber, and ends up making Molly so popular that she winds up beating out Marcia herself for the honor of hosting Banquet Night and being escorted by an astronaut?
Well, never mind those details. The plot isn’t important here. What’s important is what passes for a plain Jane in 1972 and what passes for a “knockout,” in the words of Peter Brady.
Look at the before shots of Molly Webber on the left. She’s shy, sulky, shoe-gazing and librarian-haired. She wears foreign exchange student glasses and a Little House on the Prairie dress.
In short, she’s absolutely gorgeous.
Now look at her on the right. Those are the after shots. That’s what happens when you leave a 14-year old in charge of your makeover in 1972, even if that 14-year old is Marcia Brady.
You get bad makeup; you get clothing that is both dowdy and tacky, and accentuates the barely budding curves of femininity in all the wrong ways (the girl equivalent of the ninth-grade starter moustache.)
Hairwise, they gave her “The Jan,” with those prominent curling-iron batwings that fall at eye level and serve to draw your attention in toward the powder-blue eye shadow and heavily applied rouge.
That episode was made 40 years ago!
Today we know better. Today we appreciate the old Molly Webber.