“Girls, You’re Wonderful, But . . .”—Dick Clark
Ever been at a dance or a party when all the fellows put their heads together and start gabbing away like mad? Suddenly one of the girls draws a bead on the circle and just drifts into hearing range. Then there’s a lull in the chatter, and the next thing that strikes your feminine ears is idle banter about baseball, track or the movies. Soon the guys start edging away and you wonder “Just what were they talking about?”
Ive noticed it myself on “American Bandstand.” Three or four of the boys will be in a football huddle, and when a girl tries to join in it’s just like the referee blowing the whistle.
The reason I noticed it? . . . Well, last weekend at one of our record hops, the matter was raised by a pert little redhead who had played the feminine role in one of these between-record dramas. She was still a mite dazed when she bumped into me. “Is it me?” She asked. I assured her, and I assure you if it ever happens to you, “No, it’s just that they are talking ‘Boy Talk.’ ”
And what do boys talk about? Girls.
That’s the secret of these excited gatherings with the sidelong looks. You might think that Joey, Bill, Paul and Tony tell you everything, but let me guarantee that they don’t. For instance, when they show up for a date they’ll tell you that you look pretty. They’d never tell you if you were wearing too much makeup. Or while they might compliment you on your new plaid skirt, they’d go barefoot through the snow before they’d tell you it was too short.
Of course, tomorrow in the corridor between classes, Joe can tell Bill and Paul and Tony. But that’s their little secret and it’s not to be shared with girls.
This isn’t any surprise, is it? | mean that boys notice those things. They do and they talk about them. Perhaps the main reason they don’t talk about them in front of girls is that they don’t think the girls would take advantage of this good advice, freely given. Would you?
Just for fun, suppose we take a short stroll around the dance floor. You be invisible and maybe they’ll think I’m all alone.
Here’s a likely looking group, and what did I tell you—they are talking about you. In fact, I believe they’re talking about makeup (a lot of boys have very serious thoughts on that subject). That’s Bill Horneff of Philadelphia saying, “A good-looking girl shouldn’t have to use much makeup. In fact, some girls can overuse it to the point where it can look like their faces are chapped.”
Francis Tomasetti agrees, “I don’t like too much makeup, it hides a girl’s beauty.”
Kenneth Murphy adds, “A girl should be at least seventeen or eighteen before she goes in for real heavy makeup. When they start too young it just looks wrong on them.”
James Salter, from Wheaton, Maryland, chimes in with, “That happens when a girl starts trying to act a lot older than she really is, and that’s bad anyway.”
Wait a second, fellows, I think Bill Roth from National Park, New Jersey, has a word he’d like to shoot out. Bill, the floor is yours: “I don’t really think the fault is the makeup, it’s that a lot of girls don’t know how to use it.”
Tim Bowers, Martinsburg, West Virginia, seconds that and comments, “Some girls just follow the crowd on this. If one girl wears a lot of makeup all the rest of the girls think they should, too.”
The discussion goes on, but you sort of get the drift, don’t you? Boys do notice things like makeup, and they do notice how you use it. There are other things that they notice, too.
“Those short skirts . . .” That’s Tony Porrini speaking. “A girl should make sure to choose the right length.” Bill Horneff pipes up, “Some girls look real great in them.” But Tim Bowers points out, “Some do, but a lot of girls choose the wrong length and it just spoils their appearance when they do.”
How about you? When you wear short skirts—because they are in style—do you first find the right “shortness” ? Boys notice those things.
What was that you said, Tony Ricciardi? You don’t like pony tails either? Why not? “Well, when you’re out dancing they can be pretty annoying,” Tony explains. “When you’re listening to that dreamy music, just gliding along, and then all of a sudden she turns her head and you get boffed by the pony tail.” The murmur you hear in the background must mean that some of the other fellows know just what Tony means.
Joe Wissert has a thought on hairdos: “Most girls don’t look right in those short hairdos. Instead of just cutting it and piling it up on top, I think a lot of girls should try the styles in private and then settle on the one that fits them best.” And then they can go to the other extreme and that’s what Bill Horneff means when he warns, “I don’t like the short hairdos either, but it doesn’t look right either when it’s too long.” Undecided? No, not these boys. They just think that if you’re going to let you hair down, go ahead—but stop right around the shoulders.
And while these “gentlemen prefer blondes”—and adore brunettes, redheads and what-have-your as well—they have some words of caution for the girls who bleach their hair. “Don’t pour it on,” Bob Nilsson of Massapequa, Long Island, warns, “it just makes hair look like straw.”
That’s a pet hate of quite a few of the fellows. The crowd agrees that a dark-haired girl can goof when trying to bleach her hair. “If she’s going to bleach her hair anyway, let her go ahead,” Bill Roth advises, “but be sure to make a good job of it.” Tim Bowers chimes in with, “It can look okay if the girl has light hair to begin with, or is an off-blonde.”
I’ve heard that subject warmed over at many a record hop and the chief complaint boils down to the idea that too many girls who do bleach their hair don’t keep after it enough. The concensus seems to be that it’s perfectly okay to bleach, “but keep a check on it.” And here’s a tip: The boys all get up in arms when you’re blonde on top, and dark brown or black at the roots!
While you might get the idea that the boys are a little critical of you girls when they’re together, let me assure you that many of them think you’re just as tough on each other. Bob Nilsson threw out the bait, “I think girls can be a bit too critical of other girls.” John Curcio of Freehold, New Jersey, and Joe Thompson of Philadelphia were ready with, “Some girls are a bit too critical of boys also.” Ted Smith of Philadelphia squared the circle with, “Sure girls do tear up other girls, but fellows are just as guilty.”
I get the idea that at least we’ve found a fault we share in common, but way over on the other side of the dance floor I hear a voice whisper, “Guys never do that.” Oh no?
But let’s move here on this side of the dance floor and lend an ear while some of the fellows reminisce about those “little” things that can turn a date into an armed truce. Denny Dziena, of Philadelphia, is telling a friend, “I’ll never understand girls. They have the craziest dispositions. Some just seem to get mad at anything and no matter what you do you’re always wrong. Sometimes they have a reason, but other times, no.”
Tony Ricciardi knows just what Denny means. “For instance, you’re walking along the street on a date, and you say hello to another girl. Boom! You’re in trouble. Even if you know the other girl real well.”
Tony Porrini thinks this is bad, but it’s even worse when, as Ed Kelly agrees, “You have a misunderstanding with one girl and all of her girlfriends get mad at you.” How do you get out of that one?
The system Tony Porrini uses makes sense. “The best way is just to ignore it and work it out with your girlfriend.”
And girls, if you’re the type who thinks she can make a big impression on her date by laughing at everything he says, forget it. “Giggling at everything you say, even when you’re not trying to be funny, can ruin an evening,” according to John Curcio. And John Egan thinks that’s as bad as his pet hate: “You are out on a date with one girl and all of a sudden she starts talking about her other dates.” Ken Murphy would add another topic, “When all they can talk about is their girlfriends.”
Maybe the girl doesn’t realize she’s doing it, and then again it could be just a little act she’s whipped up, hoping to arouse his interest. Either way, both of those subjects don’t pluck the heart strings of the fellows. Frank Masciuilli spoke for most the guys when he commented, “It’s silly.”
It might be, but Ed Brady of Hyattsville, Maryland, has a different opinion, “Some girls might just be doing it as part of an act. Perhaps,” he adds, “trying to be yourself, to be more individualistic, would be the best way to get out of those ruts.”
That’s a point that many fellows all seemed to be agreed upon. Jimmy Searle, of Philadelphia, put it into words when he said that girls run around in crowds too much. According to my spies, you girls get mad when your best boy decides he’d like to go out with the crowd—but then he’s supposed to be understanding when you want to go out with the girls. If it’s news to anybody, he doesn’t understand at all. I think “too possessive” would be the words you can overhear as you flit by.
But getting back to that crowd instinct, Jimmy Seale says, “it’s really tough when you go to a dance with someone you don’t know too well and then she spends most of her time chatting with her friends while you’re just left to wait.”
“Wait till they start whispering together, though,” Tim Bowers tells us. “Then you are really in trouble.”
“Another thing that gets me,” George Barford, of Oakford, Pennsylvania, declares, “is when you stop in afterwards for a soda, and it’s been real nice up to that point. All of a sudden her girlfriends pour in, and you’re out in the cold. It’s a real lonesome feeling.”
“I really burn though,” Bill Roth adds, “when you are driving along getting advice on how to handle the car from your date. It’s even worse when she doesn’t have a driver’s license herself.”
“Sure that can be miserable.” That’s John Curcio speaking. “But what if you don’t have a car? A lot of girls won’t even give you a chance for a date.”
Joe Thompson has a thought on this. “A lot of girls fifteen years old or even sixteen think it’s better to go with guys eighteen or twenty because they have cars.”
Most of the fellows will go along with that, and some add “and more money too.” But on the general money scene I can honestly report that most of the fellows think you girls are okay when it comes to matching entertainment with their wallets. They all seem to agree that when they ask you out on a date, they pay the way, and gladly. “I wouldn’t feel right if the girl paid,” seems to be their motto.
The best way to start a date, though, is to keep it once you’ve made the engagement. A pet hate of Paul Abrams of Philadelphia is “A girl standing a fellow up at the last minute.” I can hear those “me toos” fellows.
And when that date is over, how about a good-night kiss? Well if it’s the first date the fellows are pretty divided on that question, too. They don’t get mad if you give them a polite “No.” But please make it polite. Don’t get all upset and think he is the worst guy in the world—just for trying. Jim Salter speaks for many boys when he says, “We don’t think any less of the girl who lets you kiss her on the first date, but we have more respect for those who don’t.”
And it may surprise you to know that most of the fellows feel they can tell whether you’re going to say “Yes” or “No” before they even try for that one goodnight kiss. But how far ahead do you make up your mind anyway? And do you ever change it?
Now how about over here . . . oh-oh, they saw us coming. That’s about all of the gab we can check on now. How about it girls? Can we bring some fellows along to listen in on your party line next time? I’m sure you have some opinions of your own that the fellows never get a chance to hear about. Let’s let them in on your little secrets. Just keep those letters coming to me here at Photoplay.
See you next month—DICK
P.S. If you want to know who’s tops in musicland, don’t miss Photoplay’s June issue. It goes on sale May 5 and it’s brimming over with a Rock ’n’ Roll Yearbook that’ll really put you at the head of the class. I’ve been elected recording secretary and I’ll be filling the pages with scoops on new records and hit songs, predictions on new trends in music and on the guys and gals who’ll be swinging on a star this coming year.
DON’T MISS DICK ON ABC-TV, ON “AMERICAN BANDSTAND,” MON. – FRI. 4 TO 5:30 P.M. EST, AND “THE DICK CLARK SHOW,” SAT., 7:30 P.M. EST.
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE MAY 1959