The 80's were not good for fashion, truly. I remember the florescent clothes, the leg warmers, the preppy polos and sweaters over the shoulders, the gloves with the fingers cut out, the rosary beads and the big hair. The movie, The Breakfast Club, kind of summed up the different social groups and their fashions. Jennifer related to Ally Sheedy's character but life would have been easier as Molly Ringwald (or so Jennifer thought). As much as she despised phoniness, she envied the girls who fit in.
I think it stems from all the moving. If Jennifer had stayed in one place, she and her set of friends would have grown up together. They would have shaped each others styles and tastes. Jennifer didn't grow up with anybody. She changed friends, parents, pets and even siblings on a regular basis. She did not share her childhood with anyone for more than a few years. She had no social identity.
She knew what she wasn't--she wasn't a fashion plate, a prep, a jock or a punk rocker. She tried to be "mod" because it was California casual and cheap. When she saw the name brand stores begin to copy the thrift store look--it was the ultimate fashion betrayal. She just wanted to give up!
Jennifer vaguely remembers the green-haired ladies. The scene upset her so much because she felt like people were laughing at the old ladies. It reminded her of how people laugh at chimps wearing clothes or bears riding bikes in the circus. In hindsight she thinks the ladies were pretty cool, but at the time, she thought they were making fools of themselves. Jennifer lacked a sense of humor, which was probably one of her biggest problems. It's not that her life was so bad, it's that she took everything so seriously.
Also, regarding Jennifer's fear of aging, she had no living grandparents and no aunts or uncles who visited her. She did not know one elderly person. She didn't see any upside to being old. She was lucky enough to meet Jeff's parents later in 1985. They ended up "adopting" Jennifer as a granddaughter.
Once she got used to them, she fell in love with them! She enjoyed listening to their stories. Where once she saw weakness, she learned to see wisdom. She is so grateful for them because they opened her heart to the elderly and they loved her when she felt unlovable.
Jennifer writes about talking to herself. She worried that she might be crazy. I don't know, but I think that if you are truly crazy, you aren't aware of it. She knew it was odd and she knew that she was only talking to herself. It might have felt real, but she never thought it was real. She never heard anyone talking back to her. I think that talking out loud was another way for Jennifer to express herself. She had Ophelia and she had herself--the only things in her life that moved with her!