Character Crush – Jo Polniaczek

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by Bevianna Bones

You take the good, you take the bad, you take it all and there we have my very first crush. Jo. Tomboy extraordinaire. Of course at the time, I really just wanted to be like her and have her be my “sister” (since I was too young to understand the concept of “roommates”)

The quintessential badgirl of Eastland School for Young Women, Jo dealt out knuckle sandwiches and showed me early on in life it was ok to be a girl and be tough. Look at that loose tie on that school uniform. Umpfh! And her on that motorcycle, forget it! No one could rock a denim jacket and aviators like her. Bestill my little beating heart.

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And Blair’s. The tension between Jo and Blair has been brought up in pop culture galore, and why not what with all that subtext! You could cut it with a knife…or scissors?

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Too bad Lisa Whelchel is a big ole Jesus lovin’ rightwing Christian fanatic. The Facts of Life Reunion could’ve been so much more. Perhaps this is why a very young George Clooney joined the cast later on as Jo’s beau; they never did really have any chemistry, but the weekly Battle of Mullet was epic even for the 80s. Business Ulfront, party in the rear!!

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That face is how I hope her reaction was when the network told her they cast a man to dispel the rumors that would surround the goings on at a prestigious school for young women.

She really did rock those mullets though. By the gods it’s a thing of beauty! She really set the bar high…oh, if it only had a rat tail, it would’ve disrupted the very fabric of time. Nothing, nothing could have been that eighties. Even during the eighties. But this is as close to perfection as it could come. Oh I just want to run my hands through it in all its feathery glory!

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Again, with that face. That’s the one she made when she figured out Clooney was a man. The hair had thrown her for a loop.

That first crush has carried on all throughout my adult life, I still watch reruns when I come across them, just to see the fellagirilie that stole my heart so long ago. Ahh sigh. Young love.

-BB

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