Credit: Lifetime

It takes a lot to please tough cookie Abby Lee Miller — which is probably why we rarely see her smile. But the Dance Moms company director does have a softer side to her (we think) and it’s even more evident in this almost-unrecognizable old pic of the TLC reality star.

Remember those glamour shots that were so popular in the ‘80s and ‘90s — the ones you’d get done at the mall? Looks like Abby Lee was a fan of those, as well. The tell-it-like-it-is lady is rocking the big, teased hair of the era (great side bangs!) and is grinning from ear to ear. She looks so calm and approachable.. wonder if she was different back then or if she was just better at hiding her tough-as-nails nature?

After watching how Abby interacts with those talented tweens and their stage moms each week, we’ve always been a little terrified of her. This old snap sort of changes our opinion of her — though not entirely. We still wouldn’t want to be getting on her bad side any time soon.

The studio owner has really been utilizing her cutthroat nature this season, reinforcing to all of the girls on the team that “everyone is replaceable” as she searches for a new member. Don’t forget to be human sometimes, Ab!

Did this old photo shock you as much as it did us? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Abby Lee Dance Company

Samantha Lear is an Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!