A while back, this guy I went to high school with began dating an (ex)friend of mine. Eventually he felt comfortable enough to assess my current self to my teenage self. You see in high school I gave a total of zero shits about social norms.
I never had a chance to “belong”, so much so that for many of my formative years I didn’t even know I was suppose to try and belong. And I did not grow up on some commune or unexposed to media, I just figured it was all open to interpretation. I could take what the world had to offer and do with it however I pleased. So to cope with the overwhelming social pressures of adolescence, I simply took the route of greatest resistance.
My style, remembered by myself and reminded by him included: combat boots – couldn’t afford Doc Martens, my dads old plaid, hoodies in black or grey, jeans, beauty products: no hairbrush, hippie deodorant (sometimes), black eyeliner. My prom dress was jean material.
PUNK was my music, my community, my social scene, my style, my identity, my attitude, my philosophy.
Beyonce’s new video for “Flawless” with the famous line, “Respect that, Bow down Bitches”, could have been styled by my 16 year old self. She declares “I look so good tonight, goddamn, goddam” in ripped jean shorts, a plaid shirt, messy hair and boots. Her version of empowerment for this commercial enterprise is her smashing about in a mosh pit. And it is empowering, I felt very tough throwing myself into a rage fueled crowd of bodies, in a dark basement, with no sense that any limits apply, limbs thrashing about, the smell of sweat, beer, fear, and a little blood mixing together.
My younger self would be infuriated by this blatant fakery, but my older self hopes that perhaps it inspires a few girls to also take the path of greatest resistance, to rage against the expectations of society and to fight; to happily embrace themselves as flawless.