When I was younger than I am now (I may be older in age but still as loopy as I was at 18 I'm pleased to say), as a generation, we had so many options open to us for trying out different identities. Of course I don't mean stealing a passport and going all Bourne, but I travelled down the road of many styles in a period from the 70s through to the end of the 80s (and maybe a tad beyond).
I have been a:
- Mod - more two-tone I guess with the black and white dresses
- Punk - bondage trousers so tight I could hardly walk and I positively rattled with chains! I had the best black boots with skull fastenings ever made.
- Rocker - gotta love some black leather, jeans and a motorbike
- Ant person - you could pin almost any feather or ribbon to your clothes so long as you had a white stripe across your face. I deserted him when he went all Prince Charming
- Numanoid - just a big ol' grrrrrrrr for Gazza with the black suit and white hair. I would happily have met him down in the park
- Goth - all black, my favourite
My hair joined me in my adventures and has gone many different shades of brown through orange (not intentionally - bad use of hair dye), black and blonde. I tried white hair but as close as I could get with all the colour in mine was a white on top, orange in the middle and pink at the bottom - not really what I wanted! Mind you, you would probably be charged a lot if you asked for that in a salon ;-)
I wish I had some photos but there were no digital cameras for us back then and I recall my parents only took photos on holidays or for special occasions as it could be up to a year before the film was full and developed!
I recall my mum telling me she had been quite embarrassed when I walked off down the road for the first time with my boyfriend both dressed in full Adam and the Ants regalia. Ribbons in hair, feather boa sewn down the side of trousers, military jacket, thick make-up - and that was just him! Her friend said we looked fantastic and very colourful. I was surprised it had bothered her as it wasn't the first of my escapades into the dressing up box of teenage years but it possibly was the boldest.
I recall going to our local fair down by the leisure centre. There was always a fight or two between rival groups. However, for some reason, no-one picked one with the Ant People. I suspect they throught the boys all dressed up in feathers and make-up were either hard as nails or likely to run away screaming so they just left us alone :)
My eldest daughter is now 13. I like most of the music she listens to and haven't yet got old enough to even move away from Capital or Kiss to Radio 2 in the car, but the kids of her age seem to have no-one to follow like we did. No-one in the charts has any specific style culture that the girls (and boys) can get into, buy the clothes and walk around like. They simply all look the same. You can see it when you go past any school at the end of the day. A set of monotone clones walking along. No-one stands out.
Do you know, I still miss the days of dressing up (not like that you naughty lot), black make-up, lipstick, nail varnish and the wildest of clothes and tottering off down the street (I almost always had staggeringly high heeled shoes or boots - no DMs for me!).
Roll on my next birthday. Maybe I'll make it a punk/goth/Abba (yeah, I can mix it up) party! :)