Thursday, July 10, 2014

TBT - Being 15

Aside from showcasing my VERY early attempts at scrapbooking, I'm also sharing a story with you for this week's Throwback Thursday.

My 15th birthday party was a surprise that I almost didn't attend. It was summer (so technically it was a party for my half birthday), and I just wasn't feeling up to going over to someone's house and hanging out. I thought about canceling.

But my mom, who in hindsight was clearly in on the surprise, convinced me to just go. "You'll have a good time once you get there," she said.

And boy did I.

We ate a huge sub sandwich and an M&M casserole (a mixture of every flavor of M&Ms). We scrounged through my friend's old dress-up trunk and put on fabulous outfits made up of old dance recital costumes and my friend's mom's old dresses. We layered our eyelids in bright blue eyeshadow and wrote the names of our favorite boy band members on our arms in red lipstick. (It was all about Brian Littrell from BSB and J from Five for me.) Then, we staged a photo shoot of ourselves in these crazy get-ups.

To top it off, later that night we decided to do a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood, still wearing our costumes. We went to a few houses asking for random things. We basically just made it up as we went along: red candles, napkins, rubber bands.

When it became clear to us that a group of five giggling girls dressed like dance class rejects walking around unchaperoned at 10:00 at night was probably freaking out some people, we headed back to my friend's house where her mom promptly scolded us for leaving the house without telling her.

And we did it all without drugs, alcohol, or boys.

I tell you that because through all of my YA novel reading (and movie watching and TV show watching) I have yet to see an accurate representation of my experience as a teenage girl. Why is there always underage drinking and drug use in these novels? Even the outcast girls are always a little bit pretty and having sex with all their male love interests.

I get that movies, TV, and books are a form of escapism, where the girl always gets the guy. But sometimes I just want something REAL. And I don't want teenage girls who read these books to think that these stories and characters are real. I don't want them to think that boyfriends are the be-all end-all or that you have to go to "popular kid" parties to have a good time.

Get creative. Use your imaginations. Listen to the Spice Girls (and if you don't know who they are, ask your mom.) Just be yourself and if other people look at you funny, like that time at sophomore homecoming when we Vogue'd using negative space on the dance floor next to a group of juniors and seniors who clearly didn't think we were as talented as we did, then just smile and keep on Voguing.

Those other people don't know what they're missing.

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