Maggie is our host for Throwback Thursday this week and her questions are all about growing up.
Think about your first haircut. We’re you the kid that cut your own hair? Did you go to a salon or did your parents cut your hair? Did your parents save a lock of your hair?
When I was very small, I had naturally curly hair. I remember being taken to the local hairdresser to have my hair cut a few times. Mum used to put it in curlers to make “sausage curls”. I hated curlers and eventually refused to have them in any more. Later on, I refused to have my hair cut except for mum to trim the split ends and I grew it long until I was about sixteen. My hair was, and still is, very thick. Mum used to comb it for me before school every morning. Once it started to grow, I wore it in a ponytail or a plait, occasionally two plaits. When I was ready to get it cut short, I asked mum to do it and to save the plait which she did. I don’t know what became of it.
How about shaving? Fathers often teach their sons to shave. Most girls I know, decided for themselves when to shave their legs and their underarms. Some cultures do not shave at all.
When I was old enough to worry about body hair, I chose to use cream to remove it rather than shaving. To this day I’ve never shaved my arms or legs.
Did you alter your clothes? Cut jeans into cut-offs? Cut the sleeves off t-shirts? Wear graphic tees? Tie-dyes? Sew patches on your jeans?
I would have got into trouble with mum if I’d started cutting pieces out of my clothes. I didn’t wear jeans as a child, when I began to, they got patched by mum if they got holes in them.
Was there a time you remember challenging the authority in your household. Do you remember the first time you found your voice?
Nope, I don’t think I really did that much.
What about piercings? Girls getting their ears pierced was a rite of passage for girls. Then boys started getting one ear pierced. As time passed, piercings became more mainstream and accepted.
I have never had any piercings. I remember girls at school getting it done and they often seemed to get infections from DIY piercing. It looked like it would hurt and I didn’t fancy it. When I was at school the only girls allowed to wear earrings were those who had pierced ears and they were only allowed to wear a “sleeper”, a plain ring or stud to stop the holes closing over.
Did you walk on the wild side? Smoking? Drinking? Did your parents know?
What about tattoos? Did you get a tattoo while still living at home? Did your parents approve?
Mum would not have approved but I didn’t want one anyway. You didn’t see girls covered in ink when I was young. I always thought that tattoos were a bad idea. There was a degree of discomfort in getting one and if you got tired of them later, they were going to be a pain in the neck to get rid of. To be honest I still don’t find tattoos very attractive but that is just my opinion.
What about language? Was swearing allowed in your family? Did you use the same language around your friends as you did at home with your family?
The worst word mum used was “damn” although she usually said “damnation” because she didn’t think it sounded as bad. The occasional “bloody” was acceptable but you would never hear mum using the F-word. I don’t think she would have liked us using it either. The friends I hung out with didn’t really swear so I didn’t have to modify my language.
Think back to high school. Girls, did you iron your hair? Did you color your hair? (using Sun-in counts!) Guys, did you grow a beard or moustache? Did you grow your hair long? Feel free to share a photo of yourself back in the day.
I didn’t iron my hair. I had never even heard of that until I read “Go Ask Alice”. I doubt it would have worked on my thick hair anyway. I never coloured it either. I just wasn’t interested in looking fashionable or trying to be cool. I was probably a nerd. I did grow my hair long from age about nine to sixteen but I rarely wore it loose even though it was the seventies.
The first photo below was from my first year of high school aged about thirteen. You can’t see my hair but I wore it in a plait then. Those frizzy bits always annoyed me and were the reason that I eventually decided to cut it and let the natural curl prevail. I was often taken for Italian at that age. I was about twenty-two when the second picture below was taken. Most of my other pictures from my teens are on film or slides and most of them I would prefer not to share. I didn’t have really long hair at that time but it is longer than I wear it now.
Many people think our authentic self is the person we were as young children. Are you still inherently the same person you were as a child or have you changed your personality and demeanor along the way?
I think I am basically the same person with more experience of life of course. I’m a bit less shy and more outgoing. I still like my space though. I’m not a social butterfly. I’m still stubborn, if I don’t want to do something nobody is going to make me. I do like going to the hairdresser now but I don’t follow fashion. I’d rather be comfortable than trendy. I’m more cynical and less naive now of course but I don’t think I’m radically different from what I was as a teen.