Mutiny and Fashion

I was a late bloomer. As I hit my teens, my friends in Sweden shot up around me in a blur of leggy, blonde confidence. I remained close to the ground, a frumpy, mousy-haired introvert, acquiring nicknames like ‘Yoda’ and ‘Smurf’. When my family moved to England I remained dowdy and shy, but I gained something new – the status of being a foreigner. This gave me a mysterious appeal that I could not have dreamed of back home. Added to this was my growing unhappiness at the archaic rules of my English school, especially those regarding personal appearance. After witnessing a teacher gleefully wipe the concealer from the face of a distraught, acne riddled classmate during History, I decided the time had come for me to rebel. No more Yoda! England was making me grow up, out of sheer protest. It still took some time, but thanks to Miss Selfridge, Boots’ 17 range and a LOT of staggering around my room, learning how to walk in high heels, I finally emerged, transformed. Gone was the Swedish frump. I was now a fully-fledged, tiny-eyebrowed, British follower of fashion, swigging casually (albeit moderately) from my bottle of Hooch in the pubs at the weekends. I still remember how difficult it was in winter to trudge through the mud and sleet to catch the train to school, while wearing sky-high, plastic Mary Janes. But I also remember the feeling, as I glanced across the train aisle and spotted girls of a similar age to myself, shivering away – their feet frozen to blue lumps inside their ridiculous, shoes. I felt proud. England had given me a newfound, surprising sense of belonging. And after all, what are a few frostbitten toes to a Swede anyway?

mutiny and fashion

 

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