How to justify not growing out of it

How to justify not growing out of it

If your teenage years were anything like mine, you’ll have often heard “I wouldn’t worry, it’s just a phase” during conversations about your pink hair / activism / penchant for corsetry / statement of choice. Then suddenly, wonderfully, everyone accepts it. Then you reach the end of your period of grace…

If your teenage years were anything like mine, you will have heard something along the lines of “I wouldn’t worry, it’s just a phase” or “there’s no harm in a bit of experimentation while you’re young enough to get away with it” many a time during conversations about your purple hair / panda eyes / lip piercing / penchant for corsetry / alternative statement of choice. Well, congratulations, it seems to have worked thus far! Your parents and friends have turned a blind eye to your eccentricities, or maybe even grown quite fond of them.

But now you’re reaching the end of your period of grace. Everyone around you seems to be getting jobs, families and – horror of horrors – sensible haircuts. Something you’ve suspected all along has suddenly become entirely obvious – your odd dress sense and loud music were not just a part of growing up at all, but a part of you. Hooray! You’ve had an identity epiphany! Although this does raise certain questions… how do you explain yourself to everyone who assumed you’d ‘grow out of it’? And how do you feel mooktastically mature and goddess-like in a world that appears to consider your choices childish?

1. Let your style grow with you

We all know that natural beauty improves with age, so why shouldn’t the image you’ve created get sexier along with it? Sure ,I’ll always have a soft spot for black lipstick and spiked jewelry, but this great adventure called getting older has opened my eyes to the stunning alternative potential of seamed stockings and deep red lips as well. Unmistakably Gothic, unerringly sophisticated.

2. Find employment amongst like-minded souls

I appreciate that these are cold economic climes, and you can’t always get the job you want. But – if you can find the opportunity – stick it to everyone who implies that you’re not taking your adult responsibilities very seriously by finding an alternative career in which your unique style and world view make you the perfect candidate for the job. For example, most journalists gain respect by dressing smartly for work, but a music journalist can show passion for her profession by wearing her favorite old band tee to the office.

3. Think of the opportunities…

Poor alternative teenagers are tragically lacking in two things: money and independence. Those of us in our twenties and upwards with jobs, on the other hand, have some kind of income and power over our own destinies. Why would we grow up when we’ve only just got our license see ALL the festivals and look sexy in ALL the corsets and stalk ALL the bands and eat ALL the packets of pickled onion Monster Munch?

4. Think of the future and smile…

There is nothing I love more than seeing full-on heavy metal parents with their ear-defender-bedecked children rocking out together at festivals. Except for maybe stunningly beautiful older women who still turn every head in the room with their individual style. Who wouldn’t want a life of making people smile just by being different?

5. Damn the consequences!

So, you were an awkward black-clad geeky teenage caterpillar, and you’re now breaking out of your cocoon. SURPRISE! You’re a gorgeous black-clad geeky grown-up butterfly! You’d better get used to it, because you’ve got a lifetime of experimentation ahead of you…

You may not have been born alternative.

Your later years may not be alternative.

So you may as well trust the present. Photo: The lovely GothicJade.