Dear me at 16:
Get over it. You’re not hardcore. Not even a little bit.
You’re sixteen. No one understands you or your music. That’s a universal thing, sweetheart. Teenaged angst is not just your thing.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I fully support you exploring music outside of the Top 40. Listening to alternative and punk, though, does not mean that you are punk. It’s not a free pass to wear those bleached and ripped up jeans from Salvation Army. It doesn’t mean that you can forgo showering five days out of the week. It doesn’t mean that you should wear a men’s band tee Every. Single. Day.
I understand that you despise the mass-produced clothing and music idolized by so many of your classmates. I understand that your classmates aren’t socially conscious and ignore you when you climb on your soapbox about women‘s issues or various obscure third world countries‘ violations of the UN‘s Bill of Human Rights. Is it necessary for you to write poems for English class criticizing them for worshipping the Abercrombie gods and their chronic overuse of perfume and cologne? Different strokes for different folks, dude. Just because you’re marching to your own drummer doesn’t mean that everyone else has to. It doesn’t mean that you need to criticize them for taking a different path.
It is possible to be an individual without filling up your frequent customer punch card from Hot Topic. So, please, put away the torn up Converse you so artfully graffitied with song lyrics. You are perfectly capable of asserting your individuality without following your friends to punk shows and thrift stores. Take some time and figure out who you are rather than jumping at who other people want you to be.
Also, you may want to tone down the soap box routine a bit. Being labeled a “feminazi” will not help your case in any way.
P.S. Remember all those times the DARE officer warned you about peer pressure? Remember how you are (and will remain) a sucker for peer pressure? In a couple years, your friend will suggest that you do something, and you’ll go along with it. Don’t. For the love of God, DO NOT LET ANYONE TALK YOU INTO DYING YOUR HAIR HOT PINK. The box will say it’s “semi-permanent” (ha!) and will only last six weeks (haha!). Really it means that the dye will last through two years and five hair cuts. Put the box back on the shelf and walk away. Please. Your hair follicles will thank you.
A rural Michigander, Alison splits her time between college, a job that involves handling raw meat, and blogging it up at http://literarycrap.blogspot.com/. Despite regrets over her high school fashion choices, she definitely still trots out the obscure band tees and Chuck Taylors when she’s not going out in public.