#84 Embarrassed – ‘Celebrate Yourself, Respect Difference’

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I can’t be the only one who suddenly starts denying the existence of things out of embarrassment. Like when Shaun Davidson was over playing at my house and found a poster I had made with magazine cut outs of the Spice Girls. At first I didn’t understand his surprise at the find, I didn’t think it was a big deal at all. I eventually just assumed it was because he was more of a TLC kind of guy.

He wasn’t.

I went into school the next day to a wall of wind ups, people singing Spice Girls songs at me, people saying I loved Geri Haliwell*, saying I was gay*, and the rest can be summarised as generalised abuse. Naturally as a 7 year old, my reaction was complete denial. There was no poster.

After yesterdays events, where I was involved in a plane crash lost a child’s umbrella, I woke today to see the reaction to that post. I like to think I get over things quite quickly, I mean when the Spice Girls split up I only cried for 4 to 6 months afterwards. So I was over the umbrella loss by the time my head had hit the pillow last night. In fact I was not just over it, but slightly embarrassed that it caused such a reaction in me. My original modus operandi today was just to deny the existence of the post yesterday, even more so the event and move on.

Although I must say the reaction of people was far more understanding and appreciative than my class mates were 21 years ago. I had a stream of wonderful comments, and this is the bit which struck me.

It is the reaction to something which partly shapes who we are. Had my ‘friends’ 21 years ago asked to see my poster, and ask how I was able to cut around their heads so well. I would of been happy to show them. In fact I probably would of went on to make more posters. Who knows what I may have become after that, I may have been the chief poster maker for the whole country, or started a poster revolution in which posters were the reason we treated people fairly. I may have even made poster wallpaper and been the modern day William Morris. I could of founded Saatchi and Saatchi, or Fumpity Fump, as I would of called it, and reinvented the imagery around us. I could have been one of the pillars of modern British culture.

But I wasn’t, and I’m not.

The suppression of oneself seems to start young. Theres the pressures to appear ‘cool’ or to like the same things as everyone else. Difference is ridiculed and creativity is undervalued. I haven’t attended primary school for 20 years so maybe the classroom has changed, but something tells me it has not. Society is constructed in a way that we are encouraged to just do our best to fit in, get along and study for those grades.

Today made me realise I don’t need to be embarrassed for myself, for my reaction, or my historical Spice Girls poster creativity. Thankfully I am at an age where I just don’t give a shit anymore. I do however worry about the young impressionable people who will be made in to carbon copy exam machines, instead of the William Morris’ poster revolutionaries of tomorrow.

Celebrate yourself, and respect difference.

Mindfump.

*Which wasn’t true, I loved Posh Spice.

*I didn’t realise this but the criteria for being gay changed from being sexually attracted to the opposite sex, to making posters. 

 

 

Read more, its good for you.

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29 Comments

  1. desertcurmudgeon

    For what it’s worth, I applaud your Spice Girls-related creativity. When I was a teen, I was fond of prancing around my room in a loose-fitting paisley shirt pretending I was Morrissey. I’m pretty sure that was far more potentially embarrassing than a Spice Girls collage.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Cassandra Stout

    What a shame your ‘friends’ treated you so horribly, and over a Spice Girls poster, no less! I’m so sorry that happened, and had such an effect on you. I’m glad that you’re at the point in your life where you can embrace yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. S. Hansen

    Stop right now! Thank you very much. I can’t believe anyone in the 90s wouldn’t want to spice up your life with their own print of your poster. I mean viva forever, am I right?
    They were giving us everything and all we had to do was say we’d be there, slam our body down and wind it all around.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Paul Sunstone

    Did you grow up in a small town or close-knit community, Mindfump? I grew up in a town of 2,500 people, most of whom could have put the words, “Go along to get along”, on their family crests. I’ve always associated that kind of thinking with close-knit communities.

    By the way, there is a body of science now that very strongly affirms especially creative people, such as yourself (not flattery, just an observation), have brains hardwired from birth for creativity. They also seem to be somewhat in the minority for our species. Could have something to do with why creativity isn’t genuinely valued all that much in most circles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mindfump

      I grew up in a small town, or I thought I did. Until you mentioned how small yours was haha. Mine had around 30,000. Although it was the same as you described, it is just about getting along and fitting in.

      Also you say it is not flattery, but I am definitely being flattered and taking it as a compliment ha. But here is hoping creativity is valued one day. In the UK it used to be valued, we had public grants for the creative arts, which were scrapped. Here in Austria you can take a year out with pay to explore your creativity. So it is valued in some places, but I fear capitalism doesn’t have a lot of room for creativity.

      Like

  5. Courtney Lopez

    I always thought of myself as an outcast because I played with cars and had the Gameboy with all of the Pokemon games when I was a little girl. All of my friends thought I was nuts. After that year, I tried to fit in more and tried to be more “girly”. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as happy as I was when I played with Hot Wheels and Pokemon cards. I definitely see what you mean by difference being ridiculed. Just because I didn’t like “girly” things, it meant I was “weird” or not “part of the group”. I wish I didn’t give a crap back then. Oh, well!

    P.S: I still like Pokemon, only this time I enjoy it without caring what people think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mindfump

      Gosh I loved the gameboy advanced with Pokemon, you would have been the coolest person I knew. Like I say hopefully kids are allowed to like and enjoy whatever they feel like without ridicule, somehow I don’t believe that is the case. Glad you’re still rocking the Pokemon. You must be loving the resurgence.

      Like

      1. Courtney Lopez

        Definitely! My son and daughter like Pokemon too! I always tell my daughter it doesn’t matter what you like just do what makes you happy! It seems to me like what was weird to our generation as children is the norm now. Kids these days!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Ernest

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get three emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thank you!

    Like

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