Enjoying the blog? like the page on facebook!
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.
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.
*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.