When I was a teenager my friend’s Mom told me that I was ‘dark and negative’ that I needed to smile more and that I should be less snobby and ‘act like a regular teenage girl.”
I shouldn’t be playing guitar and riding motorcyles, she said. I should be going to parties and hanging out with the girls at the pool. I need to be ‘more feminine’ she said. I should wear makeup because I had that ‘yellow asian skin’ and that I should do something about my big brown ‘horsey looking eyes’
I was thirteen at the time, I didn’t wear makeup because my Mom and Grandmother said I was pretty enough without it- plus I was too young for it and when I turned 16 I could wear it if I wanted too. Mom did buy me those flavored lip glosses that were popular with teenagers at the time, and I thought the way I dressed was pretty cool. I wore jeans and pretty t-shirts that were the rage in the 70’s.
Looking back on it I was dressing age appropriate, which given the times was probably just fine with my parents. And for the rest, I really didn’t start to wear makeup on a regular basis until I was in my mid twenties.
Over the years I thought that maybe I should have listened to my friend’s Mom a little and paid attention to those little details that would have made me, I don’t know- less intimidating I guess.
Maybe she thought she was doing me a favor. It’s hard to be accepted into the herd if you look more like a mangy wolf then a fluffly sheep and being in the herd is important to a lot of people.
To them social acceptance is a mattter of survival.
But lucky for me, though my family weren’t what you’d call super duper close they were super duper accepting of the people around them and that included their somewhat odd family members. So I remember being hurt that my friend’s Mom didn’t think much of me and how I looked and those other things that made me who I was, but honestly in the end I didn’t care.
If you are wondering about my friend and her Mom- well. When we were in our early 40’s I heard my friend was in prison and her Mom ended up in a worse position then that.
My neighbor was helping my friend’s Mom move from where she had been housed for awhile to regular housing and they were talking about the old neighborhood and what her daughter was going through and then she asked about Anita- that weird little kid-whatever happened to her?