Dude decoders, quirky fashion and Dolly magazine
So, my twelve-year-old has been in high school for, like, five minutes and everything is, like, a simile and a question? Even stuff that’s, like, a metaphor or a statement is, like, a simile with a question mark? It’s, like, driving me insane?
She bamboozled her grandparents into buying her first ever copy of Dolly mag, as a reward for not, like, being a DQ during the cervical cancer vaccination at school?
Alas, it’s an excuse - and a vaccine - that wasn’t available to me when the same crowd refused to purchase said mag back in the 80s, except for the time when a girl in my class was, like, on the cover.
Needless to say, I’m devouring every word (under the guise of responsible parenting and because my parents have allowed a copy in my house, AT LAST!)
Last time I read Dolly was when my friend brought her stash of mags to a school camp. It was the same camp where we made up dance routines on the beach to impress boys. Or not, as it happened. For shame! Some of them are now my Facebook friends and I am putting myself out there as a teen fool even dredging this up now.
“How to tell the ‘rents about your latest crush”, a headline screams, and I think back to dropping the name of my first crush into every conceivable sentence, (even if it, like, made no sense?) and leaving the ‘rents and anyone else who hadn’t switched off after the first four hundred or so references to his name in no doubt about how I felt. That was me, back in the day. Understated. Mysterious.
There’s a Dude-decoder in this edition (where was this back in ’89, when knowing to steer clear if ‘he flirts with everyone, including the teachers’ would have been a handy titbit?) and then there’s the guide to musical trendsetters: Ga-ga over GaGa?
I hold the pages up to my face and drink in that familiar scent of teen angst meets an Impulse sample.
Quirky fashion ideas abound. Especially the kind that I was never game enough to pull off.
The prep-school blazer-and-tie thing looks great on the model, but I was the kinda girl who, would have taken it too far and replicated an entire school uniform right down to the regulation bottle-green bloomers.
People would have stopped me in the shops and asked me what school I went to, and I’d have been forced to make up a story about visiting from interstate for a band Eisteddfod or something. So I just wore K-mart jeans and a shirt that you would never see pictured in Dolly for obvious reasons.
Which brings me to the article on “catastrophising”. Another great read that has come twenty-five years too late.
Having ripped open the sealed section, expecting to find the racy snippets we used to dine out on as teens, I uncovered some innocuous Q&A about acne, dandruff and period pain. Is that it?
Granted, there is a confronting (yet useful) article on teen suicide and one puberty-related question from a boy which I’d rather my tween not read just yet but, overall, the magazine is crammed with healthy, empowering messages about positive body image and confidence and friendship.
So, what with my daughter getting her ears pierced two years earlier than I did, and being allowed to read Dolly (at all), my reputation as, like, the Most Unfair Parent in the Known Universe is hanging by a thread now to my tough stance on no Facebook before thirteen.
Except that she’s now, like, OFFICIALLY, the ONLY PERSON in her group of friends who hasn’t lied about her age to get on Facebook? Seriously, she’s taken me through it online and, like, proven it?
Do I “like” that status?
As a mum who has spent the morning refreshing her memory about what it’s like to be in high school, and who also attended a parenting seminar presented by one of the nation’s top cybersafety experts, I’m riddled with more doubt that the readers of Dolly Doctor.
Sigh! Being a ‘rent. Awks.
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