In the early 90s became obsessed with Heathers at Secondary school. This did not help my street credit anymore than the tent like skirt I hid my tubby little body under. However, this film was a revelation to me, Winona Ryder was quirky, smart and had “transitioned” in to a popular kid from being a nerd.
Something had caused my previous friendship group to have dispersed, maybe it was because I kept insisting on calling it “The Clique” (honestly total nerd). But I found myself in a situation where my best mate inside and outside of school moved up to the “Top Set”. She started to become part of the popular crew and as a result I ended up, bi-proxy, hanging out with the cool kids. Although I never actually “transitioned”. My diary talks about how desperately lonely I was, as the girls I hung out with left me at lunch time to go back to the other’s house, I kinda wandered around a bit like a disembodied spirit. One of the most beautiful girls in school actually used to turn her back on me, and refused to acknowledge my presence if, as a group, we approached her. That stung. It’s so weird, I extremely was shocked at reading just how lonely I was at school and a bit lost.
So unfortunately, or rather more fortunately, I never did “transition” and blossom into that popular girl at school. Certainly not in the teen rom com “plain girl gets hot” storyline. Luckily, I also never felt the need to murder any of those girls and make it look like suicide. But rather like the end of Heathers I found my own niche, my own school buddies that, were a rag tag bunch of brilliant, funny, smart, young ladies debating whether it was OK to like Blur AND Oasis, or whether Green Day’s Dookie was the best album of that year. Or whether we’d ever have the guts to do the “Position of the Fortnight” in More Magazine. To this day we’re friends, albeit remotely. So to those lovely ladies, the Erith School misfits, I am mentally doing victory laps around you, like Martha Dunstock does at the end of the film.
Outside of school I had a much more settled friendship group and I will talk about those absolute goddesses in another post. But suffice to say those gorgeous bitches have been my absolute rocks for the last 20-30 years.
Back in school we made it through our GCSEs and into 6th Form. Then something marvellous happened, all the social barriers dropped, people who rarely gave me the time of day, actually spoke to me. And we totally got along. I never did understand how it took so long. On top of this the “boys” of the previous year turned up to school in suits, they started bands and dammit they all suddenly became VERY interesting. We managed to assign ourselves a boy from a band or one of their mates!
Us girls all secretly and not so secretly fawning over them but mercilessly battling with our self esteem. I must have been on diet after diet. We were all battling our demons but no one ever really talked about it. We were never trained to look out for eating disorders and, even though we may have suspected or even knew, there was even some misguided underlying envy at the will power. WILL POWER??!! Not an illness or disease but something to be almost respected. (Not that I am claiming any eating disorder, unless you count serial dieter under that umbrella) A dear friend said recently after one of my previous posts…” I wished we had talked more”. But we didn’t have the vocabulary. The understanding of ourselves. “It” just wasn’t talked about back then, especially not at school. The “it” of which I speak is mental health.
Then it happened. The 90s hadn’t tortured us enough with The “Rachel cut” (my mate had it and I was SO jealous…. “Stupid curly hair” was another stick to beat myself with), pastel suits, unfortunate suede, satin or silk EVERYTHING, the Lennon glasses (blue lenses naturally), PVC Trousers, Global Hyper Colour (whhhyyyyyy would we want to accentuate our sweat?!!!) and Shell suits. Nope! A new hell was unleashed… THONGS! Thank you Primark for producing the smallest, most uncomfortable BUT must-have fear inducing fashion item of the decade. God, I must have had them in most colours, and I hated them. But God forbid you have a VPL!!! No! you must wear this ridiculous item, that chaffed your anus and dug into your nunny just so we didn’t have to embarrass the boys with a hint of your knickers that actually might be comfortable and serve a purpose. It was womanly, sexy and down right un-fucking-comfortable. However, not as uncomfortable as the year my mum bought me a black velvet bra for crimbo (the goth in me loved this) only to have my Nan…. YES NAN… give me the matching black velvet Thong later on. In front of the WHOLE family. My Aunt pipes up “is that a present for Gemma or her boyfriend?!” I inwardly and outwardly died.
So my dear 1990s you, and Sisqo, can keep that Thong Thong Thong Thong Thong. I’ll stick with my M&S undercrackers that make me feel sexy and womanly as hell!
By the way did I tell you how brilliant you are? Xxx
#bodypositive #thongssuck #thenineties #school #bodypositivy #ukblogger #Heathers #winonaryder