Freelance Book Designer

Hopes and dreams of a child

When I was a kid, I’m talking 8-9 years old I would look at Dolly magazine, pouring over the fashion spreads and ads where teenage models with teased hair, thick eyebrows and orange eyeshadow, drank westcoast wine coolers and flirted with surfer boys and I wanted to be just that: older.

Watching Rage on the weekends elegant ladies in Whitesnake and Poison video clips would strut around in micro-mini pleather skirts with hair so high it tickled the clouds and I would think to myself, that’s the dream right there.

One family holiday down the coast, I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I found a discarded empty 6 pack of the aforementioned westcoast wine coolers and I sat in the sand dunes pretending I was one of those models in my breezy white shirt, cut off jeans, posing on my boyfriend’s open-top 4 wheel drive. Yeah, life was pretty sweet as a pretend model.

But life is never straight forward, at the same time in direct juxtaposition to my cosmopolitan dreams I was rummaging through my mother’s wardrobe stealing her 70s hand-dye maxi skirts and 60s bridesmaid dresses and dreaming of becoming a hippie and kissing Keanu Reeves, but marrying River Phoenix.

I can remember thinking being older, or a teenager, was going to be so glamorous and I would morph into some version of Sweet Valley High. Unfortunately teenage me just became a gangly string-bean, awkward and unsure where she fit in socially. In the end I settled on becoming the darkest, goth that ever did goth.

Don’t let this photo fool you, this is the ONLY photo of my entire teenage life that I don’t look at an cringe – this was the transition period between ‘hippie’ (note VW patch on the jean pockets, totally hippie apparently) and goth.

My year 12 formal (with my then best friend), with bright blue hair down to my hips. Yes, that’s right I wore a dyed black wedding dress with PVC corset to my ‘prom’. Oh my Goth.

Sometimes I wish I could go back and reassure my younger self that you don’t have to take yourself so seriously all the time, you’ll get older just enjoy being a kid and yes there will be some very nice boys in your future that will like you – one in particular will like you so much he’ll put up with you for the rest of his life – your goth poetry is really quite crap, don’t publish it on the web please and I’m afraid your obsession with big hair will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Do you think about your childhood? If you could go back and tell yourself something what would it be?