- Think about your first haircut. We’re you the kid that cut your own hair? Did you go to a salon or did your parents cut your hair? Did your parents save a lock of your hair?
- How about shaving? Fathers often teach their sons to shave. Most girls I know, decided for themselves when to shave their legs and their underarms. Some cultures do not shave at all.
- Did you alter your clothes? Cut jeans into cut-offs? Cut the sleeves off t-shirts? Wear graphic tees? Tie-dyes? Sew patches on your jeans?
- Was there a time you remember challenging the authority in your household. Do you remember the first time you found your voice?
- What about piercings? Girls getting their ears pierced was a rite of passage for girls. Then boys started getting one ear pierced. As time passed, piercings became more mainstream and accepted.
- Did you walk on the wild side? Smoking? Drinking? Did your parents know?
- What about tattoos? Did you get a tattoo while still living at home? Did your parents approve?
- What about language? Was swearing allowed in your family? Did you use the same language around your friends as you did at home with your family?
- Think back to high school. Girls, did you iron your hair? Did you color your hair? (using Sun-in counts!) Guys, did you grow a beard or moustache? Did you grow your hair long? Feel free to share a photo of yourself back in the day.
- Many people think our authentic self is the person we were as young children. Are you still inherently the same person you were as a child or have you changed your personality and demeanor along the way?
My mom cut our hair and mine was usually braided by her. My first short haircut was at 16, and stayed short until the 70s. It’s been long and short since cut by me.
I was shown by a friend how to shave which saved me much embarrassment at a swim party at a pond with friends. My mom made our clothes which became a gossip subject apparently, when I attended high school.
I only “talked back” to my mom once as I was standing behind her while she was washing dishes in the sink. There was a reflective window in front of her and when denied permission to do something I don’t remember, I stuck out my tongue. She saw it in the window and whirled around with a wet dishrag upside my face. I never did it again.
I had my ears pierced on my 30th birthday, a gift to myself and no other piercings or tattoos. Most of my grandkids have tattoos. I started smoking a bit when my roommate from France was doing it. We lived in a horrid tiny apartment in a tenement building and it was a brief encounter but I enjoyed it as we had no other “entertainment”. When my dad who smoked three packs of Lucky Strikes a day and died of emphysema at 82, picked me up one time, he just looked at me and said he never wanted to catch me smoking again. I don’t think my mom ever knew.
No tattoos, no cursing by any of us girls. My dad used all the NE swearing expressions but I only heard my mom say shit one time😂.
I’m a much better suited to myself person now than I was in high school. I feel liberated to do and say what I want, especially now that I live alone. I talk openly with my family and grandkids about anything. I sometimes wish my parents were not so strict and not impeded my youth.