'Imagination will take you everywhere'
Here is my entry for the 2013 Elle Talent Contest; it’s meant to be entitled ‘my rebellion’, however I wanted to put a slight spin on the subject…
Some say teenage rebellion is a rite of passage. Seven years of raging hormones, kohl-rimmed eyes and spots await an innocent, pig-tail wearing girl on her thirteenth birthday. Sorry Mum and Dad, but from now on your precious little daughter will immediately transform into a monster; clad in a mini-skirt, smothered in thick foundation (polluting those once perfect pores), obsessed with boys, Facebook and (OMG) One D. Not to mention the all night partying, staggering back at 3am, boyfriends, alcohol and – God forbid – drugs, which is sure to ensue. Goodbye rules, hello freedom.
Now I’d love to regale in tales of tattoos, piercings, Doc Martens and hair-dye disasters. Except that I don’t have any. Honestly. I’m a good girl I am. At eighteen years old, the only thing I’ve had experience of from the latter paragraph is spots – plus the odd tipsy night out. Yes I know, how boring, I am the ultimate goody-two-shoes: vegetarian, devoted student and always eager to please. I’d rather have an early night and read Khaled Hosseini’s latest offering than go out clubbing; drinking words rather than vodka. In fact the thought of looming independence fills me with dread. Ironic, when my generation are on the cusp of leaving home, entering adulthood and gaining control of their own destiny. Essentially I am a converse rebel; I’m rebelling against rebellion.
But what really is rebellion? Is it the action of resisting authority or simply choosing to be free? The Arab uprising successfully overturned dictators of four North African countries; thus allowing the inhabitants to take matters into their own hands. But there is plenty to rebel about in our own country, from university fees to the desecration of our beautiful countryside. Sometimes I wish I could tell them to all Frack Off! The chance to speak out and have our say is imperative not only for self-expression but for a just and fair world. I yearn to be brave enough to rebel against the norm: carrying my flag, chanting and marching through Taksim Square, head held high – proud and free. In my head I am a warrior and I cannot be defeated.
Maybe I should start by doing an Emma Watson and shearing off my long locks, or I could create a homage to Banksy in my local town – during the dead of night, complete with balaclava and spray paint. No permission. How naughty. How thrilling. But if rebelling is supposed to liberate and unshackle you, then I have experienced it. Walking bare-footed along a beach; closing my eyes, the wind uplifting my hair and flowing through my nostrils, through my lungs and deep into the pit of my soul, my feet tingling as the chilly Atlantic bites my skin. Opening my eyes to see the vast blue blanket of ocean before me, and in that moment I am free – free from the pressures of authority, society and hierarchy. I am myself and nothing can stop me. The ultimate teenage rebel.