Tag Archives: labels

It’s a question of… labels

When I was young (and I realise that writing that makes me officially old), I wore an antinuclear badge and an Amnesty International badge. All other “views” of mine were confined in my diary: lyrics, quotations and sayings like “a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle”.

I was against clothes “labels” and deliberately avoided them. The only time I recall ever buying a “label” it was a Benetton sweater. At the time I had a friend who swore that it was an absolute necessity to possess one and I listened to her. Luckily for me, it was one of the only times I took her advice or I might have turned out a whole lot different…

When I look at teenagers today I’m constantly amazed by the way they’re “labelled”. Some of them are wearing clothes and shoes that could pay my rent for several months. And the “badges” they sport often leave me unsettled. Today alone I saw a girl with a badge saying “ “Bad bitch”, another with a t-shirt saying “I’m a slut but not yours” and yet another who had written “I can get no satisfaction” in big black letters across her schoolbag (she was French and obviously didn’t know the real title of the song). Beside her, there was a guy wearing a t-shirt saying “I’m a pussy eater”…

I get to study young specimens every day on the subway. I notice them because they always seem to spend the whole journey looking at their reflexion in the windows. Teenagers are, by definition, pretty self-centred, but I have no recollection of having been so self-confident when I was that age. I suppose, in a way, it’s positive to have so much self-assurance. But there is no way I can understand why anyone would want to wear shoes that cost the same as a (cheap) laptop or walk around advertising that they’re a slut or a pussy-eater…

Maybe I really am getting old.

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