The summer between 7th and 8th grade, my family went on a road trip that started on the West coast and eventually wound throughout Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico. There were moments of total excitement, like seeing the sun rise over the Grand Canyon with my mom, but I mostly remember being bored in the back of the rental van and begging my dad to turn on the radio to whatever pop station was within range. Because we lived out of the country at the time, summers back in the US were all about re-culturing myself. The second we were past customs, I’d convince my mom to buy me a copy of Teen People and I’d clutch it tightly like it was my tourist’s guide to pop culture.
The summer of 1999 was truly a magical time for 13 year old Tiffany. I discovered my first real role models: Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. For the next 5+ years, they were my guiding lights. I bought every CD, every DVD, every magazine and devoured anything I could find about the two of them. They were so young, so beautiful and so talented – I wanted to learn how to be exactly like them. Unfortunately, no one explained to me the art of photoshop, publicists or that the lessons Britney and Xtina were teaching me were lies. Real life is not a 1999 pop music video (thank god!), and the day someone bought me my first indie record, I was set free.
The lies –
If you’re doing any less than 500 sit-ups a day, you should probably just kill yourself or accept your future as a worthless fatass. Remember how crazy Brit-brits workout routine was? I used to do hundreds of stomach crunches every night before bed in 8th grade, because I wanted her abs so badly. No one told me that in order to be able to see those abs, I’d need to lose the 20 pounds of fat on top of them first.
Red and black are legitimate colors to put in your hair.
I think most teenage girls live under the assumption that copying the haircut of their idol will somehow transform the into looking like their idol. I knew there was no way my father was going to stand for me dying any part of my hair red, or any non-natural hair color for that matter, since he defined it as “deviant behavior”. I did, however, try my hardest to get my stylist to dye the tips of my hair black. The conversation went something like this –
“I just want some black in it. You know, like Christina Aguilera’s hair.”
“Your hair is brown. You won’t be able to see it and it will mess up the texture.”
“Ok, well can you at least cut it so it makes a V in the back?”
“I am not going to cut your hair like a stripper. You’re 16.”
When someone breaks your heart repeatedly, the best revenge is learning how to dance on a chair.
Adding “bitch” to the end of sentences is a good way to announce myself. As it turns out, my boss doesn’t appreciate when I enter meetings, strike a pose and say in my breathiest/attitudiest voice “It’s Tiffany, bitch.”
Being driven crazy to the point of being unable to sleep isn’t a good thing. Really all of the lyrics to “Crazy” were terrible. They sound like a desperate cry for help from some battered woman or maybe a drug addict. “I’m in too deep?” GURL, GET YOSELF AN ADDICTION COUNSELOR.
At a certain point, I was going to have an occasion to which I’d need to wear one of the following items: polyester midriff baring tops, leather assless chaps and a “shirt” that was really just a scarf woven around my tits.
Justin Timberlake is the coolest. Ok, this one wasn’t a lie. JT has been and will always remain the coolest. If you’ve found this for some bizarre reason, I LOVE YOU JT.
AND THE WORST LIE OF ALL –
In my teens, my love life was going to be an overdramatic series of ups and downs. Boys would chase after me and make themselves “What a Girl Want[ed]”. At a certain point, I’d break some poor boy’s heart and have to justify the fact that “Oops, I[‘d done] it again!” by telling him I “was not that innocent.” After breaking up with my super-sexy boyband-esque first love, I’d find myself pushing my boundaries in a club with “Boys [feat. Pharrell Williams]” and at the end of it all I’d learn I was really just a “Genie in a Bottle”, waiting for someone to come, come, come on and let me out.
Peace, love and indie kids have it so much easier than us,