Which was the golden era of your teenage years?
Goths, chavs, gamers, emos and nu ravers: which were you?
Your entire essence, life goals and sense of self-worth summed up by three words: I’m not OK. Proud to be the Daily Mail’s most hated in 2008. Thank God they invented those fake facial piercings or this entire movement would have never progressed beyond Good Charlotte.
Scene was the difference between whether your fringe fell left or right on your face. Like Emo’s tragic little cousin (see above) but with brighter colours. Main thoughts included:
• My mum won’t let me get raccoon tails because she says they’ll give me a lazy eye I FUCKING HATE HER.
• When I’m 18 I’m gonna get a septum piercing, gauges and two swallows tattooed on my hip bones.
• Scene isn’t all that different from Emo but I can never let them know I think that.
This colour-clash peacocking all came from the Relentless fuelled epiphany around 13 or 14 that the clothes you wear didn’t have to come from your Zara kids or your mum’s Next catalogue.
Your new orange gilet has arrived just in time. Donning your trusted salmon pink Ralphie, you’ll have one last look in the mirror to check if your blonde highlighted hair is perfectly messed and your collar is as popped as it can be before it’s off to Costa in town for 2.30 on a Saturday afternoon. Other favourite meetups are by the rugby pitch to watch the bigger boys play and occasionally at a cooler girl’s party out in the countryside. Expect to see a massive Facebook album of each event but you should know everyone will be looking away from the camera lens and always, forever, into the far corner of the picture.
The centuries of impeccable inbreeding that have gone into making these Hugos and Tillies has an unfortunate hereditary side effect of bypassing infancy and going straight into adulthood, skipping puberty in between. Confident teenagers could pass for grown-ups: ruddy-faced, laughing about Yacht Week and searching for a customised waistcoat to wear at the next black and white ball. They already own the same hunting tweeds and are snapped by the same society photographers. Underage drinking laws don’t affect these young scions as much as the rest of us: they’ve sipped their first Moët by eight and puked up on the lawn of a country pile by eleven (easy on the bellinis there, Rupe). Plus ça change, says Nanny.
You still check your Vampirefreaks profile from time to time, fondly recalling the days when you reeked of black hair dye, fake leather and self-loathing. You liked vampires before those films.
Pretty sure even you didn’t really know what you were doing?
The swaggering silverbacks of the playground, rugby boys recognise each other primarily through the scent of Lynx Apollo or if it’s half term U18s night at Lola Lo, Dark Temptation. Communication is largely through debagging weaker males and stealing girls’ phones on the bus. There’s a lot of pent-up rage to release, especially when you’re trying to come to terms with the last fixture when you fractured your collarbone and your dad, four cans of Hobgoblin down, shouted at you when you tried to come off the pitch. You went back on, fainted, and woke up to find yourself in orthopaedics having lost the match and your parents whisper-fighting on the ward about how tough you are.
I’m in a band
Did you get the Myspace invite to my gig next Friday? I think I was born to play haggard Blink 182 covers to hardened drinkers at pubs in and around Grimsby. Did I mention I’m playing a gig?
Your dad once rented an Apocalypse Now DVD on a Saturday night in and then your life changed forever. You’re now an expert on the Vietnam War and have a vaguely understood hatred of American imperialism. You also have a love of communist revolutionaries based on Wikipedia. Lenin is a good start but only true rebels are into Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro — but their posters are a bit harder to find. This phase ends a month or two after your mum says your Che Guevara tshirt doesn’t fit you anymore.
Fuk off Charlene you fukin sket, I saw you an Tammy last week thieving three pairs of doorknocker gold earrings and everyone fucking knows it. Meet me in the park then after school, I’ll wear my Nike Air Max unironically and get my 25-year-old boyfriend from the estate to fucking do you one. WHAT.
You might have had the fastest thumbs on Xbox Live and rightly-deserved your accolades as a no-scoping pro but one day, you’ll look back and wonder how you could have ever held mums in such astonishing contempt. Not only do you hate yours but also everyone else’s, especially online. They’re ugly bitches, and somehow you’ve shagged all of them, as you repeatedly screech into your headset mic. You are an unstoppable multiplayer-killing and mother-boffing machine, which will seem business as usual until you step out after puberty, pale and blinking into the sunlight and marvel at what a horrid little shit you were.
It’s such an insult that they gave Ollie the part of Sky Masterson in the new Guys and Dolls, he simply cannot hold the stage. And did you hear him try to project on the high notes in “Luck be a Lady”? Seriously. He never even went to Stagecoach. I’ve seen the film a dozen times and been to see the John Barrowman version on the West End but they only made me Nicely-Nicely Johnson. At least my costume’s good.
All my friends are underage drinking in the park but I’m not like that. Drugs and alcohol are bad news, and I’ll never stop drawing X’s on my hands or stop getting mouthy at my dad when he sneaks in half a glass of cabernet sauv at dinner. This poor misguided youth can now be found coke-eyed and paralytic, leaning on the counter of your hometown Wetherspoons after putting in a solid 9am start on the hard stuff.
Grinding and gnarling up to the skatepark at 6am just to shake off the locals, popping out some sweet ollies and rad disco flips. If Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 hadn’t been made the bruises your knees would mean nothing. Shame you spent all your money on griptape and skate wax.
It’s not so much about style but moving as quickly as possible, which is why the French called it l’art de déplacement. I don’t know why anybody would ever want to walk again when you can get there in style.
Fat/puppy fat phase
Now #blessed big cheese Instagram superstars, this poor sap was fat before they ran a health food blog. They still keep a chunky photo of their oversized selves as motivation for that final crunch.
I’ve been using Clearasil for two weeks and boys STILL won’t go out with me.
You turn the photo frames down when friends come over, hiding any trace of the days before contact lenses and laser eye surgery. NHS specials were your jam.
What went wrong? Chelsea said she was going to turn her parents’ suburban semi-detached into a hot sex and bass grotto like Chris did in Series One but it was just WKDs, a free Spotify playlist and no hot boys. The only story to come out of that night was finding Chelsea’s weird older brother, who had forgotten to lock the door, enthusiastically spanking off in front of the family computer downstairs.
Head girls and boys
You’ll be talking about your badge forever.
Somewhere between forgetting to shave their first patchy facial hair and thinking 4chan was cool, this awkward bedroom dweller got into politics. Joining a sub-collective with a name like R0gu3 H4ck0rzz, you’ll organise 12-strong marches in your hometown. All of you are going to look sick in your scarves and V for Vendetta masks until, who’s that? Fucking Robbie! He forgot to bring his mask, seriously what the fuck Robbie? Only we have the power to change the world before bedtime.
You’re whiter than the driven snow I really don’t know what you think you’re doing.
You were obvs acceptable in the 80s, even though you happened to be born in 1993. Leave the slogan t-shirts, Frankie says fuck off.
The Beatles are the best band in the world and nothing you can say can convince me otherwise. I think Ringo was the fittest because I’m just different you know. Boy tried to grow out his hair but ended up with a half-hearted mullet. Girl put flowers in her hair and ripped her jeans to make flares. They tried to recreate the Summer of Love but no longer speak after boy admitted his favourite album isn’t Rubber Soul.
Dre’s The Chronic 2001 is how I live my life and I have the hoodie to prove it. Only wish school didn’t run on till 4:30 otherwise I’d be down in the park 420blazeit.
Boys who could grow moustaches first
Dad hadn’t taught you to use a razor yet. While you looked terrible to any adult, you’re a rugged macho stud to anyone your own age.
Thanks for making an internet proxy so we could play Jumpers for Goalposts 2 at lunchtime.
Spikey haired and longing for the revolution, this plucky rocker practically yearns for the “blink and you’ll miss it” 70s Britain when a four chord vomit recording could nearly make it to number one. They couldn’t find Sid’s exact jacket, so I make do with a charity shop knock off with an anarchy badge pinned on.
RaWr I’m SOo RaNdOm
Every photo with their tongue out is an ever more desperate cry for help. Thank god this breed became extinct before Snapchat was invented. LOL OMGZ ;P ROFLCOPTER
The Smiths taught me everything I need to know about non-human animal companions.
A splinter indie movement you probably won’t tell your grandkids you were a part of. Glowsticks, purple Primark hoodies and the self-announcing DJ button on your music lessons keyboard were a thing for about a month back in 2006. Would secretly rather be listening to Justice than Julio Bashmore.