It’s hard to remember a time when my hair wasn’t dyed some offbeat, quirky color (aside from now). Pink, blue, purple, green, or some ugly combination of these. This is a way to showcase my extreme individuality. It makes me special. It’s just as hard to remember a time when I wore something relatively normal looking. Whether it be an atrocious thrifted Alfred Dunner blazer, color blocked 80’s windbreakers, wedgie-giving mom jeans, or bright yellow clown-like Dr. Martens. I describe my personal style as “ugly pretty.” Others would say the same, sans “pretty.” At this point I’m used to being called a hipster, and used to enthusiastically denying it in an attempt to hide the fact that this makes me ecstatic. People say my appearance screams “offended millennial.” And I’m not even an offended millennial. I just like, can’t even believe you think that. Like I’m offended that you think I’m offended.
Shortly after my (very late) 18th birthday this year, I Uber-ed with some friends to a Tattoo and Piercing parlor not far from campus. I know what you’re thinking – that we got regrettable matching tattoos across our chests or un-matching but just as regrettable lower back stamps. Thankfully, you are mistaken. Instead I opted for a septum piercing, something few other liberal teenage girls have. My dad thinks I look like a bull, which is just so narrow-minded. Beauty standards are changing, old man. And besides – it makes me look absolutely unique.
I listen to a lot of alternative, indie music. Anyone with a real record label is a guilty pleasure. I tell people that I liked Neutral Milk Hotel before Will Grayson, Will Grayson came out, even though it isn’t true. My guitar pick from the Violent Femmes concert is my most valued possession. Similar to many Youtube comments on old music videos, I claim I was born in the wrong generation. Deep in my soul, I feel that I was also born in the wrong city. I belong in Portland, not Pittsburgh. I saw Jack White in concert and pretended that I understood why he chose not to play Seven Nation Army. He’s an artist, after all, and shouldn’t be defined by one incredible, amazing, astounding, iconic, awesome, hype song. He shouldn’t feel obliged to play the song that made him famous, for the people who pay his bills.
As you may have guessed, I am a vegetarian. I enjoy twelve dollar avocado toast topped with the weeds that grow in between cracks in the sidewalk from a hole-in-the-wall shop whose menu is written on a chalkboard wall. Kale and quinoa salads are a staple. I threatened to release the family dog back into the wild (where he belongs, even though he would die within six minutes) if they didn’t go vegetarian as well. My hippie mother has taken to this change well. I told her that her spirit guides are smiling upon her. My macho father really has no choice not to. I told him that muscle milk is vegetarian safe, even though I do not know this for sure. Everything else we buy is locally sourced, of course. Not only is it better for our bodies and the environment, but it supports small businesses! Corporations are evil, greedy, sinful, and essentially run by Sith lords.
When I signed the metaphorical offended millennial contract, I agreed to be “woke af," which, of course I am. Rachel Maddow is my queen and king and my sole source of news. Everyone else is wrong. I only trust Rachel. No news is valid until she tells me so. A man I once knew told me he called her “Rachel Mad-cow.” I pulled a few strings and he hasn’t been seen since. I also am a strong advocate for safe spaces, though I am actually quite unsure about what they are. I’m also Bernie or bust – obviously. This was a hard decision, not to support a woman. She was just too corporate. When someone says something I do not agree with, my best option is to retreat to an established bubble of liberalness. I fall asleep to Elizabeth Warren speeches to recover from the ideological attacks. Protesting is my favorite hobby. For DACA, for PETA, against circuses and zoos, for women’s rights, at bra burning rallies, against all beauty companies, against every celebrity who didn’t vote for Bernie, against the patriarchy in general. If I do not remain woke, I will most likely be sacrificed by my peers to Fox News.
To the liberals reading this – do not worry. I’m very liberal, honestly. But I’m also able to make fun of myself and my ideology, and take a roast at the expense of the left. And this is something I think we all need to work on.