Bootgirl Power, By Jenny Woo
By Jenny Woo
When I was thirteen years old, I was miserable. I had acne, I had only hand-me-down clothing from my older sister (who was 3 sizes smaller than me), I had no friends, and worst of all, I felt like I didn’t belong in any crowd. I was exposed to pictures, music videos, and songs from major mainstream pop stars, and I just could not relate. I had no idea what they were singing about. The supposed universal topics of broken hearts, dancing, and the expression of teenage sexuality all seemed like distant and irrelevant subjects to me. I knew that I would never look like them, I would never live their lifestyle, and more importantly, I knew I never wanted to be like them. I felt lost, different, and profoundly alone. Then, one day, my life changed forever.
I was in junior high, eating alone in front of my locker as was my usual routine, when I came across an old fanzine lying on the floor of my school’s hallway. One of the other students in the school had probably been reading it and accidently left it behind. Having nothing better to do, I started flipping pages. My eyes caught an image that I had never seen before in my life – a woman with spiked up blue hair, studs all over her black leather jacket, and wailing on a guitar. It was a picture of Bekki Bondage, and that was my first exposure to women in punk rock. I decided then and there that instead of unsuccessfully trying to fit in all the time, I would do my best to stand out. I was inspired by Bekki’s outrageousness, her energy, her unfaltering self-confidence, and I made it my own mission to find that sense of passion and assurance in myself. I ripped the picture out of the magazine and pasted it into my locker as a reminder, and I’ve still got the photo after all these years.