When you’re young, you emulate people you think are cool (particularly, people who look like you), and this game of pretend ultimately shapes your aesthetic and values, if you find a shape that fits. I was told I was a peculiar kid. I was introverted and unpopular. With my flat feet, nasal voice, and the crisp pronunciation I learned from watching teen movies on TV, the teasing was almost understandable. I pored over skateboarding catalogs and begged my mother for Alien Workshop hoodies. I naturally gravitated toward the outsider mentality of alternative culture. Most children tend to find role models pretty close to their own image, but I wasn’t afforded that privilege, since only white people seemed to do the things I wanted to do.
I know I’m a few days late to this essay but holy shit it’s so good and so familiar and so fucking important.