There comes a formative time in a girls life when she
starts her period? Decides against asking for a pony for every Christmas and birthday? works out who she wants to be when she grows up.
There’s the initial stages: princess seems like a cool idea, until you work out this plank is considered a catch. So does a prima ballerina until you get wage a war of words – or, more specifically numbers – with your ballet class about what 12 times 12 equals and then in a fit of pique and hysteria announce you will never dance again (true story. More gallingly, I was wrong with 140). You also decide a vet might be a nice way of looking after baby, fluffy animals. You might even aspire to being a gamekeeper-vet and drive round Africa on a motorbike with a sidecar after watching Raiders of the Lost Ark (for the record: the greatest thing ever committed to film).
this gets autobiographical you know what kind of model that motorbike is going to be, you hit your teens.
And you decide you might like to be a very serious writer. Who has a small picture of her face above her byline in the middle pages of a broadsheet. Or you decide you might be a lawyer, because this time round, you figure you might be holding the firmer ground in a running battle with your parents. Or you decide that you really, really want to act and you become a complete tyrant in the backstage wings of school plays.
And these are all very serious, and you’re very serious, because being between thirteen and sixteen is a terribly serious thing, and actually you haven’t quite grown into your nose (and in my case, a very deep voice) and you’ve seen enough magazines to know your legs don’t look like that and your skin isn’t that good and you decide that you will not be pretty girl, or necessarily a sporty girl, but a girl who’s kind of kick ass at everything else.
This people, I can testify from experience, is an approach that works just fine… Just fine until photos like these of Helena Christensen appear. And then it all goes out of the window, and you’re fourteen again watching the video for Wicked Game on vh1 and you are completely bewildered because big knickers have suddenly become all sorts of attractive when you could have sworn Topshop was all about thongs and Helena is not all blonde and busty and pornographically waxed and over saturated but lithe and brunette and not actually naked. And probably the most gorgeous woman you’ve ever seen. And then you secretly decide that you wouldn’t mind being her for
forever. Forever and ever and ever one day when you grow up too.