In High School, I had three main stages.
The awkward, self-conscious girl who developed double-D boobs way before everyone else, and happened to look like a grown ass woman who could have birthed a few children by the age of 14. I spent a lot of time reading Lil Bow Wow’s fan site forums, choosing my next Myspace page song, and trying to convince my mom to buy me the latest Abercrombie slightly-suggestive graphic tee (which I never succeeded unless it was on clearance).
Here I am, age 13, looking like my friend’s babysitter (yes we are the same age):
Let’s just call it KatieBaby/BabyKT. Picture crunchy-scrunched hair, Baby Phat jeans rubber-banded at the ankles and tucked into my Jordans, and mini-backpacks with Spiderman, Barbie, and Sesame Street characters on them that I carried as purses. I had always been a fan of hip-hop music—I used to come home from school and watch 106 & Park every day. But by this second stage, I had met the love of my life—Fillmoe Trev. And he, oh he was everything a dad could ever dream for his white, middle-classed daughter’s first boyfriend—big, black, and four years older. I joined the stomp team at school (FHS STEPPERS, WE STEP FOR YOU!) died my hair pitch black, and wore my hair in partial corn-rows to our Sadie’s dance.
But, to my disbelief, that relationship with Fillmoe Trev didn’t last forever.
And thus, I entered the third stage.
I traded in my Apple-Bottoms for denim miniskirts and fake Ugg boots. I dressed as a grandma for our Sadie’s dance, and went to prom with our high-school quarterback (shoutout to Cary—sup babe). By this point, I became me. Silly, crazy, still-a-little-bit-hood, me. And that me has remained mostly the same, through growing up, facing the real working world, loving, and losing. Sure, I’ve adapted and morphed and changed in ways, but my core is and always will be the same. The only thing that has come with time is learning to be more comfortable being me, and loving myself just the way I am. Because after all, a white girl who was in the honors humanities program in college, yet still can rap every lyric to “Fireman” by Lil Wayne, doesn’t come a dime a dozen–and I love it.