Middle School Requires Bravery

Sometime in the mid-eighties, I read an interview with Amy Grant in Seventeen magazine that had a profound impact on me. She said something like this: If you want to dye your hair purple and speak in a British accent, why not? It’s not permanent. Have a little fun trying to figure out who you are.

As a teen, it was liberating to be told that I could sample styles, cultures, and accents even, to see what felt most like the me I wanted to be. Thus began a daring (and horrific) period of fashion in my life. From MC Hammeresque diaper pants to bad perms to lace gloves, I took every fashion risk imaginable in my quest to figure out who I was. Turns out, I’m your basic jeans and T-shirt kind of girl after all, but it ...

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