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Been There... This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I mixed black housepaint and Pink Passion Barbie nail polish the first time I rebelled and painted my nails a new and exotic color. Then, a week after the oohs and ahhs of my fellow eighth-grade classmates wore off, I spotted the identical color in an ad while paying homage to my favorite fashion magazine. It was Chanel's Vamp.

In the name of nonconformity, I have dyed my hair, worn holey t-shirts, and refused to exercise only to find out that it has all been capitalized on by someone else. My '60s-style bellbottoms have twins at the Gap. Shredded pants have gone mainstream and can be found at K-Mart. This search to stand out among the millions of baby boomers' kids leads to hundreds of pierced body parts, the wearing of mass-produced, machine-made tie-dye shirts, and a spectrum of nail colors that would blind Rainbow Bright.

Once in a while when I'm about to buy a new shade of green lipstick, I pause and remember the definition of conformity again: when you participate in mass hysteria. Could it be that the only real nonconformists do their homework, wear 501's and penny loafers and go to Yale?

The other day my mom waltzed home from a manicure flashing her freshly "Vamped" nails secure in her newfound, alternative coolness. All I could think was: Been there, done that. c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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