|As a teenager growing up, I lived in a somewhat troubled area of Melbourne. We moved there when I was 15 which meant starting a new High School in year 10. |
Now I would imagine that starting at a new school is hard enough, but I came from a very strict and high achieving high school to a school that was originally a boys technical school and to put it simply it was a dump of a school - loads of trouble.
You have to remember now, that I have not been raised in a Jewish household by a Jewish family, there was nothing out of the ordinary about my family, but I was raised as any other non religious western kid.
The kids I now went to school with at this new school were trouble, for the first few weeks I had about 5 girls that hated me so much they wanted to beat me up - and trust me they often followed through with their threats on other girls who they'd punch and kick until they dropped to the ground where they would then sink their steel capped boots into the poor girl's head.
It was violent and full of drugs and no hopers - most of the boys spent their weekend stealing cars and motorbikes. One girl even got arrested on school grounds for assaulting the principle after she punched him in the face.
I consider myself to be pretty easy going and I had no trouble making new friends to the point that the girls that wanted to beat me up now wanted to be my friends also. Over the next 2 years I spent there, my marks dropped as I was spending to much time on my social life and doing the minimum school work I needed to do to pass. I became a pretty rebellious teenager although I always respected and almost always obeyed my parents, I was still pretty wild.
The year after I left school I formed a grunge band with some guys I met through a close school friend. And although I am a totally different person today I was often compared to an early Courtney Love in my style. I regularly dyed my hair blonde, I had a labret (chin piercing) I had pierced my nose and my lips myself in front of the bathroom mirror on numerous occasions, I wore lots of pale foundation, bright red lipstick, too much eye makeup and very holey stockings and I brought all my clothes from charity stores. And although I now loved where I lived, I was still living in the middle of a hell hole - we even had a serial killer on the loose for a few months.
But the main problems I had to deal with were drugs and crime, many of my friends were on drugs of some sort - and I can now honestly and proudly add that I have never ever taken any kind of drug in my life, which considering where I lived and who my friends were is an absolute miracle. It is not the lack of offers, but I hated seeing what it was doing to my friends so there was no way on this earth I was going to be following in their footsteps. I smoked cigarettes that's it, I only ever got drunk twice - I hated the feeling of being out of control. Still even though I was probably the most drug free person I knew, people assumed because I dressed they way I did, and looked the way I did, and I was in a band that I must be on some kind of drugs... they couldn't have been more wrong.
Anyway, when I was 18 I decided that I wanted to get a daisy chain tattooed around my ankle. I went to one of the many tattoo shops in the local area to ask how much it would cost. He said it would be about $80 and to find a picture of what I wanted and to take it to him to copy. I rushed off to the book shop to find the picture I wanted with my friend, he didn't think it was such a great idea and tried to talk me out of it even though he had tattoos himself. Unfortunately I am quite stubborn and once I decide on something that is it, there is no changing my mind. So we flicked through books in the book shop and my friend started showing me all these picture in a tattoo book of tattoos that had gone horribly wrong. It was gross, people had disgusting infections, horrible scars and diseases... so I quickly chickened out and decided not to get the tattoo (my friends plan had worked!).
Today, I have no piercings, tattoos, heavy makeup or anything like that, I am just pretty normal and I am so thankful that my friend managed to some how convince me that tattoos are not for me. I have 3 little girls and I would hate to have a tattoo now and have my girls grow up thinking that it was normal. I think tattoos are ugly an un feminine and if you change your mind about it you still have to live with it for the rest of your life.
Angelina Jolie has appeared on the red carpet at the Golden Globes showing off some new tattoos and personally I think they are ugly!! From the neck up she appears to be quite an attractive lady, but the tattoos on her arm and back are horrid. As my husband said, it looks like the result of a grisly bear attack!
After reading what you have about me, I think you would realise that I am pretty open minded and if someone wants to have piercings or tattoos well that's great, if that is what they want. But for me, it is not only because I am converting to Judaism that I now don't like them, it is because I have 'grown' out of that stage in my life. I am just so glad that through that period in my life I didn't do anything that affects me or my life permanently.
I know there may be some people who will disagree with my feelings on these topics and also with the things I have spoken about doing as a teenager, but it is apart of me and who I am.
Black & White photos are of me aged about 19 on a rather plain - no make-up winters day, taken by the same friend who stopped me getting a tattoo.