How Soccer Explains My Attitude

Whoa.  Via Boring Old Raphael via Jezebel, may I present the Seventeen Magazine Project.  Jamie Keiles is an 18-year-old girl who decided to spend a month living exactly as Seventeen magazine advises her (and millions of other teenage girls) to do.

Which is both terrifying and awesome.  It’s terrifying because a teenage girl living per Seventeen is like me living per Cosmo (and I don’t have the insurance to cover that many Valtrex refills plus a stint in the eating disorder clinic).  It’s awesome because it’s a lot like something I wrote for my high school newspaper during junior year.

I didn’t wear makeup.  I didn’t do my hair.  I didn’t care about what I wore or how janky my car was.  Before I got kicked off the newspaper staff for writing a pro-choice editorial, I wrote a piece about how magazines geared towards teenage girls were stupid, vapid, and maybe a little dangerous.  I even remember what it was called.

“They’ve Got Moxie, But Can They Spell It?”

Clever, I know.  Moxie was the name of a magazine/catalog thing that you could get for free if you sent a postcard to an address on Channel One.  In the article, I ranted about Moxie, Seventeen, possibly a magazine named Teen, and Jane, which, looking back, makes me want to smack myself because Jane was awesome and clearly not marketed to teenage girls.

This brings me to my tweets/Facebook statuses about the World Cup.  I worried for a moment that most people would be annoyed by soccer, but then I thought FUCK THEM.  Yeah, that’s what I said.  Fuck you guys.  We’re Americans and we’re not supposed to like soccer and I’m a Commie and I LOVE IT.

People at work seemed shocked to learn that I played soccer for almost 20 years (the general consensus is that I must have been either a stoner or a Goth {I was neither}).  Even Graham didn’t think I seemed like a team sports kind of person.  But I did play, and I was good at it, and I can watch the World Cup now and truly, terribly miss the way I could run for 90 minutes in near 100 degree weather, because say what you will about the assholes who played sports in your school, but sports taught me that being talented was more important than being pretty.

I was more comfortable in my sweaty, smelly jersey than I was in a prom dress (which says a lot because I wore Adidas running shoes under my skirt).  I was happier doing suicide sprints after school than I would have been using an equal amount of physical exertion getting boys to like me.  Seventeen (and Moxie, and Teen, et al) didn’t make any sense to me because I knew there were more significant things than “Teen Hairstyles, Games, Dating Advice, and Fashion” (says the magazine’s current Web site tagline).

I didn’t get the “rahhhhhh, fucking RIOT!!!” response I expected from my editorial.  This bothered me at the time, but now I know that no one knows much about anything in high school, let alone the subjugation of adolescent females by their own fucking gender.  And I have mellowed out some, because if I remember correctly, there wasn’t a lot of humor in my editorial and if you think I abuse commas now, look out because any 15-year-old would have had to have been insane to read it all the way through.  But I’m still not the kind of girl who’s ever had credit cards from the mall, or spent more than 5 minutes at a time thinking about the possibility of cosmetic surgery, or who played dumb for any reason at all.

So some of the onetime Seventeen subscribing women who find me on the Internet may be bothered by my comments on a tournament many Americans don’t give a shit about, but they’re the type of women I always knew I would look at and think, “Man, it must be exhausting to hate yourself so much.”

About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
This entry was posted in Letters to My Younger Self. Bookmark the permalink.