For me it wasn’t bigger breasts or Boots17 latest or even a boyfriend. I mean I sort of did want a boyfriend but only in the abstract. I probably did long to be the kind of girl who knew how to get, and then what to do with a boyfriend, but since I wasn’t, I would have been too terrified to actually have one then. No, for me at thirteen I still wanted good grades at school, and for the cool girls to stop bullying me, and to win the county gymnastics competition.
I wish, oh how I wish, I could have whispered into the ear of the girl I was then that everything would work out all right. How much angst I could have spared myself if I had known that I would meet a good man, marry him, have kids, and live somewhere-ever-after. But then, I wasn’t the kind of girl who would have admitted to wanting all those things then. In those days I was going to be a physicist, or educational psychologist, or criminal lawyer; without really knowing what any of those things were. I certainly was not going to be a wife and mother. Certainly not a house variety of wife or a stay at home variety of mother. I’d have been horrified at the prospect of such domesticity. Little did I know that this would bring me such bliss.
I was a feminist and feminists would not be doing other people’s laundry when they grew up.
At thirteen I wanted to know that I was special, and that I would be special. I still looked to my parents and my grades for this. I was still a bit appalled at what was happening to my body. That didn’t feel special to me then. I was embarrassed by the new hair and curves. I preferred my girl-body. I had yet to discover the power of being desirable.
At thirteen I was just embarking on my journey towards womanhood. At thirteen this was not a journey I felt particularly confident about making. At thirteen I didn’t really want to become a woman – at least, not yet.
I wonder what you most wanted at thirteen… and what you imagine today’s thirteen year old girls wish for… (I’d love for you to reply in the comments box below)