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Growing Up As An Alternative Black Girl

Did anyone really want to be popular as a teenager? I mean, it would have been nice to experience life with perfect hair, teeth and skin, a natural disposition to do everything right, be loved by humans and animals alike and generally seem to have no worries. That might have been nice but, to be honest, it looked so boring when I was a teenager. As a chubby, awkward black girl growing up in the deepest, whitest area of Britain, I knew I was never going to be seen as normal enough to be popular, so I never tried.

No, I wanted to be with the alternative kids because I thought they’d know what it was like to be different. Can you tell where this cautionary tale is heading? Sadly, I realised over time that outsiders aren’t all the same. It took me a long time to come to terms with the reasons why I felt so uncomfortable around my friends, and even longer to do something about it.