I’m a Punk

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If you are a couple very much in love, instead of calling them by their first name, you’ll call them a little term of endearment like “`honey’ or `honeybunch,’ or `sweetheart’ `sweetie,’ `sweetie pie’ – anything that has to do with sugary sweetness. Sugar sweetness alright – hey sugar, sugar lips. My ex-boyfriend in the seventies (now my husband) is romantic and mushy guy but what is his term of endearment to me?

“you punk”

punkNice! It was the late seventies and I had no idea what punk actually meant. I don’t think I looked or acted like a punk. I never bothered to find out about the punk culture or the reason behind my ex-boyfriend’s term of endearment. The word “punk” just meant an affectionate and loving word to me. What I knew back then was that Punk first emerged in the mid 1970s in London as an anarchic and aggressive movement. Closely aligned was a music movement that took the name punk. Punk as a term of endearment from my ex-boyfriend was unique. That’s all.

When I travelled with my sister to the UK in 1984, I witnessed my first punk fashion in a London zoo. A couple with a child were holding hands as they viewed the animals. The mother had long burgundy hair while the father had green spiked hair. Their 3 year old daughter was in between them, skipping happily as they walked. The cute little girl had orange hair which was obviously dyed. I couldn’t help staring at them. So this was the punk look, I thought. It was fascinating and different.

Many years have passed since then and now I have 2 daughters . Many fashion magazines advertise the classic punk hair-style or suits with as a punk-style touch as the “respectable image.” The punk now became an established mainstream style which is not what the original punk scene of the 70s had in mind. L wore pop punk fashion (clothes) in high school which continued on till her junior year. That didn’t last long. She moved on to girly fashion then the college preppy look. So I thought that was the end of the punk phase.

A few days ago, L sent me a text message:

“Mommy can I get red streaks in my bangs? 400 pesos only”

Hm, I thought it would be cool since another daughter M just had light highlights done at Salon de Manila. It looked terrific on M.

“Sure go ahead and take a photo of yourself”

Talking to her via google talk a few hours later, I asked for the photo.

“It’s so cute! It’s so red it’s almost pink”, L gushed with pride.

Then I gasped…

red hair

REEEEDDDD!!! Oh dear, that’s not what I imagined it to be. I thought it was going to be highlights”

Then I forgot she mentioned “streaks” not “highlights”.

I knew she loved the red streaks. What worries me is that aside from the shocking red bangs which reminds me of a rooster’s comb, she has this “arrow” in her ears and an eyebrow ring . I don’t worry what people’s opinions are regarding punk fashion. It’s the conservatives who look down on this. Like that paranoid man who thought L was going to steal his cellphone and created a fuss about it in public.

Oh well… some people just immediately place labels on kids. They don’t understand that kids have various means of self-expression as long as it is not harmful to their health or studies. I console myself with the knowledge that even if L has this new look, L helps out in a Sunday Christian school with her friends. I console myself to the thought that her red bangs match her EKO red vintage guitar that L will use for her all girls punk band.

With these thoughts churning inside of me, my husband has only one thing to say to me as he noted my worried look…

“Noym, you punk”