Mother of a Man-Child

My life with teenage boys

From Boys to Bogans? December 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mother of a Man-Child @ 5:00 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

rats tail hairIn what can only be described as a worrying trend, I think my men-children are showing Bogan tendencies.  The only comfort I can take in this is that they are not alone.  In fact they are joining a growing number of their school friends with body piercings and a “ratty” hairstyle which seems to be the current trend.

For those of us old enough to remember, the “ratty” style harks from the disgusting “rats tail” trend that was worn by Bogans in the 80’s.  They would cut their hair short, with the exception of a long piece of hair that was left at the nape of the neck.  It was often plaited for effect (and not any prettier trust me), and sadly was a trans-gender style worn by Bogan men and women alike!!  If I am honest I may have had a VERY SMALL ratty myself which was very tasteful of course at the height of this trend. 🙂

One of the men-children recently had his brother use the clippers to cut his hair, leaving a delightful “ratty” at the back.  Fortunately, it’s not quite as long as the original version, more a short stumpy version, but nevertheless quite ridiculous.  Apparently it’s all the rage at school, and most likely they are emulating many of the young footballers, who all sport similar styles.  Now I think of it, most of them are Bogans at heart aren’t they?

Our other man-child has recently renewed his requests (read badgering) to be allowed an eyebrow piercing.  The last time he asked, we did suggest he could have one if he chose to have his private parts pierced simultaneously.  This time, he started quoting the fact that at 16 years old he could do as he pleased in relation to body piercing (a fact I must check).  Father of a Man-Child, for reasons completely unfathomable to all of us, seems to think a tattoo is a much better idea???  Even the man-child couldn’t understand this logic, and I don’t think his father was using reverse psychology.   Let’s face it, at least you can take out the stud from your eyebrow, but the tattoo on your arm or leg is slightly more permanent!  And whilst the school should BAN all visible piercings in my view, it seems they will allow a clear stud in one’s eyebrow whilst in uniform.  We did try to encourage piercing the earlobe over the eyebrow, but he seems adamant on the latter.

I do recall my nephews now in their mid-20’s both had piercings in their eyebrows shortly after they left school, a fact that their Mother and Grandfather were both appalled by.  God only knows how that same Grandfather will respond to the almost 16 year old man-child having one when he attends the same school his Grandfather did, and where the latter currently enjoys a well-earned reputation.  Oh dear.

So it seems I have a couple of Bogan men-children.  Given the odd hair styles I have seen created by their friends at our house, I have no doubt my boys are not alone in pursuing their “individual” styles, which are really just designed to ensure they conform with all their teenage friends, and demonstrate some anti-establishment, rebellious behaviour like we all did a few decades ago.

I promise to share photos if and when the eyebrow finally gets pierced!

Read our last discussion about eyebrow piercings here.


Mother of a man-child: The self “tattoo-ing” trend June 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mother of a Man-Child @ 4:00 pm
Tags: , , ,

In all societies there are cultural mores and traditions, language dialects, dress code and physical markings that can serve to distinguish one culture from another.   And within cultures, there are sub-cultures, again each often distinguishable from other groups through their physical appearances and language.

And so it is with teenagers, with a defined “look” and language marking each type of group, albeit the look is often a “uniform” they wear and so in looking different they all look the same, in order to belong.  Girls in short denim shorts, boys in skin-tight mid-butt jeans, hair just so.  In fact not much has changed from when I was a teenager wearing the same skin-tight jeans funnily enough.

There is however a disturbing trend we recently discovered that is clearly a cultural behaviour, but one that alarmed me so much I contacted the school to alert them (oh yes, you can imagine how popular that made me at home can’t you?).  The trend is a form of tatoo-ing, whereby young boys use cans of deodorant to literally burn themselves, thereby creating a scar on their inner arm.   I first noticed it on Man-Child II, who had two burns, one on his inner arm, and one on the top of his hand. Both very nasty, inflamed and scabbed.  I naturally asked what had happened, and was mortified and gob-smacked to learn a friend of his had encouraged him to do it to himself.  I quote:  “You what???  If (nameless friend) had asked you to jump off the West Gate would you?  What sort of idiot are you?  He’s not to welcome to our house again…….(mother continues ranting for at least another five minutes – you get the picture I am sure).

I have since noticed many of my sons friends that have the same markings.  Each time I make a point of letting them know I have seen the scars, so they know I am well aware of it.  I don’t expect they give two hoots about my view, but I still want them to know that I’m not blind to this behaviour.  I find this sort of self-mutilation quite disturbing amongst young boys and certainly can’t recall any similar activities amongst my peers when I was a teenager.  It makes body piercings seem banal doesn’t it?  My only hope is that this is the worst sort of tattoo they will ever have – the alternative is a lot more permanent.