Reader Autumn shares her views with DREAMCATCHER - on what it's like to stand out from the crowd!
Hi Autumn! Could you tell us how old you are and when you got into Cathy's books?
I'm 18 now and I was 10 when I started reading Cathy's books. I loved the bright covers and realistic characters. Driftwood is my favourite because I live in Scotland and LOVE kittens!
We can't help noticing you have a very cool and unique style... how did this evolve?
Growing up in a small town, it was rare to see people who stood out from the crowd. Whenever I saw pictures of alternative people in mags, I was fascinated by their uniqueness and self confidence. I told Mum I wanted to be a goth when I was 8 - I've been through many styles since! For me, it was an important way of finding my own identity. I like to feel I'm bright and interesting, just like my hair!
Do you enjoy standing out from the crowd?
I love it! My drama teacher said my hair brightened her day, and a man one told me he was so pleased the younger generation still dressed like he did as a teenager! It's good to know I can cheer people up just by being myself.
Have you ever been teased for the way you look, and if so how have you dealt with it?
In a small town, there'll always be a bit of teasing. Usually I ignored it - it'd generally be bored kids looking for a reaction. Sometimes if kids ask 'How come you look so weird?' I'll reply 'How come you don't?' It lightens things and hopefully makes them see it's not nice to question people's reasons for being themselves!
Do you feel others judge you on your appearance? Does this bother you?
People do. Some assume I must be into drugs or devil-worship because of my piercings which is just crazy and clearly not true. Some were shocked that a 12 year old had dyed hair, piercings and make-up - but I was actually 16 at the time, I just look young!
What are your hobbies, interests and ambitions?
I love drawing, writing, reading, listening to music - like most people! I'm into motorcycles, too. And one day I'd like to be a research psychologist!
What advice would you give to readers who like to make their own style statements?
The obvious advice is 'be yourself!' Ignore stereotypes, wear what you know suits you and don't let negative people bring you down. My mum's motto is 'Don't sweat the small stuff' and I think that's great - to me, the 'small stuff' is the small minds of those who think you're weird for just being true to yourself. Remember that bullies will find ANYTHING to pick on if they're determined - don't change for their sake.
Do YOU have a unique or alternative style - or wish that you did? Or, perhaps you've been bullied because of your style choices? COMMENT BELOW to share your views and stories...