Tuesday, 13 October 2015


More in our fab series about growing up in a different decade; we meet Hilary, who was a teen in the 1980s…

Hilary says:
I turned thirteen in 1984, the year that Prince Harry was born and that Elton John got married - to a woman (which shows how long ago it was…) I went to see Ghostbusters at the cinema and played Prince's Purple Rain non stop on my tape deck. My friends were into Wham and Duran Duran but I was Billy Joel's number one fan. I had posters on my wall and bought every record he made, even obscure Japanese imports. The trend that year was neon - I had a white top with splotches of neon pink, yellow and orange which I wore with a white miniskirt and fluorescent yellow socks. I coordinated it all with turquoise eyeliner and beige lipstick… oh dear!

I wasn't an unhappy teen, but I did suffer from the usual teen angst, mainly focussed on boys. I seemed to fall for a different one each week, and felt that nobody understood me. I was quite serious and 'deep' and not good at smalltalk. My hair was big, frizzy and uncontrollable, I had greasy skin, zits and freckles and I hated my gappy teeth. I spent a lot of time writing poetry and stories in my bedroom and wishing I was more like everyone else. I already knew I wanted to be a novelist one day, and when I wasn't writing I was drawing, painting or singing. Or watching Grange Hill on TV!

These days I write for teens which means I am continuously tapping into my teen self. My hair is marginally better now but otherwise I don't think I've changed much. I have the same insecurities, thoughts and feelings… even the same occasional zit! I am more confident about relationships and the way I look now, and I am very glad I was able to make all my fashion and relationship mistakes before the days of selfies and social networking sites. My advice to today's teens is, don't take yourself too seriously, and remember that things will get better. Oh, and believe me: you don't look half as bad as you think you do!

Cathy says:
Hilary Freeman's new teen book, WHEN I WAS ME, is out in now. Check it out! Would YOU have liked being a teen in the 1980s? COMMENT BELOW and tell  us more!

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