Miss Thing: My 13-Year Old NiecePosted: March 23, 2011
Last week, my 13-year old niece Zoe flew across the country, alone, to spend March break with me in Vancouver. Living in downtown Toronto and having rarely ventured west beyond Mississauga, she was in for a quite the change of scenery. For those of you who don’t know her, she can be summed up in 5 words: cooler than I’ll ever be. Open minded and unbelievably secure for a teenager, hanging with her brought me back to a time when I myself was her age. I wasn’t half as fashionable nor as confident as she is. Here are a few examples:
- She started a fashion trend at school: vintage grandma sweaters. In grade 8, I wore baggy jeans and a plaid shirt but grunge for me had nothing to do with being stylish and everything to do with idolizing Pearl Jam.
- A party promoter at the age of 12, she threw a costume Jersey Shore party when the reality show was in its first season (ie. when it was semi-tolerable). She rented a venue and charged cover. Enough said.
- We shop at the same stores. I buy the clothes she points out and she gives me makeup tips. Next year, career advice? Probably.
- Almost as soon as Zoe landed, I had her trying on heaps of my clothing, which led to her vintage clothing photo shoot, called “Pink Lipstick”. Amazing.
When Zoe returned home, Simon and I reminisced about our respective lives at age 13. He says it was a confusing time for him and I look back at myself as having been incredibly naive. Zoe is naive to a certain extent too but she seems considerably more aware of her surroundings than I was and much more resourceful. So, the next time you hang out with a teenage niece/nephew/cousin for an extended period of time, I urge you to pay attention. I guarantee the little one won’t be the only person who learns something valuable.
(Photos courtesy of the Pink Lipstick photo shoot)