Firstly I’m not for a minute suggesting that people who use/wear backpacks are indeed wankers. When I was at school and I decided to go against the grain and wear a backpack and not a Kappa record bag I was bullied and called a backpack wanker.
Age 13 it was the worst time of my life. Backpacks were right up there with bumbags(fanny packs to my American friends); they were a massive fashion faux pas. I soon convinced my (rather pissed off) parents to part with some cash and buy me a record bag to end my ridicule. Of course it was only a matter of time before my crap eighties hair style became the next picking point. School was rough times.
Back in 2015 the boy was one and I found myself eyeing up a backpack. They were back in fashion – who’d have thought something that twenty-odd years ago was such an epic fashion fail was now the hottest festival trend?
I bought myself the backpack of my dreams – it was black suede with colourful floral embroidery; it was the perfect size for the masses of baby related crap I needed to carry and it was, well, really bloody beautiful.
It felt good wandering around with my backpack on. For once in my life comfort, functionality and style was possible. Wonderful. I was cool, who knew?
And then two weeks ago at Peppa Pig World the unthinkable happened. My beautiful backpack broke. Sob.
I panicked; what would I do without it? I looked just about everywhere and could find nothing similar. But I found myself looking at sports-style backpacks.
My much-loved floral number had been perfect but it only had one main compartment; I could buy a sporty-type one that had pockets for every occasion.
And so I went for a fully functional and completely non-fashionable backpack.
I found myself flashing back to those bad times at school; being ridiculed for my backpack. My floral number had made me cool. But did it matter how it looked, did it matter if it was cool?
I thought back to a recent counselling session where we talked about the popular saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me“. The thing is – words do hurt. They really fucking hurt, and once said they can’t be taken back.
I look back to my teenage self and I wish I could hug her and tell her it’s okay. I wish I could tell her to wear the bloody bag with pride, to own the bag. Because, after all, if it wasn’t the bag the bullies were aiming at, it would only be something else.
My hair, nose, chin, body – along with everything I wore was the butt of jokes and the focus of so much hate and piss-taking.
But why? That I’ll never know, and to be honest, I’m totally over it. Those school years were awful but they made me who I am today.
Who gives a shit what bag you wear, what clothes you like. All that matters is that you feel good. And I’ll rock my slightly ugly backpack with pride. I’ll walk down the street with my head held high, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
A very proud Backpack Wanker xx