I grew up in a rather conservative family; which, for example, when it came to lady’s fashion, showing a woman’s cleavage was totally unacceptable…
My parents divorced when I was at a very young age, and so I was raised by my much beloved paternal grandmother.
As a Libra woman, she had superb taste in fashion – not so much as a fashion risk taker, but always an elegant minimalist. Every piece of my outfits; from my childhood to my early teens, were hand picked, or at very least, approved by her. We always enjoyed our shopping time together.
Although my beloved grandmother dressed me well, she preferred to dress me as a demure young lady, which means there were no tomboy clothes in my little wooden wardrobe.
When my father remarried, and a “new mother” moved in, I suddenly discovered the charm of a pair of blue jeans…
No, not because my stepmother wore jeans, she was not a fan of jeans at all in fact.
What happened was this; my new mother often took me to our local night market (夜市) in my home town Yilan (宜蘭市), which is a small city in the north east of Taiwan, our local night market was one of the few most popular entertainment spots to visit after dark. And it was there I discovered those glossy posters of American movie stars; and I soon became ‘obsessed’ with one star in particular – Brooke Shields!!!
Those posters of a young Brooke Shields in blue jeans – NO! Not those Calvin Klein studio shots…, they were photos of her sitting on piled hay in the farm shed wearing a cowgirl hat, those, had made a strong impact on me!
I had since begged my beloved grandmother to buy me a pair of blue jeans. And I was so serious!
After my non stop, never-giving-up begging, eventually she gave in, and agreed to buy me a pair of blue jeans when I turned twelve in Year Six.
When I finally received my first pair of blue jeans, I remember it was literally like a dream come true.
Lots of girls I knew had already owned several pairs of jeans at my age back then but I hadn’t. I was so indulged in my new found love that I wore those jeans on all possible occasions, including attending my school’s singing group’s rehearsals on Saturdays.
My new jeans were so special to me at age twelve, I conducted several location photo shoots with the help of classmates and neighbours. All the different looks from wearing the blue jeans just to express how much I adore them! Unfortunately, after all these years of moving and travelling, my very first pair of jeans have long lost and gone.
What has remained, are those old photographs and my vivid memories…
Years later, I migrated to Australia.
My childhood fun – directing my own photo shoots having myself as the subject – has not stopped or been compromised… If anything has happened to this old habit of mine, it has grown bigger and greater as I have been able to do so much more as an adult!
This picture was taken one late summer afternoon, in Richmond New South Wales. I channelled that little girl in me, and brought back her excitement, when she could let her inner cowgirl run free…
Photography by: Road Wang